First off, let me just say that while I've been hyper-critical at times of Adobe and elements of DPS, I love the entire toolset. I've neglected praise where praise is due.
I've just rolled out my first sales tool on a fairly widespread level to reps in our company via the acrobat.com method, and the process so far has been great. Salespeople and reps who now have the tool have been absolutely raving about it, and a few have already started to use it with clients - to great success and praise. I cannot emphasize enough just how positive the rollout was... Many of said that they have been waiting for just such a tool and that the entire platform is absolutely perfect. Folks are ecstatic. I can claim credit for the design and content of the piece, but Adobe: you folks deserve the lion's share of the credit for offering a unique platform that we designers can build upon. Tnx for that.
Now, onto some comments:
The acrobat.com distribution method is the absolute best way so far to distribute the folio privately to not only people in your organization, but also to clients and other folks with whom you do business. While I'm still a champion for bringing back some form of sideloading in order to avoid the need for a net connection and keep the folio secure within our own organization, the acrobat.com method works well. 'Privately' might be a bit misleading. Obviously anyone with access to the email and username could get the folio - more on that later.
Sideloading for anyone outside of your company will be nothing but a PITA. I had people struggling with even basic tasks like finding the Adobe Content Viewer on iTunes, so I shudder to think of how they might tackle sideloading. Again, for internal use only sideload still has a lot of merit, but as a viable distribution method to dozens or hundreds of people it will never work.
Same with using iTunes. We will be avoiding the use of iTunes at all costs; for a few different reasons. 1. Anything company related that we produce with DPS isn't exactly private, but putting it up on iTunes is just way to public. 2. The workflow involved with getting a folio up and running on iTunes seems like a PITA. I've never done it, so I might be clueless here, but... 3. Distribution privately using the Enterprise iTunes method is all good and well for people that have access to the network, but what about clients/consultants/etc? What about folks with a VPN connection who work remotely? They are all out of luck with that method.
There's been various posts about how best to distribute your folio via acrobat.com; the most popular method listed being the SHARE technique. You open an acrobat.com account, have people open their own accounts, then add them to work Workspace Share list. I can tell you that this is absolutely NOT the method to use. What I found is that, while this works, every single time you add someone to the Share list the entire folio gets resent to everyone on your list via the Update notice on the iPad. Obviously this isn't a workable situation. What I ended up doing is simply creating a new acrobat.com account using an email and password that I then sent out to staff, and that's become my new defacto account that I use for the folio creation. In this way, users only need to grab the Content Viewer App and then login. Done! (Maybe most of you knew about the share issue and that it wasn't the best way to distribute, but I didn't..)
The first day there we some apparent issues with the acrobat.com servers. I had a few people get error messages on their iPads that the content wasn't available for the file wasn't valid, etc. I know there's been some ongoing server problems and I can only hope that Adobe has smoothed those out. Eventually of course the folks were able to download, but server reliability is of course very important - especially if its one of our clients that is needing access. As expected, some folks were even challenged with finding the Adobe Content Viewer on iTunes and/or entering the correct email and username. This is unavoidable, but just goes to show that any process of grabbing content must be as painless as possible.
Finally, the one negative comment that has cropped up quite a few times is the Blue Lightning Bolt. People don't get why it's there and assume that it's part of MY design. *groan*. This is really an issue, and I would urge Adobe to come up with some kind of method in which a person can 'flag' a folio as in-progress (Blue lightning) or finished in the Folio Builder. When we start sending out these tools to clients, I truly cannot have that bolt...it's not part of our branding in any way and only causes confusion.
So, that's where I'm at so far. We are going to do a bit more testing and then probably upgrade our acrobat.com account so that more folios can be hosted. Bravo, Adobe. You've really blazed a new trail here with DPS and, with the exception of a few snags that will hopefully get resolved, we really look forward to continued use.
Thank you for the detailed report. I will look into modifying the lightning bolt. One question...Did you try sharing via the UI in the folio builder panel instead of through acrobat.com's workspace sharing? Sharing via the UI in the folio builder panel will not resend updates to all users when you add a new user to the share list.
I actually didn't try sharing via the Folio Builder panel, but good info to know. (It was unclear if they both served the same function, so I didn't take any chances and just kept with the online workspace share.)
Regardless, the method of just giving folks the email and username for a new acrobat.com account is really the best method for us because it avoids the step of trying to get people to first get an acrobat.com account. Many of them didn't understand why they needed to do that, and kept getting the process confused with all sorts of things; such as logging into the iTunes store. People were even joining Adobe.com and then thinking that the folio would be pushed to their Content Viewers. I tend to forget that everyday people in the business world - more often than not - just learn the basic computer skillsets to do the stuff they need to do for work, and are sometimes lost trying to do something new.
metz123 wrote:I will look into modifying the lightning bolt.
Hi Metz123, in this post http://forums.adobe.com/message/3831969#3831969 I proposed some conditions whereby the "bolt" would appear or disappear are any of these possible?
To Landrv1, Did you look into publishing to the apple app store is it possible through the paid acrobat.com service, any further details on the process you went through to get your content out to viewers would be of great help. Regards Vividi
@vividi, I think Bob has already just answered your question about the app store and acrobat.com: can't do it that way. You've
got to use the paid DPS publishing program in order to distribute thru the app store. I've no idea really on how exactly that's done...
To get content onto iPads using the acrobat.com method, here's a quick rundown of steps you might take:
1. Get a free gmail account and pick an email name and password.
2. Go over to acrobat.com and select Create Free Account in the upper right of the screen.
3. Enter the email address for the account you just created, and choose a password. The password can be the same as the Gmail account, but it certainly doesn't have to be - and probably shouldn't. It's totally up to you.
4. acrobat.com will send a confirmation email to your new Gmail account. It's important to confirm or else you won't be able to use the account to upload/distribute your folio.
5.Once you have confirmed the account, your acrobat.com account screen should be visible.
6. Open up your InDesign file, and go to Window>Extentions>Folio Builder. You will be presented with a sign in box. Enter your gmail email address and whatever password you decided to use for the acrobat.com account. Wait a second until the Folio Builder has connected with acrobat.com. NOTE: There may be times when you get an error message when trying to connect Folio Builder to acrobat.com. JUST WAIT A BIT, and what I find is that it will connect. At that point, the error dialog box might still be on the screen so just close it. If it's not connecting at all no matter how long you wait, it might be a temporary server issue, so just try connecting a bit later.
7. Once you are connected you want to create a new Folio. At the bottom of the Folio Builder is a button to do just that. Enter in all the info in the dialog box. (I don't think you even need an InDesign file open at this step...)
8. After your new folio has been created you'll want to then hit Create New Article. Whatever InDesign file is open on your screen is what Folio Builder is going to use to create that new article. After your create your new article, select that article listed in the Folio Builder and go up to the option box at the upper right and select properties. Fill out the info. No need to hit update because any info in properties you fill out is automatically uploaded to that article.
9. At this point you should have a one page article and it's a good time to test. All you need to do is open up the Adobe Content Viewer app on the iPad and sign in using the Gmail address and the acrobat.com password you selected. You will see an immediate notice that a new folio is available!
That's it, really. Sorry...I really went into some basic details that you probably already knew.
Anyone that has your email name and password will now be able to access that folio without having to create their own acrobat.com account.
The steps are all the same except you don't share your email and password with anyone. Instead, you ask people to create their own acrobat.com account and then have them send you the exact email address they used when creating that account. Then, using the Folio Builder panel WITHIN InDesign, get back until you see your folio name in the Folio Builder panel. Select the folio name and go up to the options box at the upper right and select Share. Enter the email address of the person you want to receive the folio. That's it! They can then download the Adobe Content Viewer to their iPad, login using THEIR email and password from acrobat.com, and they will receive a download notice with your folio.
If you use the the Share feature at the acrobat.com website and not the Folio Builder Panel, be warned that each time you add a person to the list the entire folio is redistributed to EVERYONE. Avoid this.
Hope this helps.
This is great info and a decent enough workaround to Adobe's self-imposed restrictions.
I would add one minor qualification. Once you create the Adobe ID, and validate that email address, you also need to go to the digitalpublishing.acrobat.com (or perhaps acrobat.com) and log in with the newly created Adobe ID.
Agree to the the Acrobat.com legalese...and then the new log in will work via Adobe Content Viewer. If you do not take the step to sign into acrobat.com and approve the boilerplate..the Adobe log in will not work in Content Viewer.
In your workflow, that is a simple, one-time task, you can take on behalf of all your staffers when you do the initial setup.
However, I am pitching a client on new business; and I want them to download Adobe Content Viewer and log in via their own iPad to see the campaign. So it isn't sufficent for me to ask them to create an Adobe ID and then validate that ID on Acrobat.com
I would probably lose them if they merely had to create an Adobe ID. The extra step of agreeing on acrobat.com makes it nearly impossible.
Adobe has got to understand that DPS - though useful to large consumer magazine publishers - is far more valuable as a general robust digital delivery platform a la PDF. By making Acrobat Reader freely available and not restricting (let alone charging) for the creation, transmission, and sharing of PDF files, PDF became the Universal Standard it is today.
DPS will never get far out of the blocks if the kinds of restrictions we all now face with DPS each day remain in place.
To Michaellipson, "However, I am pitching a client on new business; and I want them to download Adobe Content Viewer and log in via their own iPad to see the campaign. So it isn't sufficent for me to ask them to create an Adobe ID and then validate that ID on Acrobat.com" "I would probably lose them if they merely had to create an Adobe ID. The extra step of agreeing on acrobat.com makes it nearly impossible." How do you then advertise your content if users will not download the adobe content viewer, or create an ID on Acrobat.com surely this is only suitable for in house content and not suitable for public viewing any further thoughts anyone. Regards Vividi
You are absolutely right..We are using DPS tools to produce ads for customers to run in our DPS publications.
We need to be able to give customers access to content before it is published and made public.
Essentially, they need to review and approve their ad.
Asking them to download Adobe Content Viewer from the iTunes store, isn't too difficult.
Asking them to sign into Adobe Content Viewer with a pre-set log in and password is a bit of a bump in the road...
Anything beyond is a real obstacle.
Remember, a big part of my post and the steps I outlined means that your clients (and anybody in your organization/company) never have to create their own acrobat.com account. You've really taken care of that step for them by setting up the account and merely passing on the email and password info for them to use when logging into the Content Viewer app.
So, 1 client...1 acrobat.com account.
For more than 1 folio you'd have to pay the $15/month feek, of course. (or get the client to pay, heh).
If you've got more than 1 client then obviously you've got to setup more accounts (or if a client wants multiple accounts within their company).
The thing that I like best about this is that the entire exchange of folios happens without any iTunes involvement. A client or your fellow staffers never have to bother with iTunes on a web level or enterprise level.
iTunes makes perfect sense for the magazine folks, but for business deliverables? Nay.
So this seems like a great post about how to share your folios with others but what about distributing? I work at a small design firm and I have a lot of exciting clients who would like to use this solution as a sales/marketing tool to highlight their products etc. It is a great solution for salespeople in the field but what if they wanted to make it availalbe for customers, just like they would a brochure?
We previously created a standalone app that was "marketing-focused" and it got rejected from the apple app store for that specific reason. I would assume any clients' marketing materials would be rejected as well, so how do you get it out there?
Anyone found a solution to this yet? Any thoughts would be very helpful.
Any word on distribution? I too have clients who would like to create small enterprise apps and distribute them without going through the app store.
Does anyone know if you can require a password to download a free app on the app store? And if you can, is this possible with an app created via Adobe DPS, or Aquafadas?
Lndrvr1, thanks for the great detailed post. I'm also interested in creating sales tools for a client of mine with Adobe's DPS. One question:
Does the sales team need to have an Internet connection to view/present the .folio file while on the sales call?
In my case there is no guarantee that the sales person will have an Internet connection during the sales call. The process would be for them to load the .folio onto their iPad in the office (with an Internet connection) and then head out on sales calls (without an Internet connection).
Bob, I've noticed that you are very much an expert in this forum. Your input is greatly appreciated by all here.
Can I trouble you to direct me to a current/updated online resource for how to go about sharing .folios as landrvr1 has done in this post?
Thanks a bunch!
@Roy, it's really very easy.
Open up a free account on acrobat.com. When working within InDesign, login using the same credentials and upload your folios. Grab the Adobe Content Viewer app for either iOS or Android, then sign into the app using the exact same credentials. Anyone who has those credentials can now view the content. I've got 2 accounts going usually - one for ongoing build and testing, and another for final product.
@dmcsween, lol. I don't understand why Adobe refuses to simply add a blue border around the entire thumbnail instead of the lightning bolt that's ruining the graphic. It's such a simple solution, but whenever it's mentioned you get 4,586 DPS Pro and Enterprise users complaining that a lightning bolt is absolutely the only possible icon they'll be able to recogize. Okay, that's mean I know but....
You don't even need to create a free acrobat.com account any more. Just create an Adobe ID and use it to sing into either the folio builder panel in InDesign or the folio builder web client. Signing in to either of those services will upgrade your account to a DPS acocunt.
I've seen a few "magazine" apps, but no "sales presentaions" created with Adobe DPS? Anyone willing to share an example of their "sales presentaion" created with Adobe DPS?
A client of mine is wanting to use iPads to do "sales presentations" -- without an Internet connection. In otherwords, the presentation must be able to run local/native on the iPad. Their initial thinking is to use MS PowerPoint (their current tool of choice since they are all on PCS). My research has determined that they either need an internet connection to use something like CloudOn -- which allows most if not all of PowerPoint's bells and whistles (SmartArt, transitions, hyperlinks, etc.); OR use something like SlideShark but not be able to use the bells and whistles (SmartArt, transition, hyperlinks).
I'm considering Adobe DPS as an alternative workflow since I would prefer to use InDesign over PowerPoint any day of the week.