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mullisk
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Online Collaboration

Jul 15, 2010 5:41 PM

First of all, I would like to say so far WorkflowLab is looking like it will be a great product.  There are a lot of aspects I like about it, and the tool overall has a lot of potential.  However, the one aspect of this tool that I think is really lacking so far is the online collaboration process.  I have to predicate all of this by stating, the information I'm using to base my opinion on is from the tools associated help file (I plan on making a second posting about that later).  Additionally, while I'm familiar with the various programming/development tools out there, I am by no means a software developer/engineer; so if I say something that's out of context I apologize in advance.  My background and perspective is coming from a traditional military intelligence background looking to use this tool, or a tool like this, to help "modernize" visual tools that can easily demonstrate necessary workflow's associated with my profession in an online collaborative environment.

 

All of that being said, here are my thoughts on the online functions of this tool.  Reading through the documentation available, and reading a few of the older discussion threads on this site, it appears that the "share online" function of this tool is simply a "FTP like" process.  By that I mean the zipped workflow labs folder containing the .wfx file is placed, and downloaded, from a website hosting the information.  When you click on the "workflow shared online" button, a very unintuitive window appears that simply allows you to enter in an http address with no additional information.  The concept associated with that seems very misleading, especially given the incredible power Adobe gives its users with other tools available like Flex 4.

 

With today's technology it just seemed overly simplistic.  I think in my mind I saw this tool working in conjunction with a truly dynamic and interactive web based application possibly hosted by adobe, and working behind the power of Flex capabilities.  Knowing what capabilities are currently available already utilizing Flex technology (see ESRI and the usage of a Flex API at sites like http://map.floridadisaster.org/GATOR/index.html) I can easily see this tool acting as a RIA that is hosted by Adobe, or adobe approved sites, so that the tool can truly be used by both advanced, and new users alike.  If the WorkflowLab is utilized in a fashion like that I imagine it will allow for the greater ease of true online collaboration.

 

Hopefully I didn't just misunderstand what the online capabilities were, but I look forward to hearing whatever feedback there is on this concept.  I know that WorkflowLab, as well as other adobe tools, are very powerful.  I'm just hoping that ideas like this will help to expand the user base for beginning level users like myself so we can fully utilize the power behind tools like this.

 

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