acrobat collaboration

Katie Landers at dropped me an email to checkout the early information on Acrobat 9. I figured it was just going to be another hash of useless bells and whistles that Adobe lately has been adding it’s bloated software suites lately. Honestly I do love designing with Photoshop, illustrator, and inDesign but when they charge $400 for a few minor features and tweaks then it is getting a bit ridiculous. Adobe Acrobat 9 and Adobe Connect Pro may change my tune though as they’re actually offering some very compelling collaborative features. I’ve only read through it briefly but it looks like it maybe what people have been waiting for in regards to true online document collaboration. Google Docs has tried it without much success, Microsoft attempts are many and still just as confusing as before though Sharepoint is about their best attempt thus far. But what Adobe has done is leverage the popularity of PDF format and tie it in with  simple to use collaboration features. They made it blend it with the application and made it intuitive for the first time user. PDF’s also support streaming video and flash animation embedded within them so you can create some really media rich documents. Users can have different levels of editing permissions on files and you can now  view and respond on comments in a rich internet application environment. I also like how easy it is to make online interactive PDF  forms. That can open up a whole new relm for e-learning and online surveys since it tracks data submitted through them.

You can also switch to a live collaboration session to invite people to look at your edits in real-time instead of timeline based efforts of back and forth notes.

Here’s a link to their guided tour

I could definitely see this beneficial to collaborating on a design with a client or other employees as well as a QA of their content and pages and look forward to giving it a try. Finally Adobe you’re starting to think beyond the bloat and consider real solutions for businesses and customers. Make things simple…make them integrate and tie it all together in a familiar interface for publishers. By getting desktop publishers on the band wagon of online collaboration they may finally bring businesses to the solution.