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Adobe MAX Barcelona ’07 – Day Two Report

November 5, 2007

Report on day two, before I have even typed this I know its going to be quite a long post! Day two has been very interesting (and long), same format as before general sessions and workshops, but this time there were two main events in the hall the keynote and sneak peeks. I attended seven sessions and tried to mix up business and tecchie to keep it relevant.

Session one – Keynote – Various Speakers

Really this was an extension from yesterdays keynote speech, Adobe paraded a number of experts onto the stage (with lots of ‘whoops and hollers’ from the fans). They showcased some pretty cool sites built with some impressive backend infrastructure including an RFQ application at MFG.com which is a little like an application I wrote for Xyratex a few years back, but on steroids. One of the big talking points in this session was the new additions to the LiveCycle ES product and how that can leveraged as both a workflow and also an enabling technology with products such as SAP.

Adobe announced some exciting news that they had just signed a deal with the BBC for the next version of the iPlayer, this is to be built using AIR technology.

Scene 7, an adobe acquisition presented an interesting image on demand product mainly for the online world, pretty cool technology.

Share Beta, this was a demonstration of a hosted service Adobe are releasing on the world very soon. Its in effect the publishing layer for SMB that does some pretty ace things with documents. I sent some of you a demo, I would recommend you all take a look, but more on this later. (http://www.adobe.com/go/share)

Pacifica, is an VoIP service Adobe are working on. Nothing really mind blowing with this product, apart from the fact they have proven the technology to enable VoIP through the flash player, which is pretty significant as its now the defecto standard on mobile, web and most consumer goods that has a some sort of connectivity. Adobe will be looking to put this technology into the latest version of connect to increase the range of services it can perform. Currently in private beta, I have an invite, so if your interested let me know.

Cocomo, this is awesome (I will be using that phrase a lot), basically its an SDK / Extension for the connect product. Cocomo enables you to start developing using the Connect APIs, so you could integrate online meetings into your website in the simple case. In the complex, it could be a way to do video conferencing ‘lite’, as well as expand out support to remote users / different sites. Available in private beta very soon.

Thermo, this is an interesting extension to the web development world, basically it’s software that enables designers to turn artwork into Rich Internet Applications (RIA) very easily. Interesting but not that relevant (yet). I see this as a handy tool for prototyping ‘usable’ UIs without the ‘coding’ aspect, useful for some of our software guys I would have thought. No surprises here, but its built with Flex (as everything is). Beta available in Jan.

Session two – Adobe Collaborative Hosted Services Roadmap.

A great session discussing connect, buzzword and share. Without drifting off as I know it’s a favourite topic of mine, Adobe define collaboration as:

“Working with others to get things done”

Buzzword and Share are great products, both acquisitions, and as such are a little disconnected from each other for the moment, but v1 is planned for Feb with some tight integration. Adobe would sell you the idea that Buzz is the collaboration platform with share the publishing platform. This product is predominantly targeted at the SME, hence the hosted only option, however it’s a good indication where the company is going and we should expect to find this available to self host sometime within 2008.

Session Three – Hapag Lloyd / ReflectAG – Integrated Training via Adobe Connect.

This was a very interesting and topical session. A chap called Hermutt Schell (brilliant name) from reflectAG presented on how Hapag-Lloyd uses Adobe connect for:

  • Online training and support of staff / E-learning
  • Resource for remote workers
  • Online meetings
  • E-Collaboration

I picked up some really interesting best practice tips for deploying online meetings services within the enterprise.

Hermett, spoke about how he (he is not an Adobe employee) had looked into GoTo, Interwise, Webex and after some very extensive research made a decision to go with Connect.

Session Four – Optimising Search for RIA

A real tecchie session but with some great tips on SEO. Probably not really relevant to everyone but I found this very interesting. The speaker was a chap called Craig Hordlow he had some great knowledge and some interesting insider knowledge. I have about 9 pages of notes on this, some of which are very relevant, if your interested drop me a line.

Session Five – Building AIR Applications with Dreamweaver CS3

Again a great tecchie session showing how to turn your online application into a desktop app using AIR. Adobe have published a great SDK for this and by using Dreamweaver it is possible to pull in all sorts of APIs from almost anything that publishes them (SF.com, SAP, I even thing Documentum have published the erooms APIs). Very interesting, also informative, again notes for anyone that’s interested. Its pretty impressive how Adobe have taken their online dev tool (DW) and in effect turned it into a software dev tool.

Session Six – Realising SOA with LiveCycle

An interesting discussion on SOA and lifecycle technologies. Touched on some interesting workflow ideas. On the whole I was a bit fed up with the session, it turned into death by code where as I was expecting a more business orientated discussion. Interesting all the same.

Session Seven – Sneak Peeks

This was in the main hall, with all the Adobe poster boys. This really was a session for the inner geek and it was AWESOME. A chance to check out all that’s cool and on the way from Adobe.

The first part was the Adobe MAX Europe Awards, we have been voting over the past two days on three great projects built on the Adobe platform.

  • ATAC Mobile – An Italian mobile phone solution for mapping.
  • The Madrid Incident Management System – A LiveCycle deployment that integrated with SAP I liked this one, it included offline forms and all sorts of more business orientated stuff. SAP seems to have been a big them throughout the conference!
  • Megalo – A French web team that put together the website for Harry Potter 5.

The winners were the team from ATAC mobile, they made a speech, it was very emotional. ;)

The second part was the real reason people were excited, the Sneak Peeks. I am not sure how relevant any of this is to the business, but its great to see.

1. Flash Home on Mobile

This was a great demonstration for the latest Flash technology for mobile phones. Actually really interesting as RIM have just agreed a JV into this technology, so we may well see this on our Blackberries in the not too distant future. Demonstrated some cool mashups with the API.

2. Flash Next

Demoing what’s new with the Flash authoring environment, interesting if your a flash developer, not really my bag. Things of note were changes to animation , allowing flash content to be shown in real time in the dev environment. There was a very cool demo of something called the ‘Bone Tool’, which is an interesting point and pivot technology.

3. A new version of Visual Communicator

Basically this was a no time line video editing tool based on voice commands, fun and interesting software. Supports H323 and could be useful for things like webcasts, also demoed some new streaming technology that will be appearing in lots of Adobe and non Adobe products soon.

4. Web 2 Print

A really interesting product that bridges the gap between the web and print worlds. I can see this being actually very useful.

5. PDF Packaging UI

This was interesting, basically the new Adobe reader technology will support much more than just documents. They have extended it to include multiple contents in a single file. Demoed a very cool Yahoo maps application within a pdf file. I can see this being very useful for business, especially in the product development areas.

6. Photoshop Express

Demoed the online version of PS which Adobe are putting out for beta in January. Its very impressive and utilises a really simple UI. Quite amazed Adobe are doing this to be honest.

7. Seam Carving

They obviously left the best to last. Seam Carving is and I quote the Adobe CEO ‘Black Magic’. Its basically some IP Adobe have acquired that allows you to alter images using nothing more than point and click. A good example of this is the expand technology, you can on the fly stretch, and grow images without any distortion, today we have to alter image sizes and keep the ratio (plus you can only really go smaller), this makes anything possible. Another good example was the delete tool, you can hilight a section of an image, press delete and it just removes it and makes it completely seamless.

Reminded me of movie technology, when you see someone photoshopping in a film, they produce awesome effects in about 2 minutes, well this is it.

Really cool stuff, and a huge technology breakthrough, search youtube for an example.

Right that’s just about it for Tuesday, lots planned for Wednesday then I fly home in the evening.

Its been an interesting trip, my mind is hurting from all the content and I have pages and pages of notes I would like to bore you all with. I have seen some ‘way cool stuff’, some really good ideas to adopt as well as useful products and interesting people.

Video of the party

From → Conferences, Web Tech

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