Can Adobe Redefine Creative Workflow?

Opinion: With the launch of the second major release of its Creative Suite, Adobe is driving a new approach to file and workflow management for creative professionals. Can this technology change how creative professionals are managing their work?

Launched 18 months ago into an already fairly mature software market, the first release of Adobes Creative Suite was a runaway success. The integration of all of the different software elements Adobe provides to the design and publishing market into a bigger and better whole was clearly an idea whose time had come.

Although Adobe Systems had to face some confusion in the beginning—yes, Photoshop CS really is version 8.0 of Adobes flagship product, and InDesign CS is also release 3.0 of the increasingly popular page-layout software—the market seemed to have an instant love affair with the new design environment.

And this was the case despite the fact that release 1 of Adobe Creative Suite (or Adobe CS for short) really offered relatively little in terms of interapplication integration, or at least relatively little benefit you would not have gotten by purchasing individual applications.

In the first iteration of Adobe CS, the only suite-specific piece of engineering was Version Cue, a relatively simple environment for managing and sharing files (and versions thereof) in a creative workgroup.

With version 2 of the Creative Suite, Adobe has placed the bar much higher: Besides providing new releases of each one of the applications included, CS2 moves full steam ahead in workflow integration at the end-user level.

The "pièce de résistance," as it were, is called Adobe Bridge, which gives users an integrated way to access and manage files and Version Cue projects in a variety of ways. Files can be dragged in and out of the Bridge Window, which also allows the viewing of images and metadata in a simple way.

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