Adobe Simplifies Web Conferencing, Upgrades Authoring Software

Adobe releases its Acrobat Connect Web conferencing software and upgrades its Adobe RoboHelp 6 "help" software product line.

Adobe Systems wants save your business money with new meeting collaboration software that works with its already-popular Flash software.

Initially announced in December but officially released Jan. 16, Acrobat Connect will allow business professionals to select a Web address for their online personal meeting room and be connected from virtually anywhere needed.

"Acrobat Connect can enhance business productivity by instantly connecting people so they can communicate and collaborate online, allowing them to easily work together regardless of their geographic location," David Slater, senior product marketing manager for Adobes Acrobat Connect product line, told eWEEK.

Subscribers to Acrobat Connect can access their personal meeting room with a Web browser and Adobe Flash software, and will be afforded collaboration tools including screen sharing, whiteboarding, chat, video and audio conferencing.

"Unlike other existing Web conferencing solutions, Acrobat Connect enables users to choose a simple and easy-to-remember Web address for their meeting room, with unlimited usage for up to 15 participants," Slater said.

Users of Adobe Acrobat 8 and Adobe Reader 8 software will be able to use the "Start Meeting" feature to launch Acrobat Connect from a PDF document to start working together instantly.

The Acrobat Connect product line includes Acrobat Connect Professional, which provides business professionals with the ability to manage online meetings and events as well as featuring integrated telephony and VOIP (voice over IP) functionality.

For a single user, Acrobat Connect is available now for a subscription price of $39 per month or $395 per year per personal meeting room.

Acrobat Connect Professionals pricing has multiple options, with a five-user Starter Pack costing $375 per month and the 10-user Starter Pack at $750 per month. More information regarding pricing details can be found on Adobes Web site.

Adobe also announced Jan. 16 the availability of Adobe RoboHelp 6 and Adobe RoboHelp 6 Server. Adobe RoboHelp 6 is a desktop authoring and publishing platform that can be used to create help systems and knowledge bases. RoboHelp 6 can be used for all kinds of software applications, including online, Web applications.

"RoboHelp 6 is designed to handle the complexity of managing a large number of topics, creating links for easy navigation between topics, organizing the topics into a table of contents, providing the infrastructure for context-sensitive help, and handling glossaries and indices that help explain and locate relevant information," Karl Matthews, Adobe group marketing manager, told eWEEK.

"The job of technical writer would be much harder without RoboHelp or similar tools because it is very challenging to manage large collections of help topics without specialist project management/content management features," Matthews said.

To complement RoboHelp 6, Adobes RoboHelp 6 Server will allow authors to set out and manage up-to-date online content, control and monitor the use of Web-based help systems in real time, and work with Microsoft software.

The online content delivery tool from Adobe also includes FlashHelp Pro, a server-based version of FlashHelp that provides connectivity with Oracle and SQL databases.

RoboHelp 6 and RoboHelp 6 Server are available now for Windows 2000 and Windows XP for prices of $999 and $1,999, respectively. Support for Windows Vista will be added in 2007.


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