It’s been 2 years since the Virtual Ubiquity team joined Adobe and Acrobat.com. And we’re marking the anniversary with our most ambitious release to date. Adobe veterans and the former Virtual Ubiquity team have brought their technologies together to merge our online services into a much more cohesive whole. And we think you’ll be pleased with the result. We’re bringing it all together.
Acrobat.com, up until now, has been a collection of different applications running on different architectures, and file organizers. So, we retooled and created a new back-end that is the collaboration engine that will power everything we do going forward. It’s been a tremendous amount of work, but it’s work that we believe will pay off well for the future of Adobe’s online applications.
One organizer to rule them all.
We code-named this release “Unity” because it’s the release in which we “bring it all together.” The biggest change you’ll see is that we now have a single file organizer where you’ll find all of your files – files that you have uploaded, PDFs that you have created, documents that you have created in Buzzword, Presentations or Tables. You’ll also find it easy to launch a ConnectNow meeting.
Answering our number one feature request.
We’ve been deluged with people who have too many files in their organizers. They needed a way to better organize their files. Introducing “Collections” – which we think are an improvement on the traditional file folder that we’ve all been using forever. Collections are very much like Playlists in iTunes, or like Albums in iPhoto or collections in Adobe LightRoom. You can drag-and-drop files into Collections much as you would with traditional file folders; the big difference is that a file can live in more than one collection. Of course, if you’re more comfortable with the traditional file folder metaphor, there’s nothing preventing you from simply treating collections like folders by placing a file in only one Collection. There’s a new Search feature so you can search by any word in a file name. (We’ll add full text search at a later date.)
Presentations and Tables leave the lab.
Presentations and Tables debuted in the late Spring on Acrobat.com Labs. We’ve added a number of new features to both. And now you’ll find them both easily accessed from the new unified organizer.
New features in Tables include export to XLS, CSV and PDF, printing, find & replace, filtering improvements, fixed headers for scrolling the worksheet and more.
In Presentations, we’ve include import PPT and PPTX files, support for FXG files, spell check in 19 languages, easy ways to browse Flickr and Google public images, integration with Kuler for additional color sets, more slide transition styles, and more. There’s also a great new feature for publishing a slide deck so you can access it via a link or embedding the slides on a website or blog.
Improved PDF conversion.
The online PDF conversion engine is new, and a more comprehensive service. If you were having font problems or spacing problems with our earlier release, we urge you to give it another try. You’ll see greatly improved fidelity across a wider variety of document types.
More about what’s going on behind the scenes.
As noted above, we replaced our entire server foundation. We needed to do this to provide a common experience throughout the service as well as to support our designs moving forward. A collaboration engine – one that’s built expressly with the notion that people work together on documents across organizations and across firewalls – is essential to the new way to work that we’ve pioneered with our rich internet applications.
The Acrobat.com Team built a system that, at its core, tracks multiple people collaborating on multiple documents and scales as this combination grows. We also built it with the ability to include new applications, or to serve as a collaboration hub for existing work that people do today. We’ll be exploiting these new capabilities even more in future releases. Now that we’ve built this new foundation, you will be seeing a series of new services and functions throughout the coming year, all aimed at helping you collaborate with others whether they’re in your immediate team, or across the firewall in another organization.
And as always, we’ve sweated the details. We hope you like the cool new design as much as we do.
Stay tuned, and thanks for your continued support.
– The Acrobat.com Team