Configurator 3 is live on labs.adobe.com

Configurator 3 is now live on Adobe Labs. Configurator lets you create custom panels for Photoshop and InDesign and now supports CS6 amongst many other new features. I can think of two key uses for Configurator, the first is for custom panels with just what you want to have at your fingertips, the second and ideal for developers is creating tutorials for Photoshop and InDesign. As Configurator supports video and Web content it’s an ideal way to teach users about your Photoshop or InDesign solutions, leveraging existing content. The user gets to learn right within the product and you can build these panels in minutes.

Configurator 3 Highlights

Configurator 3 provides lots of new features and a number of improvements that focus on distribution, product compatibility, panel customization, and usability. Key features include:

  • Compatible with Photoshop CS5/5.1 and CS6, and InDesign CS5/CS5.5 and CS6; supports new features and automatic conversion of existing panels.
  • Distribute and share panels with other Creative Suite 6 users via the Adobe Exchange. Look for more information and a new Exchange panel to be available on Adobe Labs in the coming weeks.

You can find out about all the new features and download the software on Adobe Labs. Adobe Exchange is going to provide a tremendous opportunity for users and developers alike and we will be providing more information about it soon.

Please spread the word about the Configurator 3 release with other users and try it out at: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/configurator/

Jonathan Ferman | Product Manager

Potential Impact of Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper on Adobe’s Third Party Developers

 

In Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8), Apple are introducing Gatekeeper, a mechanism by which they can provide a degree of protection to users against running potentially harmful code.

I’d like to give some thoughts on how this might impact third party developers delivering extensions and/or native plug-ins into Adobe Creative Suite product installations.

First a brief introduction to Gatekeeper (a better introduction can be found on the Apple site)…

Gatekeeper provides three potential levels of protection:

  1. Applications can be installed with total freedom.
  2. Applications can only be installed if they are signed with an Apple Developer ID or if they come from the Apple MacOS App Store. This is the default option.
  3. Applications can only be installed if they come from the Apple MacOS App Store.

How, as a third party developer, can you ensure your plug-in installation is not limited by Gatekeeper? The safest answer at this point is to adopt Apple’s best practices, yes, that means getting an Apple Developer ID and signing your plug-in. This way, you run less risk that your users will no longer be able to use your product (and users can guarantee this bundle of joy really did come from you – this is a good thing).

If for some reason you prefer not to take this route and you want to continue to deliver your plug-ins unsigned the alternative answer really depends on how you deploy your extension. I’ll consider adding the plug-in manually, adding it through an installer, and adding it through a utility application (such as Adobe Extension Manager).

If the plug-in is  manually added to the appropriate folder on disk, Gatekeeper should not get involved (this stands to reason, in essence if it was a malicious operation, your disk is compromised anyway).

If you depend on an installer, this installer will need to conform to the Gatekeeper security model. This means you need to either:

  • Sign your installer with an Apple Developer ID certificate (though you will need to educate the user if they have the strictest setting enabled).
  • Educate your users on how to reduce the restrictions introduced by Gatekeeper (temporarily, of course).
  • Arrange to have your installer distributed through the Apple App Store (at some point in the future if this scenario is supported by Apple).

If you depend on a utility application (such as Adobe Extension Manager) to handle the installation, you should not be affected; our experience is Gatekeeper does not intercept this condition.

Once installed, we have not experienced any restrictions on the execution of applications with third party plug-ins. That does not mean that Apple will not add them at some future point.

Clearly, this is based on some quick tests we’ve run. We would be very keen to hear if your experience/understanding differs.

Finally, we are expecting further changes in this area, especially as the OS vendors continue to move towards “sand-boxed” application contexts.

These are our rough first thoughts in an area that will likely continue to evolve (as the OS vendors continue their march towards sand-boxed applications), feedback welcome.

 

CS Extension Builder 1.5 now available on the Adobe Store

All,

You can now buy CS Extension Builder 1.5 on the Adobe Store. We had a large number of requests to put the product on the Store rather than having to sign up to an Adobe Partner Program. We wanted the price to be appealing and affordable for developers, so it’s starts at just $10 a month and we are working hard to  create new ways to monetize and distribute your extensions. More on that in 2012. Until then, you can check out the CS Extension Builder product page for the ability to buy the product, try it out or simply learn more about it.

May I also take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Holidays.

 

Jonathan Ferman | Product Manager

What’s next with Creative Suite extensibility and Flex

All,

It has been a few weeks since the announcements about Flex and Flash became public and during this time we have received a number of inquiries on what this means for the Creative Suite SDK and Creative Suite extensibility (the Flex team has posted this FAQ) overall. With this post, I would like to explain our thoughts and commitments to the extension developer community.

  1. Flex development remains absolutely critical for a significant number of use cases especially around enterprise application development. There is are a significant number of developers using Flex to develop extensions for the Creative Suite (as well as other apps) and we are committed to continue supporting them.
  2. As an organization we have made a significant investment to support Flex development in the Creative Suite. We believe that we have a top class development environment (CS Extension Builder and the CS SDK) that provides significant developer productivity features, makes extension development simple and easier to use, and is low cost and efficient. We expect this approach to continue for at least the next few years.
  3. We do not believe there is currently a compelling alternative to ActionScript extensibility or a need to move away from Flex. Despite the enthusiasm around HTML5 and the potential it has, there are significant challenges both around the runtime and the development environment. This is not to say that those will not be addressed, but we strongly believe that we are a few years away from that.

 

Based on the above, I would like to state that:

  • The Creative Suite SDK and CS Extension Builder will continue to be developed and enhanced with new features and support for Creative Suite applications.
  • We will make CS Extension Builder available through the Adobe Store at a compelling price point. We want the tool to become broadly available, so that every Creative Suite developer can enjoy its benefits
  • We will continue our investigation on new technologies (e.g. HTML5) for extension development and occasionally share our findings with the developer community. We want to be transparent with the community and keep you involved in our planning.

 

We are firm believers that the CS extensibility story will continue to evolve as it has been doing for several years. Our ongoing goal is to make this story compelling for you by providing best of class development and distribution tools and help you reach as many customers as possible. Ultimately, your success is our success!

Hope this addresses the concerns some of you have recently expressed. Your comments are welcome as always.

gabriel tavridis
product manager
@gtavridis

Extensions not installing in Mac OS 10.7 – Patch posted

All,

Few weeks ago an error was reported that prevented users on Lion from installing extensions using Extension Manager. Back then we had released an manual fix that solved the problem (blogpost, forum thread).

Today we are releasing an update to Extension Manager CS5 and CS5.5 that fixes this issue. Note that this update is not yet available through Adobe Update Manager. However, anyone can download it below and address the signature issue:

* patch for CS5
* patch for CS5.5

Who should download this patch?

This update applies to users who have:
* Mac OS 10.7 and above
* Extension Manager CS5 or Extension Manager CS5.5 (if you have both versions, you need to install both updates)

Note: After you install this patch, you will not be prompted to install again when it becomes available through Adobe Update Manager.

Installation instructions

* Download the zip file and save it on your machine
* Extract the contents of the zip file. The zip contains a *.dmg file that is the patch
* Quit any instances of Extension Manager that are running
* Double-click the dmg file
* Run the AdobePatchInstaller and follow the installation instructions
* Start Extension Manager and install your extensions

Please let us know if you run into any problems by replying back on the forum thread.

Cheers,

gabriel tavridis
product manager
@gtavridis

Extension Builder 1.5 and Flash Builder 4.6

All,

I would like to inform you that we have released an update to CS Extension Builder 1.5 that is fully compatible with Flash Builder 4.6. This update does not include any other features or bug fixes. The version of CS Extension Builder remains the same, ie 1.5. You can download the trial from here. If you are an Adobe partner you can download it from the partner portal.

Best,
gabriel tavridis
product manager
@gtavridis

New CS Host Adapter Libraries available for InDesign 5.5

The Creative Suite Host Adapter libraries, delivered with CS Extension Builder 1.5, enable deeper integration with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and InCopy Creative Suite applications than is possible through scripting with the Creative Suite Actionscript Wrapper (CSAW) libraries. For example the InDesign Host Adapter library supports the listening of ExtendScript scripting events within Actionscript and the retrieval and setting of XMP Metadata through a native C++ plugin.

Therefore if you are developing a workflow that requires the updating and/or retrieval of XMP metadata from an InDesign document or InCopy story, you will want to utilise the InDesign Host Adapter library.

Unfortunately, the current delivered InDesign Host Adapter in CS Extension Builder 1.5 is only compatible with InDesign CS5 and the 7.5.0 release on Mac OS. To support development for InDesign CS5.5 (including the 7.5.1 update) on Mac OS you will need to download the updated version located here.

For further information about the Host Adapter libraries please refer to:
CS Extension Builder help documentation.

Best,
lea

CS Extension Builder Prerelease is now live

All,

The prerelease program for the next version of CS Extension Builder is now live. The new version will contain a number of new features and enhancements aiming at further improving the development experience for Creative Suite developers.

If you would like to participate and learn about, influence and help us test the feature set, you can do it here.

Looking forward to see you at the prerelease and hear your comments.

gabriel tavridis
product manager

Extensions not installing in Mac OS 10.7

All,

recently we run into a bug in Extension Manager CS5 and CS5.5 that prevented extensions from being installed on Mac OS 10.7. The problem had to do with accessing the system root keychain on MacOS. While we are working on making an update to Extension Manager available in the next 2 weeks through Adobe Update Manager (AUM), we are making a fix available today to developers and end users. Attached are two zip files that contain the fix and instructions on how to apply it:
exman50.zip – applies for Extension Manager 5.0 users
exman55.zip – applies for Extension Manager 5.5 users

Note 1: Applying the manual fix is not necessary. You could still wait until the update through AUM is available.
Note 2: The fix we make available is different than the one that will be available through AUM.
Note 3: No update is necessary for CS Extension Builder or the CS SDK.

You can also find the entire thread on the Adobe Forums here.

Thank you for your patience. For any questions, please reply directly to the thread above.


gabriel tavridis
product manager
@gtavridis

CS Extension Builder trial expiration extended to December 1st,2011

I am glad to announce that we have decided to extend the expiration date of the CS Extension Builder fully functional trial by 1 month to December 1st, 2011. If you have not downloaded the trial already, I urge you to do it now!

Check the trial FAQ.

gabriel tavridis
product manager
@gtavridis