Posts tagged "Collaboration"

Bridge Survey Results

A few months ago, I asked Creative professionals to share how they used Adobe Bridge. It is very clear from the huge number of responses and the large variety of respondents that I clearly struck a nerve with my questions. I wanted to share those results with you, kind reader, and to acknowledge some of the details provided by the Creative community. Due to the volume of responses, I’ve summarized and consolidated. If you are a respondent and you don’t see yourself quoted, please know that all of the responses have been read and shared here at Adobe.

About You…

Jobs-Word-Cloud

The respondents identify themselves with a wide array of jobs. We were looking for a broad spectrum of Bridge users, and we certainly got it! Photographers led the way, but Creative Directors, Graphic Designers, and sole proprietors were prominent as well.

We had a healthy blend of sole proprietors as well as Enterprise Creatives as well. We hear a lot from our individual users and small business users (think small agency or creative shop), but we don’t hear as often from our Enterprise customers. In this Enterprise shops, we saw teams as small as one and as large as 100.

Having this diversity of respondent is important to us. While Bridge is a mainstay for Creatives in general, as we look ahead at the future of Bridge, we want to ensure that whatever we build will continue to keep all Creatives productive while offering some specific benefits to the individual user as well as to the Enterprise Creative. One of the areas of interest across the board was scripting and automation.

More than a few of the individual respondents commented about how they used scripting to automate parts of their Creative process. This might include tagging images, running scripts in Photoshop or Illustrator, or making common items like comp sheets. Many of the Enterprise Creatives told us that they used scripting or even developed their own custom panels to connect to their business process systems like job planning and manufacturing. Automation and connection to other services is definitely important to everyone!

Let’s dig a little deeper into how the respondents spend their day.

Creative focus

On which media do you focus most?

It is clear that today’s Creatives are working on more than one media. This correlates with other research we’ve done over the years. We also heard that having access to all of the Creative Cloud tools as Creative Cloud members has made it possible to branch out into other areas. It is not surprising that there is a clear bias toward Print among the respondents, however, as many Creative professionals have print backgrounds. Web and Mobile focus is emerging but rapidly accelerating as tablets and mobile devices overtake Desktop computers as the primary digital consumption tool. I’ll be interested to revisit this question in a few years.

Impact of Bridge on respondents’ day

How often do you use Adobe Bridge?

Bridge usage across all types of users

Since this survey was about Bridge, we asked how often folks used it. Most of the respondents use it several times a day, which is not surprising. We expected that we would see wide adoption, since this survey was directed at Bridge users specifically. We are happy to have respondents who use it infrequently, however, as it provides valuable data points as we evaluate the reasons why folks choose to use Bridge or not to use Bridge. Here are some quotes from the survey:

I would get lost without Bridge.

Bridge is essential to my workflow.  I have tried using Lightroom as a substitute but it is simply not the tool that is best for the file examination that I do on a day to day basis.

[Bridge] does feel like an old application that is ripe for an overhaul.

We have built our image workflows in a way that makes good use of DNG and metadata (both for asset management and workflow), so Bridge is an interest for me but just as a piece of a larger puzzle of dependancies.

I wish I could show to everybody what we have achieved with Bridge in our image production.

I love Bridge for being simple yet extremely useful, and even with Lightroom I have not been able to create a workflow that does not include Bridge.

EVERYONE I introduce to Bridge instantly becomes a fan. Bridge is one of Adobe’s BEST products but seems to be given the least amount of publicity and attention by Adobe.

We use bridge as the hub for everything in an extremely adobe centric workflow for all our media.

Love bridge use it all the time still surprised to see how many of my clients do not use it.

Most important program of the cloud.

The CC Suite would be almost unusable without Bridge.

We have many, many users (possibly 10-20% of the 600+ reported above) that love using Bridge for their daily file browsing/management, even outside of the custom interfaces that we have built for Bridge. It is a great way to preview and manage files.

I can’t live without it.

I love Bridge! I would be a babbling, incoherent basket case without it.

As you can see, there is a lot of love for Bridge. There is also criticism, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t summarize that here.

It’s too slow.

The cache rebuild time is too long.

Scripting in Bridge CC is too hard.

Lightroom is a way better retouching environment.

Make it work better when browsing network storage.

It crashes all the time.

It takes too much memory.

The current Keyword management is archaic and obsolete.

I hear rumours Bridge isn’t been developed anymore.

These are not all of the critical comments we got, but we wanted you all to know that we read them all and take them to heart. Most of the criticism focused on performance, which we hear loud and clear. As for rumors, you shouldn’t believe rumors. Bridge is alive and well.

Tools you use

Creative Cloud tools that all respondents use regularly

Creative Cloud tools that all respondents use regularly

We took a look at how folks used other tools in their day, as a way to gauge the importance of Bridge to Creative workflows. Bridge is used predominantly as a companion to other apps, which is how it was designed. In fact, it was originally part of Photoshop, but it was so useful that it became its own product and expanded to include integrations with Illustrator and InDesign.

It is no surprise that nearly every respondent uses Photoshop regularly. It is also no surprise that InDesign and Illustrator have high adoption. It is interesting to dig a little deeper into the “other” category. There’s Muse, Acrobat, Mobile Apps, Audition, Lightroom and more in there. It’s clear that Creatives are using a broad spectrum of tools, and that Bridge should remain a general tool rather than one focused specifically on Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

Creative Cloud tools that Multiple-workflow Creatives use regularly

Creative Cloud tools that Multiple-workflow Creatives use regularly

When we sliced the data across workflows, the numbers shifted a little bit. For Multiple-workflow Creatives, the distribution closely correlates with the entire set of respondents. We expected this, as most of the respondents identified themselves as multiple-workflow Creatives. Here are some thoughts

Creative Cloud tools that Print Creatives use regularly

Creative Cloud tools that Print Creatives use regularly

Print-centric Creatives met expectations, with their primary tools being Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. There’s not much else to say here, except when we had asked this question just a few years ago, the number of Dreamweaver and Premiere users had been close to zero. This speaks to the transformation of publishing from paper-only to paper and digital. Here’s some comments from the Print-centric Creatives.

Since every application on my computer is a plug-in for Photoshop, you’d think that PS is the most important app on my computer. No. It’s Bridge.

My flow is simple, Bridge, Camera Raw, Photoshop, 3rd Party (if needed) done.

Would love for Bridge to be faster at building thumbnails/previews.

I’m sure there are other ways we can use Bridge to enhance our workflow. I just need time to go in there and research and explore more.

Creative Cloud tools that Web/Mobile Creatives use regularly

Creative Cloud tools that Web/Mobile Creatives use regularly

Web/Mobile-centric Creatives are more broadly distributed in terms of the tools they use. We were pleased to see how prominent Premiere and After Effects usage is, but with so much brand reliance on video for modern marketing, it is not completely surprising. Buried in the Other category are tools like Muse, Edge Animate, and the mobile tools such as Shape and Brush, too. Here’s some comments from the Web/Mobile-centric Creatives.

We have built a central script multi-user system that only works in our network which it ensures that everyone has the last studio color camera profiles (dcp, xmp), the latest script updates, etc. Bridge is a major part of this. It allows our product DB to be merged with image/product metadata. For example, I can automatically, sort my product images by camera ID, but also by focal length and by our product sub category.

I use Bridge instead of Finder/Explorer for all folder and file navigation and I love it.

I would just like it to load faster, sometimes its unusable because of how long it takes.

Creative Cloud tools that Video Creatives use regularly

Creative Cloud tools that Video Creatives use regularly

Video-centric Creatives all seem to use the same set of tools, or it looks that way from the tight correlation between Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and After Effects usage. This group was the smallest among the respondents, but we had a reasonable statistical sample. Almost a third of the respondents say they use InDesign, too, which is very interesting. Here is some of their feedback.

Please provide better video playback and performance.

Bridge helps us with scanning and previewing images as well as organizing folders.

Its great for Batch File Renaming and Manual Sorting of Video Clips

What did we learn from this survey?

Overwhelmingly, we heard loud and clear how important Bridge is to you, our customers. We also know how important it is for individual Creatives and Enterprise Creatives alike. Automation and scripting kept coming up across users, as did performance with network file shares and large sets of files.

We also heard a lot of concern about whether Bridge will continue to be part of the Creative Cloud family. I want to reiterate that Bridge is alive and well, and you all are helping to make it better than ever through your direct feedback. Thanks for your honesty and I’m looking forward to sharing what’s next when I can.

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Fixing Adobe Drive after Yosemite upgrade

Like many Mac users, I upgraded my Mavericks machine to Yosemite. While the upgrade should be smooth for most things, Adobe Drive requires an update due to changes in the way that Yosemite manages file systems. Since Drive provides low-level file system services and the hooks to those services changed, the old installation needs to be removed and reinstalled in order for Drive to work properly.

The process is simple. Browse to the Adobe Drive Installation Page and download two things: Adobe Drive and the AdobeDrive5UninstallUtility.dmg. Mount the AdobeDrive5UninstallUtility.dmg, and then follow these steps:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type “sudo ” (include the space after sudo)
  3. From the mounted AdobeDrive5UninstallUtility.dmg volume, drag UninstallUtility.sh to Terminal so that your command in Terminal looks something like:
    sudo /Volumes/AdobeDrive5-UninstallUtility/AdobeDrive5-UninstallUtility/UninstallUtility.sh
  4. Hit enter
  5. Enter your computer’s admin password
  6. You should now see something like the following in the Terminal:
    /Volumes/AdobeDrive5-UninstallUtility/AdobeDrive5-UninstallUtility
    OSX 10.10.3 release made changes to a few systems calls.
    Manually altering Adobe Drive's Installer Hooks to be compatible with new release...
    Done with file replacements!
  7. Quit Terminal

You can now mount AdobeDrive5_0_3-mul.dmg and install Adobe Drive successfully.

Customers who use Adobe Drive with Adobe Experience Manager may also need to install a package to ensure compatibility with Drive 5.0.3. Specifically, if you are using Drive with AEM 5.6.1, AEM 6.0, AEM 6.0 SP1, AEM 6.0 SP2 then you need to install a patch on your AEM server. The patch is delivered as an AEM Package, and you can install it on your Author instances as necessary. If you use AEM 6.1 or higher, then you do not need to install this package.

One last thing: if you will be using Adobe Bridge CC in the workflow (and who doesn’t?), ensure that you keep Adobe Bridge CC up to date to avoid unexpected crashing issues. If you are in a managed deployment environment, then contact your system administrator to ensure that you have the latest Adobe Bridge CC installed.

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Creative Workflow Specialist seeking data on, well, creative workflows!

I recently became a Creative Workflow Specialist here at Adobe. In this role, I spend a lot of time working with customers, helping them understand how Adobe’s diverse technologies knit together as an end-to-end content development to syndication to monetization to measurement platform. I also spend time learning about how customers have developed their own workflows using our tools, and that is the subject of this post.

In almost every meeting I attend, Bridge appears as a critical part of the workflow. This was the intent of Bridge when it was released back in the day, but it amazes me at how differently people use the same tool. Some use it simply as a file browser. Others use it for managing metadata on assets. Still more use it to interface with their Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. I have even encountered customers who built custom plugins for Bridge to allow users to interface directly with the company’s project management and product lifecycle management solutions. Wow!

I want to thank everyone who responded to the survey that I had posted here earlier in the year. We have completed our information gathering and have presented our findings in another blog post. To all of you who responded (and there were a LOT of you who responded), thanks for your insights, and keep on being creative!

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Agency workflows for Enterprise DPS customers

I often encounter questions about how Agencies and their Enterprise customers should collaborate on DPS projects. While not hard to do, there are definitely nuances to how Agencies and Enterprises interact when it comes to building apps in general, and DPS apps in particular. I’d like to outline a few scenarios and provide some best practices along the way.

First, let’s set a few expectations. There are cases when the Agency is doing all of the work for their Enterprise customer, and this will include the Agency owning the Apple Developer account, the Adobe DPS account, and all of the creative. This article is not intended to shed any light on that scenario. Instead, we’ll look at the following cases:

  • The Enterprise owns the Apple Developer Account and the DPS Account but the Agency supplies the creative
  • The Enterprise owns the Apple Developer Account and the Agency owns the DPS Account and supplies the creative
  • The Enterprise owns the DPS account and the Agency owns the Apple Developer Account and the creative

Enterprise owns it all

This scenario is very common for DPS customers who build internal apps for Enterprise distribution through Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. It also applies for brands who build branded customer-facing apps that they distribute using app marketplaces such as iTunes. Public apps will not only bear the Enterprise brand, but they will also appear as being published by the Enterprise.

In this case, the Enterprise has several options when it comes to using the creative content that the Agency will supply. The preferred workflow is for the Enterprise to extend an AdobeID to its Agency or Agencies that can be used by the Agency when they are making folios for the Enterprise. Typically, the AdobeID might be related to a brand or a project, and would not be specific to the Agency. For instance, if ABC company had XYZ brand, and Agency Q was providing creative for their DPS projects, then ABC might make an AdobeID called XYZ_DPS_agency@ABCCompany.com. The alternative is for the Agency to use its own AdobeIDs for content creation, and then they would share the folios with XYZ_DPS@ABCCompany.com for publishing to DPS. In either scenario, the Enterprise controls whether to publish the folios to its app.

In the case of the app, if there is a custom Library or Storefront, then the Agency can provide the code to the Enterprise as a .zip archive, which the Enterprise will include in App Builder when they make their app. The Enterprise, usually through their IT department, will control the Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files, and the Enterprise will also not need to share access to iTunes Connect or their Enterprise Mobile Device Management (MDM) portal. As a result, the Agency will provide the look and feel of the app, but IT will do the actual building. An alternative to this scenario would be that the Enterprise creates an AdobeID with the App Builder role and shares it with the Agency. The Agency can then create an app and sign it with their own Apple certificate and mobileprovision file. This allows the Agency to test the full functionality of the app without being able to publish an app on behalf of the Enterprise, since they would not have access to the Enterprise’s Apple Developer account. When the app had cleared review, the Enterprise would then log in to the App Builder with the same or another AdobeID with App Builder role and update the app with the Enterprise’s Apple certificates and mobileprovision files.

Enterprise has the Apple Developer relationship and the Agency has the DPS account

This arrangement is common for Enterprises who make apps but are unfamiliar with DPS or are interested in testing some apps as part of an evaluation. Also, it is common for a digital Agency who makes apps on behalf of their customers to use DPS to meet a specific campaign need for their client when speed market and a rich user experience is important. Any apps published under this arrangement will have the Enterprise branding and will appear to be published by the Enterprise in app marketplaces. The Agency would need a specific DPS license in order to use their DPS account for publishing on behalf of their client, so the Agency should contact their DPS Account Executive to determine if they have a license that supports this scenario.

In this case, the Agency will be making all of the content using their Adobe DPS account. They would use their own AdobeID which is associated with their Adobe DPS account for content, and their own AdobeID for accessing App Builder. The Agency would share folios with an AdobeID that the Enterprise controlled so that the Enterprise could review content using Adobe Content Viewer. The Agency would test the app using their own Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files, and then bring a device to the Enterprise or enroll an Enterprise device in their Apple Developer pool so that they could send developer apps to the Enterprise for testing.Once approved, the Enterprise would need to sign the app with their own Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision, and then distribute it via Enterprise MDM or iTunes.

There are three app building methods that have been most widely used. The first is for the Enterprise to create a set of .p12 certificates and mobileprovision files for the app and transmit them to the Agency for use in App Builder, and it is the lesser of the methods that Enterprises use today. The next, more popular method, is for the Agency to provide App Builder access to the Enterprise through an Agency AdobeID they build for the Enterprise. Following our previous example, the Agency would make an AdobeID called XYZ_DPS_appbuilder@Q.com and share the password with the Enterprise. The Enterprise IT department would then use App Builder to sign the app with their own Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files, and ultimately distribute using iTunes or MDM. The third method, and most popular, is for the Agency to create an app using their own Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files, and then the Enterprise would simple re-sign the app with their own Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files.

Enterprise has the DPS Account and the Agency owns the Apple Developer relationship

This is a scenario used by many Enterprise customers who want to make branded apps for distribution through iTunes. They often want to do market testing or produce short-lived campaign pieces they need to get to market very quickly. In this model, the Enterprise would own the DPS account, but they would likely be using the Agency for creative. In the same manner as our first scenario, the Enterprise would either make and share an AdobeID with the Agency, or the Agency would create content using their own DPS account and share it with the Enterprise. Review and approval would be like the first scenario as well. Things get different in the App Builder stage.

Since the Agency has the Apple Developer relationship, only the Agency will be able to build apps unless they create and share Apple Developer certificates and mobileprovision files with the Enterprise. They would also need to enroll an Enterprise device in their Apple Developer pool to enable developer apps to be reviewed at the Enterprise. If they are unwilling to share certificates and mobileprovision files with the Enterprise, then they will need to enroll an Enterprise device in their developer pool so that they can send a developer app to the Enterprise for review. Once approved, the Agency would then publish the app under their own account using iTunes Connect. This is the same end result as when the Agency owns the DPS account and the Apple Developer relationship, which we did not discuss in detail here.

No matter how you slice it, it comes up DPS!

Each of these three scenarios has its nuances, and business rules will decide which scenario is appropriate for a specific Enterprise/Agency relationship. Regardless of how the Enterprise and the Agency collaborate, it is possible to use DPS to make apps and to get them to the appropriate distribution channel.

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A new and simplified Notetaking solution for DPS

Many of my DPS customers want to incorporate note taking into their DPS apps. Over the years, there have been several examples posted to DevNet, including one by me back in 2013. One of the challenges with that solution was that it requires the designer to make multiple copies of the underlying HTML file in order to support placing the note taking overlay on more than one page in an article. I have gone back and revised that code to make it work with a single HTML file that supports any number of pages in an article. You can read about the new technique here.

The new system has CSS styling to help match it to your brand. In addition, I’ve added a button to email a specific note as well as the whole set of notes. I’ve also been working on extending the system to include thumbnail images of the specific pages in the email. I’ve got a little more work to do on that before I’m ready to share it, but keep your eyes here (and on DevNet) for a follow-up article about embedding images in email messages from DPS.

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