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Tag: techdoc (page 3 of 3)

Adobe Announces Availability of Acrobat 3D Version 8

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced the immediate availability of Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8 software, a major upgrade to the desktop application for driving document-based 3D design collaboration and CAD data interoperability capabilities to anyone inside manufacturing organizations and across the global supply chain. With Acrobat 3D Version 8, CAD, CAM, CAE, and technical publishing professionals in the aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, heavy machinery, life sciences, and AEC industries can convert virtually any 3D CAD file, including large assemblies of more than 500 megabytes, into a single PDF document. The PDF file can maintain precise geometry or be compressed over 100 times smaller than the original file. Three-dimensional CAD data can also be combined with other project information, such as product specifications, spreadsheets and bills of materials, into a secure PDF document containing product manufacturing information (PMI). PMI is used to convey geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, annotations and other specifications directly on a 3D model. Acrobat 3D Version 8 supports conversion to 3D PDF from over 40 formats, including those for Autodesk Inventor, Dassault Systemes CATIA, PTC Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, and UGS NX and I-deas. The software also provides users the option of exporting precise manufacturing CAD data from PDF into neutral file formats such as STEP, IGES and Parasolid for downstream processes, including machining operations and tool and mold design. Acrobat 3D Version 8 is immediately available in English, French and German language versions. The Japanese language version is expected to be available in June 2007. Adobe Reader 8.1, which provides updated support for PDF functionality enabled by Acrobat 3D Version 8, is expected to be available for download in June 2007.

Informative Graphics Updates Java-Based Product Line

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) announced the latest release of its Java version of the Brava! product line, Brava Enterprise 5.2J. Version 5.2J is the next step in IGC’s secure, Java-based viewing technology, bringing features like thumbnail views, term-hit highlighting, redaction, markup consolidation and the ability to output to PDF to the client/server viewer. Brava Enterprise brings unified view and annotation capabilities to a large number of users inside and outside the firewall. Brava! Enterprise integrates into existing systems, honoring user rights, leveraging metadata and managing annotations. Brava Enterprise is integrated with content management systems like EMC Documentum and Open Text Livelink ECM, Interwoven WorkSite MP and Microsoft SharePoint, and project management systems like Primavera Expedition and Meridian Project Systems, as well as many commercial collaboration web sites.,

W3C and OASIS Jointly Issue WebCGM 2.0

W3C and OASIS have published WebCGM 2.0, a new industry standard for technical illustrations in electronic documents. WebCGM, which is widely deployed in the defense, aviation, architecture, and transportation industries, has reached new levels of interoperability thanks to this joint effort between OASIS and W3C. Computer Graphics Metafile, or CGM, is an ISO standard for a tree-structured, binary graphics format that has been adopted especially by the technical industries (defense, aviation, transportation, etc) for technical illustration in electronic documents. As the Web emerged as the environment for sharing and creating documents, it became apparent that the best way to use CGM on the Web needed to be clarified, particularly for interactivity such as hyperlinks and hotspots. WebCGM 2.0 adds a DOM (API) specification for programmatic access to WebCGM objects, and a specification of an XML Companion File (XCF) architecture, for externalization of non-graphical metadata. WebCGM 2.0 also builds upon and extends the graphical and intelligent content of WebCGM 1.0. The design criteria for WebCGM aim at a balance between graphical expressive power on the one hand, and simplicity and implementability on the other. A small but powerful set of standardized metadata elements supports the functionalities of hyperlinking and document navigation, picture structuring and layering, and enabling search and query of WebCGM picture content.,

Online Help and Customer Experience

Although I have been out of the technical writing trenches for some time now, I enjoy staying in touch with my techdoc buddies and keeping up with the hot issues. One I remember well is the challenges in the early 90’s of single-sourcing documentation for print, electronic, and context-sensitive online help delivery.

Apparently it’s still hot, despite the release of RoboHelp6 from Adobe, a tool I remember quite well. This is the first product update Adobe has released since the company bought Macromedia over a year ago. Product reviewers generally agree that Adobe beat the estimated delivery date by months, although there is some confusion over dueling version numbers according to my friend Char James-Tanny over at Still, an early release is a good sign in terms of a company’s current and future commitment to a product.

On the other hand, product reviewers also seem to agree that “XML does not seem to be a priority.” Hmmm. That certainly does not bode well for champions of single-sourcing for multi-channel publishing (although the new version automates hyperlinked PDF creation.) Even more interesting are the passionate responses to an unfavorable monkeyPi product review, including an extremely detailed rebuttal from Rick Stone, Adobe’s Community Expert for the product (although he’s not an employee…)

Without claiming to have reviewed the product, what I find most interesting is Adobe’s focus on source and version control, team collaboration and workflow, and the usage tracking capabilities of RoboHelp Server6. Adobe describes this latter feature as the ability to identify frequently-viewed content, view usage statistics, and uncover search trends.

As we’ve discussed in numerous posts, relevant content and customer experience are intrinsically related, whether the project is Web site design, localization efforts, or yes, even online help development. (Part 2 of our series on this subject, Small Content Changes, Big Impact takes place on Thursday February 1st.) Assuming RoboHelp Server6 provides the insight into the online help user experience it claims, its value to techdoc departments striving for more “upstream impact” in their organization could be quite significant.

Adobe Releases Major Upgrade to RoboHelp

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced Adobe RoboHelp 6, a system to create, manage and publish software help systems, knowledge bases and documentation for desktop and Web-based applications. As a key element of Adobe’s technical communications product line-up, which includes Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Captivate and Adobe Acrobat, RoboHelp 6 provides all the desktop functionality that authors need to create Help content, including table of contents, index, glossary, graphics, special effects and context-sensitive Help. Adobe RoboHelp Server 6, also introduced, provides server features that ensure the delivery of up-to-date online content, with real-time tracking of how end-users engage with the help system that provides feedback to Help publishers. With this release, Adobe has consolidated the Adobe RoboHelp product family into two choices – Adobe RoboHelp 6 for authoring and Adobe RoboHelp 6 Server for the delivery of online content. Users of RoboHelp 6 also benefit from the integration of Adobe Captivate 2 for improved workflow and more engaging content with simulations and demonstrations. In addition, users can automate the building of their help at a predetermined time using command line compilation. Conditional Table of Contents (TOC) allows for greater control and customization of table of contents. With User Defined Variables, changes can be made just once, but seen everywhere in Help. Updated Adobe RoboSource Control provides a source document and version control system for Windows and Web development for both individual users and collaborative teams. Adobe PDF creation generates support for hyperlinks & bookmarks and enables accessible PDFs. RoboHelp 6 and RoboHelp 6 Server are available for purchase for Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Support for Windows Vista will be added in 2007. The estimated street price for Adobe RoboHelp 6 is US$999 and US$1999 for Adobe RoboHelp 6 Server. Previous users of RoboHelp and RoboInfo can upgrade to Adobe RoboHelp 6 and RoboHelp Server 6 for an estimated street price of US$499 and US$999, respectively.

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