Adobe needs to open its information base

As developers who use the (formerly) Macromedia toolset, we’re used to having almost more information than we can take being on tap. The official information source that is the Developer Exchanges have always been a massively useful place to go for hints, tips and news about our favorite products.

As far as I can see, Adobe’s equivalent, which appears to be made up of the free Resource Center and the very not free, at US$1495/year, Developer Resources isn’t nearly so forthcoming with the usefulness.

I’m on a project now where I could really use some access to deep information on the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform and the LiveCycle product range – and not just whitepaper-type stuff, mind you – real, deep technical material with tutorials, howtos and the like. Presently, I just can’t find it, and I’m clutching at straws more than a little. Pretty soon, I’ll be getting heat from the pointy-haired bosses to make a decision I won’t have enough material to make…

Adobe are going to need to make a significant shift in their mindset and be much more forthcoming with large volumes of useful technical material for their developer base.

David Yang, a Flash guy, has it right.

7 Replies to “Adobe needs to open its information base”

  1. I completely agree with you. It almost goes without saying that the generosity of information Macomedia offered its software implementors was in their best interests anyway so why Adobe hasn’t already followed a similar model is a mystery to me.

  2. Hi Stephen, you’re right, the website documentation for various technologies does differ greatly… from what I understand, much of the third-party support has been handled one-on-one for enterprise Acrobat, LiveCycle and similar subjects. It will take awhile to meet the different needs of new audiences here.

    I’ll be highlighting this weblog entry and related discussions for my partners in the Developer Relations group… we’re at the point now where we’re actively gathering requests for what people actually need most… may take awhile to really merge the two sites and their technologies, but that’s the goal. I’ll highlight new resources in my weblog as I learn of them, but if you’ve got any more examples of info you want but cannot find, then please continue to mention them, thanks!

    jd/adobe

  3. First off, I agree that there’s some work to be done in having more content available for developers who are building solutions with LiveCycle. However, you haven’t yet found all the resources available to you. Let me point some out and clear some things up.

    1. The Adobe Enterprise Developer Program is a $1495 US / year program that individual developers subscribe to. With that, you get access to individual developer licenses of Adobe LiveCycle software as well as 1 year of developer support (via email, unlimited cases). Its similar to other paid subscription programs from companies such as Microsoft (MSDN), Apple (ADN) and many other enterprise companies. You can download a trial copy of Adobe LiveCycle Designer at http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/livecycle/designer/ but if you want to get started with the other LiveCycle products, then you need to become a member of the program.

    2. We’ve got developer centers up for each product at http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/livecycle/ (Look at the left hand side for links to product specific developer centers).

    3. We’ve got forums up at http://www.adobeforums.com for each product. These are filled with knowledgeable people, including developer support.

    4. Samples are available at http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/livecycle/index_samples.html

    We’re working on getting more samples and tutorials built for LiveCycle software. Suggestions on what you need to know as you get started are appreciated.

    Contact me via email at mpotter@adobe.com if you need more info, or reply to this thread as I will follow it.

    Mike

    Mike Potter
    Adobe Enterprise Developer Relations

  4. Mike, I am always happy to be slapped about the head and proven wrong so thoroughly. The approach you’re offering as a representative of Adobe is exactly what I’ve appreciated so much from the (former) Macromedia and Allaire folks over the years.

    If this is indicative of where Adobe is prepared to put itself now that it has the Macromedia product stable on board, you have well and truly won yourself a major fan.

    Rest assured, I’ll be polluting your Inbox with potentially dumb questions.

    I really appreciate the answer and the attitude it represents.

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