Acrobat.com (Beta)

Acrobat.com (beta) was launched on 4th June 2008.

Acrobat.com is mainly a web platform for people to share PDF documents, period.

What do we need when sharing documents ?
  1. Storage (preferably online)
  2. A way to put extra notes
  3. File management(sharing, permissions and other attributes)
  4. Online editor
Acrobat.com has just all the function for these needs.
  1. Storage (preferably online) - My Files
  2. A way to put extra notes - Buzzword
  3. File management(sharing, permissions and other attributes) - My Files & Share
  4. Online editor - Create PDF

Acrobat.com also comes with an extra function, which makes it different from other branded and general online file storage services such as Google Docs, rapidshare and etc. That is the ConnectNow; collaboration (real-time meetings, messenging and synchronizing thoughts) channel.

Acrobat.com is secure by default, all communications are done within the https context.

So, let's pay attention to ConnectNow.

The most important thing is that you get to customize the URL to invite people to join your meeting everytime. It doesn't have to be fixed all the time.



What is so killing about it ? Two reasons:
  1. Corporate Image

    First of all, if you are going to share files using free services like rapidshare.de, it will never look corporate. Google Docs may work, however it doesn't provide the integrated functions of what Acrobat.com has to offer.

  2. Not everybody uses MSN messenger.

    Never assume that everybody would be having MSN, Yahoo, ICQ and etc. Some people just don't while most people have emails.

    Therefore, Acrobat.com caters a platform for people to zero-in from nowhere and to be able to quickly collaborate with others effectively. Some CEOs may not have used MSN messenger or Google Doc, and Acrobat.com is just about the only thing that they need. This is the solution for "normal" Internet users.
Between Buzzword, Google Docs, MS Office Word ??

MS Office Word is still the king because people are just familiar with it. And people just don't have enough time to try out new platform just for the fun of it.

Buzzword has enough function and also export-import capability to various formats. But should we use it ? The only reason is probably it is bundled into Acrobat.com collectively as a package of documentation collaboration platform.

Google Docs may have a bigger potential should its online version of spreadsheet manage to offer what MS Excel has to offer. People may want to use it rather than just sending .xls files across emails. So, Google Docs may have more advantages.

The only thing I can think of is that if we could use Buzzword as the rich-text interface for blogs, wikis, webmails and etc, then it would be an added advantage. Definitely, Google Docs is based on Javascript (DHTML) technology while Buzzword is based on Flash technology, and the latter is smoother. What I mean by smoother ? Just like smoother beer.

Unfortunately, the API of Acrobat.com hasn't allow that yet.

Currently, the API caters for the following functions:
  • Listing file and folder information
  • Uploading a file
  • Adding a folder
  • Deleting a file or folder
  • Sharing a file
  • Adding or removing recipients
  • Accessing file renditions

Even Google Apps APIs do not yet provide for what we wanted.

So each of these parties, are fighting to bring stickiness of user experience towards their own platform, by means of the APIs. But they will have to solve one problem, who has got enough time to switch platform ?

File Sharing:

Going back to file sharing, even though difficulties were experienced while publishing PDF porfolios from Acrobat 9 remotely into Acrobat.com, however one can really just upload the file directly from Acrobat.com.



And there are two options for file reference (URL).

Hyperlink. Download one example here.

This is good, at least we can now do away with rapidshare.de

Another way is to embed it over here. (Wait for it to load...)




And black represents elegant. Check it out.



However, there is one issue with Acrobat.com, it takes some time for all these services to load when it is firstly launched. This is partly due to Malaysia's poor Internet infrastructures.

Ironically, it may just piss off those "normal" Internet users. (i.e CEOs)

And I just can't seem to find the logout button. This really kicks my nerves off.

Finally, remember.. it is https and not http.

Comments

Erik Larson said…
Thanks for the comments! We're working on several of your ideas, but I wanted to specifically call out the 'where is the logout' question. You are right, it is not as obvious as it should be. For instance, in the My Files organizer, you will find it under the 'More' menu. We will make it easier to find soon, so it too can be 'smooth like beer.'
Brandon Teoh said…
Great. Looking forward to that.