Earlier today, I found myself unable to resist the urge to verify the fact that Adobe CS 5.5 Design Premium is SharePoint aware. This is one of two pieces of information I have been waiting to hear for a long time. The other piece, the announcement that Office Web Apps run on the iPad, well, I’m still waiting. What is so important about being SharePoint Aware?
My Users Thought “Awareness” Was a SharePoint Thing – Since Office 2007 and SharePoint 2007 hit the streets in our neighborhood in tandem, my users thought SharePoint awareness, .e.g. not having to separately Check-in/out, was part of SharePoint. They love the feature, but they often forget that Office is doing the heavy lifting here. They are reminded of this fact when they try to open an InDesign document in a SharePoint library, and they are never happy.
Previous Versions of CS Apps seemed SharePoint Phobic – It isn’t just the lack of that smooth open-edit-save transaction that’s missing with Creative Suite, the application really has issues with SharePoint. Sometimes, if we Check-out a document, we still can’t open it in the Adobe product. Sometimes, once we make our changes, we cannot save them. Sometimes, we simply can’t do anything without first downloading a copy. I’m not sure which piece of technology is causing the problem, but the result is the same, my users end up back on their Desktop. That’s a problem with any application, but it’s a particularly bad problem with programs like those found in Creative Suite. It is very hard to know what has changed in a version of an image, an illustration or even a piece of rich content like the things we prepare in InDesign.
Storage Agnostic – Despite the title of this entry, I don’t want to single out SharePoint. Applications or application upgrades being released in 2011 should be storage agnostic. I should be able to store my work in SharePoint, Dropbox, Box.net, on my SkyDrive and in the online storage folder COX Cable gives me. Also, in this ECM enlightened world that we live in, applications that modify non-structured content should be aware of metadata, check-in/out and versioning, especially applications that weigh in at over $1,500 US.
I will leave the flip-side of this argument, that web-based services should be platform agnostic, for another day. The good news is that we can now manage images, illustrations and complex documents like the first-class content they are. Thank you Adobe!
PS, I have only been able to test InDesign, but I was able to open a document from a version-controlled library that required Check-in/out. InDesign doesn’t appear to check the document out when it opens it, but it does leave it in a checked-out state when you save it to SharePoint. InDesign doesn’t show SharePoint libraries the way Office apps do, but it was able to make the connection once the file is opened. At this early stage of testing, I’ll give Adobe a C+, (which is a passing grade). #CS5.5 #Office #SharePoint #Adobe #sharepoint-aware #InDesign