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In Adobe Connect Essential Training, author Tim Plumer, Jr. explains how to deliver and host interactive web meetings, webinars, and e-learning tutorials using Adobe Connect. The course covers the software's many tools for streamlining communication and engaging participants, such as the screen sharing, full-screen, and whiteboard features. Also included are tutorials on recording presentations, video conferencing, and using Connect with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone. Exercise files accompany the course.
For people who are comfortable with Connect, one of the questions that they will have is, can I extend it somehow? Especially if they are a programmer type and they want to write some code. Well the answer is yes, you can go to adobe.com, there is a Software Developers Kit that you can use, and if you're a programmer type you can use it quite effectively. For the rest of us though, there is another way that we can extend Connect, even if we're not a programmer type but we want to create some mini applications that we can drop into a Share Pod, because the Share Pod can contain a SWF file. Now a SWF file is basically a compiled Flash file, created in Flash Professional, or Flash Builder, or even Adobe's new product, Flash Catalyst.
When you create a SWF file you can drop it into your Share Pod and use it with your audience. Now instead of providing one for you in the Exercise Files set, even as a premium user, what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you a place where you can go get a variety of these SWF files to use with your Connect instance specifically. It's a place called the Adobe Connect Exchange, and it's really valuable little resource. So I'm going to jump over to a browser, and you may want to take just a moment to jot down the URL here, or frankly, if you can't remember this URL or you didn't jot it down, all you need to do is Google: Connect Exchange.
If you do, the first link that you'll see is to the Adobe Connect Exchange. So here we have a bunch of different Connect Exchange options, I am actually going to type in one here, because there is one that I'm looking for specifically called Just Letters. Click on Search. So if you know what you want to do, type that into the Search engine and you may find a SWF file already built for you. In this case, I'm going to download this thing called Just Letters, click on Download. Note that you have to have an Adobe ID to download something from Adobe, so that if you don't have one just go ahead and quickly create an account.
Of course, if you're watching this and you started from the beginning, you know that I recommended that you started with a 30-day trial of Connect so you will already have an Adobe ID. If not, just create one quickly because you'll need it to download anything from the Connect Exchange. So I'm going to go ahead and type in my Password, Sign In, and it's offering to either try to open the file, which I don't want to do, or save the file, so we'll go ahead and Save it, click OK. And there, it's downloaded. This is a little tiny file, so I'm going to put down that away. Now this going to be in my Downloads folder, so I'm going to go ahead and open up my Downloads folder and there it is, so there is my Flash file.
Now here is something neat that I haven't actually shown you yet, but I'll go ahead and show you now. I'm going to minimize this. I've told you that if you want to use the Share Pod you can upload a document by selecting Share My Document and browse for the document on your computer. There is actually a little bit of faster way to do this. I'm just going to drag this object right over top of my window and let go. And that drag drop will actually work with any of the file types that the Share Pod can hold. PDF files, PowerPoint, JPEG files, Movies, FLVs and of course, SWF files.
Now what I have here is actually a little game. I can click and drag these letters around. The value of doing this allows you to extend the capability of the Share Pod from just being something that allows you to show and tell information, or maybe mark information up, to creating full-blown games. And if you look around on the Connect Exchange you're going to find that there are many, many tools, some of which are designed to help you with productivity, some of which are just kind of fun tools to allow your audience to play a little bit, before, during, and after a meeting.
So the ability that Connect has to share a SWF file is simple to demonstrate, but really unlocks a lot of power. If you're a Flash developer you can actually create widgets for use inside your meeting with a minimal amount of programming. Or, if you're actually good at ActionScript programming, well, you can create some really, really powerful SWF files to put inside your Share Pod. Either way, it gives you the ability to make this much more interesting a product than just something that you want to use for show and tell.
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