Engaged with Adobe

I am spending the morning with about 120 of Adobe’s customers and developers at the company’s second Engage event at San Francisco’s DogPatch Studios.

Throughout the day, developers are showing the work they’re doing with Adobe’s tools, including the AIR platform which was officially launched from beta today. Here are a few of the demos I saw this morning.

shifd logoShifD was born of a Yahoo! hack event in London a while ago and was launched last night by The New York Times Company. The application lets you easily move content from Web sites to your desktop and/or mobile phone. We’ve seen this application before, but ShifD seems to be super simple. The app is fresh into beta and there are kinks to be worked out, but the developers expect to open up an API in the future.

DEMO fans got a first look at Sprout last month at DEMO 08. The Engage audience got a look today, as Carnet Williams walked the audience through building a sprout rich media player. Sprout lets you gather up media assets from any live Web site or upload them yourself. The beta is live now and open for public trail.

FedEx showed a desktop application that provides real-time status of package movement through the FedEx delivery system. The app brings better convenience and more information directly to the customer, and provides real-time alerts to improve customer experience. The application was built in-house in about 12 weeks on the Flex platform.

MFG.com is a marketplace that links the global manufacturing economy. The site has created a rich internet application to coordinate transactions among suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. This may not be the application you rush to, but it is a great example of a rich Web application.

I’m on next, in conversation with Adobe CIO Kevin Lynch. We’re due to talk about a range of things modestly summarized as “what’s next for the Web.”

Look Who’s Coming to DEMO 2008

It can now be said…at least in part.

Throughout the Fall, Carla Thompson and I spent uncountable hours sifting through DEMO applications, turning over stones, and interviewing hundreds of companies to come up with the 77 who will launch products next week at DEMO 2008.

At one point in those intense 90 days from late September through Christmas, Carla asked, “Is this just a better group of applicants? There are so many great candidates.”

We did have a tough choice. After all, when you cast the net as wide as we do — looking at every type of product from core components to consumer entertainment — you find yourself weighing the market impact of, say, an advance in enterprise application development against an implementation of a unique consumer search algorithm. Then again, that’s what makes DEMO unique and exciting . . . there’s something for every interest and often, these interests intersect in serendipitous ways leading to unexpected results.

Now, though, the DEMO organization has released the names of the 77 companies introducing products next Monday. The envelop please. . . Continue reading