Adobe LiveCycle – Collaboration

In a Flex-based project I am working on, we needed screensharing, chat and whiteboarding capabilities for easy collaboration. After a lot of analysis, we decided to go for Adobe LiveCycle Collaboration, over other options such as Red5 server or integrating with Java-based components Рprimary reason being speed/cost of implementation and ease of maintenance and setup.

LiveCycle Collaboration is a service – which means there is no need for your customer to setup a server, and spend time and money maintaining it. The service does come at a price, but the first $15 worth of service/month is free of charge. We are still trying to figure out how much it costs us, but it does seem cheaper than the alternatives.

Getting started is easy, and there is some amount of documentation and sample applications. However most samples are based on the flash runtime, and if you want to use this in an AIR application, you are mostly on your own. There will be problems you will face on occassions, but the source code is open source, so it is possible to trace and debug. One of the most irritating problems, for instance, is that the screen-share add-in does not download and install automatically, as it does if used with flash web app.

Over next few weeks, I plan to write a few tutorials, based on my own experience in using Livecycle – particularly using the Chat, ScreenShare and Whiteboard components. I hope this will help others get to speed more quickly.

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