December 4, 2001
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Today, 10-4, we pause to observe CBer Day and wish 88s around the house. Seriously, one of the many good reasons why CBers are legendary has nothing to do with catchy lingo or the antics in that old flick “Smokey and the Bandit.” It’s how CBers collaborate all the time to keep their roadmates informed about happenings up ahead—like a new place with good eats, road conditions, or Sheriff Buford T. Justice’s bear trap.
Now compare and contrast. If collaboration is the stuff of legend in the CBer milieu, what is it in engineering? Well, I read, watch, and listen to an awful lot about engineering systems, so maybe I am a bit callous. Still, it sometimes seems to me that every vendor and their grandmother feels obliged to say something along the lines of “we support collaboration” as they zip by to the cool things their product does.
So what does that mean? You really have to dig and find out, and often it means some view and markup tools and a downloadable viewer that lets third parties take a peek at files. There are many exceptions; many systems support highly intricate collaborative workflows. Finding and seeing what they’re all about is, however, something of a challenge. Today’s Check It Out is a big, excellent example of what you can do with collaboration tools.
“Adept Sharing & Collaboration” is an almost 6-minute video that shows you how you can put Adept’s collaboration and sharing functionality to work for you. Two things in particular make this video interesting: 1) its scenario is plausible and 2) it shows you how to do it in Adept when discussing granular commands like assigning a document to a single user. The latter is notable because, while the “click this to do that” parts are in standard demo time, you’re not left six clicks behind as you are so often in demos. Adept’s commands seem graspable.
The video comes at you from the vantage point of a project manager initiating a collaborative design workflow, although do-bees get their moments. The workflow encompasses stakeholders in a global enterprise— engineers, designers, document people, consultants, etc.—and external third parties. The video hits the major tools and features Adept offers: assigning tasks, automated workflows, approval processes, multi-user and multiple file format visualization and markup, tracking, built-in automatic e-mail notifications, access control, and vault replication among others.
The pace is first-rate. I was never left drowning in a sea of buzzwords or reaching for a cup of Joe. There’s no thumping, bass-heavy music track to wear down your nerves. There’s just a lot of easily digested information well presented.
“Adept Sharing & Collaboration” is a rare bird when it comes to videos of this class of software. It not only talks the talk of collaboration and sharing. It walks the walk. Hit the link over there and see for yourself—registration free.
10-4, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering