The Pipeline

It's a breeze

Macromedia officials have announced the launch of Breeze 5.0, the latest version of the company's online conferencing and collaborative Web communications product.

Breeze 5.0 specializes in online training, meetings, presentations and seminars. Because the product works with Macromedia Flash Player, users can enter meetings or access presentations without the hassle of downloading software.

Some Breeze 5.0 features include voice over IP, on-demand video and multipoint videoconferencing.

The product is suited for online training thanks to multimedia capabilities. Other useful features include multicourse curriculum management and full-screen video. This version also features enhanced tracking and reporting and expanded question and quiz types.

In addition, customers can launch and track content created with other Macromedia products such as Authorware 7, Captivate, Flash MX 2004 and Dreamweaver MX 2004.

Aviation industry customers will also appreciate that Breeze 5.0 offers content that complies with Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee standards. The committee develops guidelines for computer-based training within industry.

The product is also certified under the Joint Interoperability Test Command standards. The command evaluates products for the Defense Department.

For meetings and seminars, Breeze 5.0 offers new management capabilities that allow agencies to deliver seminars through dashboard-style reports. Users can also fully customize the meeting environment. For recurring meetings, users can create templates to save preparation time.

Security-conscious administrators of enterprisewide deployments will likely perk up when they hear that Breeze 5.0 can be deployed inside a firewall. And to make deployment easier, the product includes wizard-based directory service integration.

Other deployment features include single sign-on support, application program interfaces and software development kits. In case your agency is trying to break a world record for the most meeting participants, Breeze 5.0 can support events with up to 2,000 participants.

If teleconferencing is your thing, you'll be glad to know that the product supports integrated teleconferencing through Macromedia's partner, Premiere Global Services.

If paying by credit card, a five-user starter pack sells for an introductory base price of $375 per month. Other introductory base prices include a 10-user starter pack for $750 per month and a pay-per-use plan for 32 cents per minute per participant.

PDF conversion for regular folks

Software that converts static PDF files into something you can edit isn't new. However, it has traditionally been targeted to graphics professionals and power users — groups that could justify the cost and complexity.

But now, thanks to ScanSoft, Joe and Jane Business User can buy a conversion package designed just for them.

PDF Converter Professional 3 is affordable at $100 and includes features business users want.

First, you can create your own PDF files from any PC application. When you do, you can apply passwords, permissions and encryption, which are security features government users will appreciate. You can also control the PDF compression and font embedding and add stamps and watermarks.

The PDF files you create are compatible with Adobe Systems' Reader and other PDF viewing and editing applications.

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