Digital Publishing Suite
In early 2010, software giants Adobe worked with Wired magazine in New York and San Francisco and developed a brand new and highly innovative digital publishing system, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, for publishers to create and publish interactive versions of their magazines for the newly-launched iPad.
Adobe’s aim was to create a system where magazine teams could work with an updated version of InDesign – the leading layout design software – and manipulate their existing magazine layouts, to publish an interactive touchscreen version of the print magazine, all without requiring to know a line of code.
The two teams collaborated over several months to create a workflow concept, and a number of ‘plug-ins’ for InDesign, and these appeared as an update to the design tool, in the form of interactive panels. The designer could manipulate elements on the layout (eg: text boxes, colour panels, image frames, icons) into galleries, hot spots, web links, video content and animated features.
Adobe also developed a system where the magazine team could all take part, via an online sign in. The route to publishing a digital edition involved three or four different elements: the additional design layout, the interactive elements, the ‘folio’ format for publishing an issue, and the app which would house the published issues and purchase information.
All this was developed without actually using, or even seeing an iPad. Adobe had a battery pack, a simple operating system and stuck it on a Dell laptop touchscreen monitor as a prototype to work with. Can you imagine that even now, five years later?
The initial pilot with WIRED went well, and Condé Nast later launched the majority of their top magazines using DPS. In mid 2011, DPS was publicly launched as a Professional and Enterprise level license model, and many of the top selling magazine apps were created using DPS over the following years.
Digital Publishing Solution 2015
The world of digital publishing has changed – there are now a multitude of devices, a multitude of new and more innovative digital publishing platforms were thriving, working with responsive HTML at their core. Across the publishing industry, issue downloads haven’t grown as much as first hoped, and things have moved forward – enter – article-based continuous publishing.
The decision was made to move onwards in a whole new direction – with a new system completely built from the ground up. Adobe wanted to develop a way of publishing content which matched the swing towards continuous publishing – and after 10 months of quick thinking and development, Adobe Digital Publishing Solution was launched in New York, in July 2015.
The aim was to create a system that had better integration with publishers’ content management systems, eg. – WordPress, Drupal. Integration into Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, and Adobe Experience Manager, was high on the agenda, and the ability to offer a simpler, slicker route for the content to reach the device, and for the storefront and browse pages to be modified without requiring a whole new app submission to app stores.
With the new DPS, publishers are now able to create content using a variety of methods – including InDesign, and publish it via all devices, on a minute-by-minute basis, via articles, or from within collections. The look and feel of the browsing pages within the app can be changed as well – again without the need for a new app update via the app store.
The delivery of articles is now ever-quicker, and Adobe paid much attention to app stability, speed and delivery over the development period. Every three to four weeks a new update is launched and from my experience its simply got better and better with each ‘drop’.
Features coming up that makes this a killer solution into 2016 include user-generated content collections, detailed article search and social sharing. Further integration into Adobe’s Experience Manager and Adobe Marketing Cloud will only enhance the offering for customers.
So, how does Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution work?
Firstly, collect your content. Pull it from a library – a server – a database. You can create your content with your own HTML authoring solution, a variety of Adobe tools including InDesign CC 2015, or any CMS. You can create your experience in the DPS portal (publish.adobe.com), where the designer can take full control of browse pages, layouts and navigation to bring your brand or magazine to life. Here, you can really customise the look and feel of your app to keep it fully on-brand and right for device and customer.
One of the most innovative features is the ability to preview all content and layout settings before you publish. All done with the click of a button, and your content is sent to your magazine’s pre-built ‘preflight’ app, or the Adobe DPS Preflight app for you to check and sign off for publishing.
Once you’ve created your content, designed your navigation and browse pages, and selected the features you require for your app – and previewed your new articles and layouts – you can push the content out to mobile – as often as you like, and it’ll be shareable through social media and marketed via notifications or in-app messaging.
Measuring the impact of your content with analytics should always be a priority – with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud you’ll be able to see how your audience responds to your new and old content, and as the system is live and kicking, you can refine and adjust as you go along.
You can sign up for a free trial to Adobe Digital Publishing Solution at publish.adobe.com.
If you are thinking of working with Adobe DPS for your content and app strategy, and would like to get started with some expert help and advice, please do get in touch.