Online demo vendors such as Techsmith with Camtasia Studio, Qarbon with Viewlet Builder and Adobe/Macromedia with Captivate must be delighted to see Jon Udells coverage for the third time in less than half year of the advantage of what Jon calls screencasting and many know as online demo software, usually Flash based, but sometimes using video format.
Now Jon is usually a leading indicator of trends in theIT industry; but on this one we have to nudge Jon down a point to being a coinciding indicator. Doing the review of Java JSF we find Java vendors large, Oracle , and small, Nitrox, using online demo technology to effectively display the capabilities of their tools.
And why not ?
Three factors are starting to emerge as the change-over drivers. First, more broadband capability is being delivered – worldwide and even in the US which is still way behind its Northern neighbour, Canada, in broadband usage . But now US usage is starting to catchup. So bandwidth is picking up at the same time as Macromedia and others are delivering better compression and streaming Flash/video capabilities. Second, the production tools for delivering online demos are not only more numerous but also more capable – just try any one of the above mentioned vendors trial versions. Third, the cost effectiveness of on site demos versus the world girdling dog and pony 1/2 day seminars is very compelling. In fact, some vendors are tying content at the seminars to additional demoes available at their websites. All in all, “screencasting” is already happening in a big way not just in the IT community but a broad range of industries (again see the online demo vendors for details).