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Adobe Creative Cloud becomes a platform for other apps

  • Published on October 24, 2014
Adobe Creative Cloud becomes a platform for other apps
Adobe is looking to expand their reach from simply being the creator of software applications and shifting into the role of supporting applications designed by others. This is yet another signal that Adobe is shifting emphasis away from their traditional role of creating pre-built software applications such as Photoshop, and looking to find ways to grow more rapidly on mobile and tablet devices.
Adobe’s move to launch a Creative Cloud SDK underscores the importance of the mobile market and how it is forcing institutional players such as Adobe to adapt or suffer the consequences. Traditionally, Adobe’s business model has been to create products in-house and release them to the general public. This strategy, which was hugely successful in past years, but Adobe has not been seen as a player in the mobile app market that has seen explosive growth. David Wadhwani, Adobe’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Adobe’s Digital Media Business Unit, recently said, “The way we used to think about innovation was to put it in the box and ship it … Now we think of our innovation as a platform.”
App developers who want to tap into Adobe's resources in digital imaging and other areas will be able to connect their apps to Adobe's services in the background. A photo sharing app could have a connection to Adobe's servers to provide retouching, or a marketing app could use a connection to build a brochure or banner advertisement. Developers working on the iOS platform can download Adobe's Creative Cloud SDK (Software Development Kit) from Adobe’s website and start to use it under a public testing phase. The Creative Cloud SDK provides connectivity for app developers to connect their programs to Adobe's services, and it does not have an interface for general users who don't program or develop applications.
The Creative Cloud SDK is already being used by a number of popular apps, including Flowboard and Fabrika. Adobe’s addition of an SDK will provide it an opportunity to grow in a rapidly grow by providing services to many third-party applications, without the need for Adobe to develop these apps in-house. Adobe has yet to announce pricing or fees for apps that use the SDK, this is something that will certainly be at the forefront of developers minds before they decide to rely too heavily on Adobe's services. Adobe has some experience licensing their inventions to others, as their very first product was the PostScript language that enabled early desktop publishing apps to print high quality output. Adobe licensed this technology to printer companies such as H.P., and Steve Jobs was so impressed with it that he offered to buy Adobe while it was still in its early stages. With this experience and background, the Creative Cloud SDK is likely to help Adobe succeed, and may be the start of a significant transition for the company away from selling stand-alone applications and into providing services based upon the core technologies that support tools such as Photoshop, InDesgin, and Illustrator.
Developers that want to integrate into their services into the various Creative Cloud tools will need to understand their full capabilities in order to effectively apply controls programatically. American Graphics Institute's regularly scheduled courses and private training provide a foundation for learning the Adobe Creative Cloud and its related SDK. These classes provide an opportunity for learning the Creative Cloud tools, and private courses are available for learning how the Adobe Creative Cloud SDK can integrate into other applications.


About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.