Adobe Systems in October plans to launch a private pilot program for its "Genesis mashup technology, which provides a desktop client uniting multiple tasks in a single workspace.
The pilot project will provide Genesis to selected customers and partners, with 100 to 200 people set to test it, said Matthias Zeller, group product manager for corporate development at Adobe, in an interview at the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday. A more widespread beta program is eyed for some point in the future.
With Genesis, Adobe is aiming to save users from having to open up multiple windows to access various applications; Genesis, which is just a code name, provides a unified user experience for each specific project. Serving as an alternative to portals, Genesis offers business users links to enterprise applications, business intelligence, documents, and Web applications. Content can be shared with other users. Instant messaging, VoIP, and video collaboration are supported as well.
"It's a mashup on the client," Zeller said. Users can make a "mini-portals on the desktop," he said.
Genesis is built with Adobe's Flex technology and deployed on the desktop via Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime). Supported on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, the client is developed with Flex and compiles into Adobe's Flash software.
Users, for example, could bring together a Salesforce.com application with PowerPoint materials and Google searches. "Today, you do all that separately," requiring many windows, said Zeller.
"The idea in Genesis is bring all these windows into a workspace, which is persistent on your desktop," he said. The desktop leverages drag-and-drop capabilities. The Genesis user experience takes cues from products such as Adobe Photoshop Express for assembling content.
Also featured in Genesis is the notion of content catalogs, to be provided by enterprise users themselves or Adobe partners. The company plans to work with other vendors to develop these catalogs. Adobe already is working with Business Objects regarding development of BI dashboards.
"The whole concept of Genesis relies on an ecosystem of partners and end-users to provide content for it," Zeller said.
Adobe has not set precise product release plans for Genesis. But plans call for users to access the client for free and subscribe to Adobe's Acrobat.com hosted service to handle collaboration.