Adobe Creative Cloud 2014: Progress and pain in the usual places

Enough to soothe the aches of an identity crisis?

War stories

One of the UK’s national daily newspapers had being relying on Adobe’s cloud services to publish its digital edition. Because of Adobe’s ID database glitch, the newspaper did not publish that day and published late the following day too. In doing so, Adobe had succeeded in doing what Zeppelins and the Blitz failed to achieve throughout two world wars. What a striking reputation Adobe has earned for itself: more damaging to the newspaper industry than the Kaiser and Hitler combined.

The block of flats at Coronation Avenue, seen after the bombing

Devastation caused after Photoshop CS6 failed to load

This particular newspaper no longer uses Adobe DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) to publish its digital edition.

Even when it’s up and running, the CC implementation of cloud sign-in is a constant hassle for multi-user installations, from large enterprises to small training centres. Visiting these sites, I hear the same complaints and indeed the same emotive word to describe Creative Cloud installation: “ball-ache”.

One training centre I visited actually held back from promoting CC courses until quite recently because it felt the authentication hassles in getting the applications to relaunch every time a trainee accidentally quit didn’t justify the “ball-ache”. CC and CS6 were described to me again as “ball-ache” a week ago by an IT support minion at a vast multi-seat, multi-site enterprise. These users are on the phone to IT support practically every morning with a sign-in issue, he claimed.

This is compounded by scatterings of isolated users of certain Adobe products that refuse to run within the strict confines of some corporate networks. When users complained on Adobe forums that while Muse CC worked fine at home but could not be launched on any computers at their workplaces, they were told to change their firewall.

Oh yes, just wander upstairs to the CIO and tell him to tone down the corporate firewall to comply with Adobe’s implementation of cloud authentication in Muse CC. Good luck with that.

Even during the aforementioned CC press briefing, some of the new cloud-based functions the evangelist was demonstrating took a minute or more to complete, apparently because “the internet connection here is not very good”. This will not put many minds at rest hoping that Adobe had learnt from last month’s slavish over-reliance on connectivity just to make stuff happen on your desktop.

To its credit, Adobe has said that CC 2014 will introduce “improvements” to the way in which multi-user installations are managed in corporate and education environments. I have asked for someone at Adobe to clarify what these improvements are but have not received an answer.

Taking the optimistic view, if site licence management becomes less of a “ball-ache”, it will be a good thing. And if this metaphoric soothing of testes leads to positive corporate user feedback, we may eventually be able to look forward to some easing of Adobe’s nightly bombing raids over the rest of us.

Taking a pessimistic view, well… let’s not do that. Corporate gonads couldn’t take it. ®

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