|Viewlets at Software AG
The XML Company
Here at Qarbon, we are always glad to hear about new Viewlet success stories. In this case, we were contacted by Software AG, one of Germany's premier technology companies. Software AG recently discovered that Viewlets could be used as an effective software marketing tool, and we are excited to have Frank Jung, Product Marketing Manager at Software AG, with us today to share his experiences with our readership.
Let us introduce ourselves...
Software AG is Europe's largest system software provider and a major global player offering cutting edge technology for data management and electronic business. It has been in business successfully for over 30 years. Since 1998 the company has focused its development activities on XML products, offering leading-edge IT-products designed specifically for building mission-critical applications.
Why did we choose ViewletBuilder?
Viewlet technology has proven to be a great asset for Software AG.
Developing Viewlets is a quick and easy task that requires minimum training. Since the technology is relatively inexpensive, we expect the ROI to be significant. With more Viewlet-based tutorials deployed on the Web or as part of the product delivery, Software AG expects to reach more and more potential clients. With the help of Viewlets, potential customers gain a positive first impression of our products, which leads them into the real evaluation and purchasing stages. By offering Viewlet-based tutorials, Software AG also reinforces its image as a customer-oriented company with outstanding end-user support.
How do Viewlets add value at Software AG?
ViewletBuilder makes complex technologies easy to understand for our customers and helps our employees in testing new GUI prototypes.
At Software AG, Viewlet technology is used as an integral part of our online product documentation. The technology's ease of use was for us the most important consideration. Viewlets support Software AG's mission-critical products and the wide range of different associated tools with comprehensive and context-sensitive help. Usually, each tool offered by Software AG covers specific functionality resulting in a large mosaic of specific user interface elements that users need to become acquainted with. It goes without saying that using an easy-to follow visual medium, like Viewlets, to explain intricate operations in complex products has many advantages over the old, time-consuming "must-read-the-text-first" approach. The text-based approach often spoils the customer's excitement for the product from the very beginning. As far as our future plans are concerned, we are also considering scenarios in which Viewlets might be used to improve Software AG's internal user interface design processes.
Instant user experience
"There never is a second chance to make a good first impression"
In contrast to the old-fashioned, text-based approach for introductory tutorials, Software AG started to deploy online animations based on Viewlet technology.
| Viewlets are based on straightforward "near-live" examples, presented online in a guided hands-on fashion. Viewers can then familiarize themselves with new Software AG products in minimal time.
Today, Software AG offers Viewlets for offline and online consumption.
The offline option packs all necessary Viewlet components into a ZIP file. The package can be downloaded first and then executed locally after being unzipped.
A good example for offline usage of Viewlets is a newly installed product. During the installation all Viewlet files are copied into a specific directory from where a short product introduction can be invoked right after the installation has finished. For example, after having installed Tamino XML Server, users are offered a guided tour, which shows them how to use the browser-based GUI screens in order to set up important operational parameters, as well as to create, manage and delete databases or the content within them. But before working with real example data, first-time users can watch Viewlets demonstrations that walk them through the entire process. This provides first-time users with an immediate, positive user experience and a deep understanding of the product's range of functionality and does not leave them unassisted when they first begin using a new product.
Our Tamino XML Server is the first Software AG product to offer Viewlet-based documentation for "offline consumption".
To access such an offline Viewlet, visit our tutorial on the Tamino Developer Community website and click on the "Animated Tutorial" link in the "Download" column.
Because we've also deployed Viewlets on our Website, this hands-on experience is now available online as well. Visit the online executable Tamino X-Application tutorial on our developer community website and click on the "Start" button under the "Presentation" heading. Site visitors can learn about new Software AG products without having to install a variety of components up front. Visitors just click on the Viewlet and watch the presentation. There is no client setup time required and the necessary system resources are negligible.
As such, Viewlet technology elegantly closes the gap between viewers' demands for easy-to-follow, new-user tutorials and the comprehensive documentation required to do the real work afterwards. Viewers will experience much shorter learning cycles by going through the Viewlet (virtually equivalent to a "learning-by-doing" approach), while they can still get deeper knowledge about the variety of tools by studying the full HTML-based product documentation.
We're also taking steps to populate Software AG's developer community Website with more Viewlets in the future. This would allow visitors to watch Viewlets describing each freeware or trial software, before engaging in an often lengthy download process. With this approach our visitors will save both time and money!