Adobe Systems has released a public beta of CoCoMo, a hosted service that developers can use to add video conferencing, VoIP, and other collaboration features to applications built with its Flex developer tools.
CoCoMo is an example of how Adobe plans to straddle the worlds of client and cloud computing with its tools for content delivery and application development, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said at the start of the Adobe Max developer conference in San Francisco on Monday.
"Our view is there should be a balance of each; not wholly on the client and not wholly in the cloud," he said.
CoCoMo services are hosted on Adobe's servers and aimed at developers who want to add sharing and collaboration features to an application. As well as videoconferencing and VoIP, the services include file-sharing, chat, data messaging, and a multi-user whiteboard.
Lynch showed an application built by startup company Acesis, which had early access to CoCoMo in a private beta. Acesis built an application for doing medical peer reviews that includes the videoconferencing and VoIP tools, as well as the ability for doctors in different locations to navigate patient records together.
The patient data itself isn't shared over the Web for security reasons, but the application does share the patient ID number, so the doctors can pull up the patient record from a local database, as well as information, such as the position of the cursor on the screen, so they can study the record as if they were sitting side by side at the same computer.
Adobe is taking a "wait and see approach" before it commits to a release date and pricing model, Lynch said. "I think you'll see in 2009, based on feedback, a variety of payment models we can use, including subscription and pay per use," he told reporters after his speech.
CoCoMo touches on two of the three big trends that Lynch said Adobe is pursuing: cloud computing and "social applications." The third is the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices. "Our focus is on giving a reliable and consistent experience across screens of all sizes," including phones and personal computers, Lynch said.
To that end, Adobe is trying to bring a full-featured Flash Player to all mobile phones. A lot of those devices today use Flash Lite, but its capabilities are limited, and it is cumbersome for users to download new Flash applications, Lynch said. So Adobe is working with mobile phone makers to get the full Player on at least high-end phones with enough computing power to support it.