Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Directions on Microsoft: "Every Demo Needs a DemoMate"

We’d like to welcome Directions on Microsoft to the community and thank them for their kind words about DemoMate. Here’s what they had to say: “DemoMate gives us a way to leverage cloud computing to deliver our research to our subscribers. Every demo needs a DemoMate.” Jeff Parker, President, Directions on Microsoft
Directions on Microsoft is making a special offer to the DemoMate community! To receive a 20% discount off your own subscription to Directions on Microsoft, contact us for a special promotional code.
“Directions on Microsoft and DemoMate go great together -- you get broad Microsoft insight, and an effective way to demonstrate that value to customers.” – Rebecca Duffy, VP, Sales & Marketing
We are honored to be able to share this offer with you from the undisputed authority on Microsoft strategy. As many of you know – this is a great value for anyone in our industry.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

DemoMate Enhancements - December 2008

In this release of DemoMate (Build 517), we introduce new capabilities to edit your demos. These new editing tools allow you to:
  • Merge Sections
  • Split Sections
  • Copy Sections
  • Insert a Demo

With these enhancements, it’s now easier than ever to organize your demo. These tools also make it simpler to go back and recapture click steps later, and then merge the new steps into existing sections.

DemoMate Tip: Capturing Remote Desktops

To capture a Remote Desktop application window, it is recommended that you do so with the Remote Desktop window in full-screen mode, so that no additional windows or content on your primary desktop are also captured. The DemoMate client and the Remote Desktop need to be set to exactly the same screen resolution. Assuming that you intend to capture your demo at 1024x768, you would follow these steps:
  1. Adjust your primary desktop screen resolution to 1024x768.
  2. Launch DemoMate.
  3. From the File menu, select New Demo.
  4. Open the Remote Desktop Connection application.
  5. In the Computer box, type in the machine name or IP address of the machine you want to connect to.
  6. Click the Options button.
  7. Switch to the Display tab.
  8. Drag the Remote Desktop Size slider all the way to the right, until it says “Full Screen”.
  9. Click the Connect button.
  10. Log in to your Remote Desktop session.
  11. Unpin the yellow Remote Desktop bar at the top of the display, so it does not show up during your demo capture.
  12. Minimize the Remote Desktop session, and return to the DemoMate client.
  13. Click the Capture New Section button.
  14. For your first click, select the Remote Desktop session on your taskbar. This will maximize the Remote Desktop again.
  15. Proceed to capture your demo as normal, and press ESC when you are done capturing.
  16. After your entire demo is captured, close the Remote Desktop session and return your primary desktop to its normal resolution.
  17. Remove any captured steps from sections that involve maximizing the Remote Desktop connection window, since that isn’t a desired step in the demo.

Tutorial Auto-Looping

In November, we released a new feature for Online Tutorials. Now, you can set your Tutorial to “Loop,” so when it reaches the end, it starts over again automatically. This feature is great for Trade Shows and Kiosks. Just select the circle icon from the control panel on the Tutorial player.

DemoMate.com Has a New Look

This month we’re pleased to introduce the new DemoMate homepage. We’re thrilled with our new look, and think it does a great job of introducing the DemoMate experience to our users around the world. Be sure and check it out when you get a chance! As part of our new website redesign, we have partnered with Amazon.com to provide a simple, fast method of purchasing DemoMate licenses online. You can now go to the ‘Buy Now’ link in our top navigation to purchase 1-month, 3-month, and 12-month licenses.

DemoMate Enhancements - November 2008

Several great new enhancements have been introduced in this latest DemoMate build (Build 496). First up, we’ve added a completely new installer experience, which does a better job of detecting and installing the .NET Framework 3.0 on WinXP systems. This new installer also installs packaged demos in a more user-friendly manner. Anyone distributing packaged demos to customers can take advantage of these enhancements by updating to this new build, and then packaging their own demos!
Second, based on customer feedback, we’ve added a second Cue Type for showing presenters where to click during a demo. This new animated beacon is a bit more subtle than the Click Here bubble – great for when you need a quick reminder during those customer presentations! You can switch between Cue Types from the Options menu (located in the File menu).

DemoMate Now Includes Online Tutorials

We are excited to announce the launch of DemoMate Online Tutorials. Now, using the same demo capture process, you can publish an auto-play version of your demo that animates the click steps. Just Open any DemoMate file, go to the “Share” tab, and click “Publish for Online Tutorial.” That’s it! You can invite others to view your tutorial using any Silverlight-enabled web browser.

DemoMate Tip: Including Slides in Your Demo

Did you know that you can insert graphical slides into your DemoMates? For professional-looking intros, transitions, or conclusions, simply prepare the graphics in an application such as PowerPoint, and then “Capture” them as DemoMate Sections. This process allows you to move seamlessly between slide content and demo content.

Customer Quote: “Effective and Foolproof”

We want to send a special “thank you” to Libby at c360 Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics Partner, for sending us this quote about her success with DemoMate: “DemoMate is a very effective and foolproof tool for presenting software. The product works especially well for trade shows and seminars because it allows you to concentrate on your audience and content - not the keyboard. Great training tool …”

Introduction to the DemoMate Platform

DemoMate is a new way to create, share, and present software demos. DemoMate is a “software plus service” platform built using Microsoft technologies.

About DemoMate

The design philosophy behind DemoMate was to build a platform that helps business professionals save time, reduce cost, and increase sales. DemoMate accomplishes this by making it possible for anyone to create, share, and present interactive software demos without the need for expensive hardware, complex technical development tools, or scripting languages such as Adobe Flash.

Creating Demos

The DemoMate application lets users create demos by capturing “click steps” in a WYSIWYG environment. No development skills are required.

Presenting Demos

Once created, the user is able to present the DemoMate demo in a click-through style that simulates the experience of interacting with live software. These presentations can be used for sales purposes or for training purposes, when live software is either unavailable or impractical due to technical overhead. Users can also include slide content, such as slides created in Microsoft PowerPoint, to create seamless, integrated presentations that alternate between slide content and interactive demo samples.

In addition to Presentation Mode, DemoMate includes a Training Mode, where click instructions and presenter script are overlaid in a heads up display, enabling the user to learn and practice each demo with click-by-click instructions visible on the screen. These features dramatically reduce the time and cost involved in creating and distributing interactive training materials.

Packaging Demos

DemoMate demos can be packaged and distributed as free, self-extracting Presenter Versions. Presenter Versions can be used and distributed freely, on an “as-is” basis, in an unlimited fashion. Packaged Presenter Versions can be distributed on media (such as a USB Drive) or by downloading from DemoMate.com via invitation from a licensed user.

Online Capabilities

Via the DemoMate.com portal, DemoMate demos can be published in 3 formats:

Demo for Review – The demo creator can invite others to review the demo online and provide feedback using the Preview Pane.

Demo for Download – Using this method, the demo creator can upload Presenter Versions for download and send invitations to colleagues (this reduces e-mail size).

Online Tutorial – This is an auto-play format, built using Microsoft Silverlight. In this format, a viewer can watch the demo in “Auto Run” format using any browser with the Silverlight plug-in installed. As with the other online demo formats, the demo creator can invite others to view the tutorial.

Presenter Version vs. Licensed Version

With the presenter version of DemoMate, users are able to play back demos installed by a DemoMate packaged demo installer.

The licensed version of DemoMate allows users to create, package, and publish an unlimited number of demos.

Evaluation Version

A free, 30-day evaluation of the licensed version of DemoMate can be downloaded and activated from DemoMate.com.

System Requirements

The following system requirements are needed to run DemoMate:

  • Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008 operating system
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0
  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 512 MB of system memory
  • 20 MB available hard drive space
  • Internet access required for product activation (fees may apply)
In addition, the online features require:

  • Internet access (fees may apply)
  • Supported web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0, or 8.0; Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or 3.0
  • Microsoft Silverlight 1.0

Welcome to the DemoMate Team Blog

DemoMate has entered the blogosphere! On this DemoMate Team Blog, we’ll provide updates on new client and website features as they’re released, tips on how to capture and build your demos, and news on other DemoMate activities. Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Contribute to the community! Send questions or feedback to: contact@demomate.com.