Aproove's latest release includes a soft launch of our new, improved User Interface, Project Level Messaging, Adobe Photoshop Extension, and the first of many new Storage Connections starting with Google Cloud Storage!
Release 2022/R4 is yet another "blockbuster" release! The R4 release incorporates a "soft launch" of a slick new user interface. The new interface is much faster, visually attractive, and, more importantly, allows us to lay the foundations to incorporate some amazing new functionality coming in R5 around September this year! We did not want to force the new interface onto your users; therefore, we have made it an optional switch allowing you to test the new interface before full adoption.
Alongside the new interface, we are also introducing our first "File Storage" connection, starting with Google Drive for Business as a proof of concept. Many of our existing customers increasingly have cloud storage that does not provide them with the typical security governance such as automatic "file locking" and user permissions you would find on a traditional file server.
But that's not all! See below for even more information and new features!
New User Interface!
The video below illustrates how users can switch between the old and new user interfaces. The new interface combines a modern new color palette with much-improved load time. The new interface has standardized behavior across all the dashboards and provides a much easier viewing and navigating experience with better space management.
The other massive benefit of the new interface is that it easily allows us to incorporate the many new functions being added to Aproove in the coming months! (including project and workforce management).
For companies with many end-users, it was important not to force the new interface without first having time to try and perhaps "onboard" the users. Another added benefit is that it allows you to give us your feedback on the new interface, which we can incorporate into a later release.
A significant challenge for mid to enterprise-sized companies is the management and federation of cloud storage.
Aproove overcomes this huge obstacle by uniquely adding the ability to monitor low-level storage used by most Enterprise clients today, such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Blobs, and Google Cloud Storage.
Not only will Aproove index the storage, but we also give you a direct management layer allowing you to control permissions and rights from within Aproove. Moreover, you can connect multiple storages from multiple regions and see it all from within the Aproove interface, with users only having the permissions you grant them from within Aproove. This is especially powerful considering that storage will also be available inside Aproove's Adobe Extensions. Users can be anywhere in the world using files stored within your cloud ecosystem/s. The user does not need to know or care about the location of the files they want to use, and you do not need to move or duplicate files.
In this release, Aproove has built the Storage connection "bridge." The bridge will allow us to add more and more storage devices in the coming months. Multiple or single storage connections can be navigated inside Aproove from anywhere in the world, and you do not have to download, duplicate or re-upload the files!
The file storage bridge also opens the door to connecting 3rd Party DAM systems in the future.
In this release, we created the bridge and our first connection to Google Cloud Storage to prove the concept.
We plan to start adding more storage connection possibilities driven by customer requests. Multiple flavors of Amazon & Microsoft storage, Box, etc., are scheduled alongside traditional file storage such as native NTFS file servers.
Many customers find themselves having traditional file servers working alongside cloud storage. The capability to index and see those storage pools from within one centralized interface is a massive benefit, especially when you add the benefits of permissions and leave the original files in situ without duplicating them (one source of truth).
The video above shows files stored inside Google Drive (Right of the screen), indexed inside the Aproove Interface (left of screen). When the user deletes the files in Aproove, they are removed on Google Drive. This is just one example of many use cases; renaming files, creating folders, etc., will all be in sync.
This is just the start; soon, you will be able to;
Centralize distributed files located on traditional file servers and/or cloud providers and control access permissions and rights from the Aproove administration interface.
No file duplication or transfer is required. Users work with the files in the location in which the assets are stored.
Allow users to search and find assets from within Aproove (DAM-like) or even connect your existing DAM to Aproove.
Aproove users can locate, use, and distribute assets from one central location without ever needing to know where the assets are located (great for companies with multiple locations)
Use the Aproove Adobe Extensions to "drag and drop" assets directly onto the page
Adobe Photoshop Extension;
Expanding on our recently launched Adobe InDesign Extension, Aproove is pleased to announce the new Adobe Photoshop Extension. The Photoshop Extension works precisely the same as the Adobe InDesign Extension, except users do not need to "bind" documents to proofs (e.g., InDesign files are reviewed as PDF, while Photoshop files are reviewed in the native file format).
The video above shows a small amount of the Photoshop Extension capabilities. The video shows a reviewer annotating the uploaded Photoshop file, and the annotations display directly on the Photoshop image in real-time. Upon completion of the task, the Photoshop operator fills out an optional timesheet.
This makes it incredibly easy for production teams to work across files and images using the Aproove Adobe Extensions. The Photoshop plugin allows users to see annotations directly on a layer in Photoshop, chat, @mention, comment, as well as collaborate with the annotation authors or third parties. What's more, because Aproove is a Work Management platform, production users can receive tasks as part of a workflow directly inside the Adobe applications, allowing them to interact as part of a bigger workflow without ever needing to leave Adobe InDesign or Photoshop. They can even be prompted to complete a timesheet after completing a task!
Project Level Instant Messaging;
In Aproove's last release, we introduced a new instant message feature (read more here) that was available at the task level. In this release, we expand Instant Messaging to the "project level"!
All project stakeholders can send messages, drop files, and collaborate from the project level. This new capability adds another collaboration layer that ensures all project communication gets stored within the project, giving you a holistic view and an entire audit trail!
Create a PowerPoint storyboard from video stills;
After feedback from a customer who uses Aproove's online proofing capabilities for Video Approval, it became apparent that it is relatively common (especially in agencies and brands) to extract keyframes of videos at set time intervals. Those keyframes were manually pasted into a PowerPoint document to be presented as a storyboard.
We figured this was a hugely time-consuming task for highly skilled workers to complete manually.
Therefore, we added the ability to set your desired time interval before automating the extraction and placement of keyframes directly into a PowerPoint document. (Extraction rate in seconds).
If any customers reading this love this functionality but prefer a different output method (perhaps PDF?), please get in touch, and we will aim to add more output formats.
Route to a step on decision conflict
One of Aproove's powerful capabilities is to insert "conflict managers" into workflows. The conflict manager is invoked in one of two scenarios;
A task deadline is missed
A proof has conflicting decisions from two users or groups, e.g., one rejects, one approves.
This is an excellent feature because your projects never stall due to a missed deadline or conflicting decisions. However, sometimes in specific scenarios, you may want the workflow to automatically move to a different step should either scenario in 1 or 2 be met.
Now you can automatically route your project to a specific step in a workflow should you get conflicting decisions on a proof. Note: automatically moving to a step in the workflow when a task deadline was not met is already an existing feature