September 24th, 2013 E-Learning

If you call yourself an instructional designer, then there is no doubt that you have had exposure (at some point) to Articulate Studio, or their newer Storyline offering.

It seems that most training projects that involve elearning will utilize either Articulate or Captivate – at least that has been the case for every project I have been on.

For years, the Articulate Studio offering has been a (very) successful add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint.  Since it leveraged one of the world’s most popular pieces of software, Studio was very easy to learn and use. Not too long ago Storyline came about and took with it that same intuitive “PowerPoint” feel (despite being a separate program).

As of today, the two flagship products offered by Articulate are downloadable software.  In other words, you pay once and then download.

They have another product (Articulate Online), which is a cloud LMS of sorts, tracking user scores and data for a price starting at $199/month.

Now, this all may be old news to many of you. If you have used Articulate, you understand their product offering, and you also understand that they have a massive support forum community.  Many threads are littered with questions ranging from novice to expert in nature.  A good number are because people are having issues, or experiencing bugs, with the software.

Which made me think…

How many people would use the Articulate products if they were hosted on the cloud rather than on your computer?   I can see a reasonable amount of backlash for this approach, but it does provide some benefits.

For instance, because the customer base for Articulate is rather large, a cloud solution means they (Articulate) have complete control over their product and its delivery environment – allowing for quicker, and contained resolution to issues.

Also, from a user standpoint it would be nice to be able to access your courses, and the building tool, from anywhere.

I’m not asking for this change to happen, I just think that it might be worth considering – and it could be beneficial for all parties.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


7 responses

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Would be more impressive if the publishing software was cloud hosted as well. At the moment you still need a Windows based Articulate package to interact with Articulate Online.

I don’t believe Captivate is a superior product, but Adobe does do a good job of catering to both Mac & Windows with both versions virtually equal to each other.

Articulate dabble with iOS but still offer no native MacOS support.

Avatar Brent

Of course there are alternatives (as some folks are discovering) to the big 2 to 3 and you could have a system that works fine on Mac, Windows or even Google Chrome book if a solid cloud authoring solution.

Avatar Paul

Hi Justin,
Interesting idea. We at Trivantis have had all our products in the cloud for a while now. We have an outstanding on-line authoring environment called Lectora Online and our LMS offerings are cloud and on premise, as well as available on IBM Pure systems architecture. We support these products around the globe (something that has always been a bit of a weakness with Articulate)
You can see further info on this at and
I thought you and your readers would find this interesting.

I personally don’t care for cloud-based software. I like my tools to run locally and as quickly as possible. Cloud based software also usually means subscription based. I already pay so many things on a subscription basis that adding software to that would be annoying. The constant sucking on my bank account of cash out of my bank account isn’t something I’m fond of. I’ve even started trying to move away from Adobe products because of the “Creative Cloud” concept that they have moved to. At least Captivate can still be bought standalone.

Avatar Brian Hendrix

Wouldn’t use a cloud based authoring system. As Brian stated, I too like my main tools to be running locally, on a very fast workstation, with lots of memory and storage. It is my lively hood and I like to control that as much as possible. Also, prefer working with software and systems that are as fast as possible, without having to rely on an internet connection.

Another case, in point. I have to work on client sites, every now and then. Usually, I do not have internet access on their sites…which means I use my iphone to access the web, as needed for basic stuff. Would hate to be sitting in front of a client, trying to do an edit and having to wait…. wait.. wait.. etc. Give me a fast desktop/portable anytime.

PS: I do use some cloud computing tools… where and when it makes sense. But for this…. no way!

Avatar Steve Chorny


Does anyone have experience with using a virtual desktop in the cloud (VDI, DaaS) ?
I imagine we could install a software like Storyline on your “PC in the cloud” and use it from anywhere. Any expert on this?

Thinking that running Storyline in the cloud would be slower than on your PC? I think the opposite would happen. The idea behind accessing a virtual desktop online is to have a very fast computer “when you need it” (pay by hour or monthly…).

Justin, what about giving a try with your own equipment?
1. Connect your fast computer to your fast Internet access.
2. Enable a remote access on it (Chrome Remote Desktop will do).
3. Take your slow laptop and connect it to your mobile phone, sharing your 4G / LTE access over Wifi.
4. Connect remotely to your fast computer using a remote access client (Chrome Remote Desktop will do).
5. Enjoy using any software you want from anywhere.

Additionally, you can use a cloud based file storage (Google Drive will do) to share files between your fast computer and your slow laptop.

And to finish, you can also use Google Drive to put your web publication online (

Steve, give it a try and you will see that you absolutely don’t need to wait to make some edits. even using an LTE / 4G. What is even better is when you put the course online from your fast computer with fast internet so your clients can directly access the modified course from their computers.

Any thoughts on that?

Avatar Philippe Siwinski

Articulate needs to get on the cloud platform. All the issues with bandwidth and access have powerful tools to help with resolution. We stream HD video over the internet, we ought to be able to do WBT development in the same environment.
Lectora already offers their tool in a cloud format, Everyone else is losing this race…

Avatar jay

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