Can Captivate 9 Save Adobe?

9factsIf you haven’t heard yet, Adobe made some news in the elearning industry yesterday.

Specifically, they released their learning management system and Adobe Captivate 9.

I discussed the new Adobe learning management system previously in this article.

I’m interested to see how that one plays out and what the general perception will be from those who use it.

Sure, people that are already using Adobe products will likely just pick their LMS, but I wonder if it will have the ability to pull people away from other system? Time will tell.

Perhaps the more exciting news though is the release of Adobe Captivate 9.

Love & Hate

I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with Adobe Captivate. Our relationship goes back a long way too as I can recall the days of using Captivate when it was owned by Macromedia.

During those years there weren’t many other alternatives. Articulate wasn’t the juggernaut that it is today, and aside from learning how to program Flash, Macromedia Captivate was your next best option.

Adobe took over Captivate around version 3 or 4 (I cannot recall which one exactly).

Nothing changed.

I spent hours on the phone with their support because of technical glitches up to version 6.

This is why I hated Captivate.

What I loved were the software simulations that I could create and how impressive (and useful) they were for clients. We created simulations for in-person training as well as strictly elearning. For a long time this is where Captivate really shined.

Today the landscape is different. Articulate Storyline allows for simulations as well and many swear by it over Captivate. The prestige Adobe once had in elearning has been fading in recent years – which is why the recent announcement regarding Captivate 9 and their new LMS (Adobe Captivate Prime) come at a critical time.

The Captivate 9 Approach

Immediately you can see from Adobe’s website that Captivate 9 is centered on mobile technology. Everything from mobile content creation, collaboration, and delivery.

This is a natural step, and one that I am pleased to see. I couldn’t imagine trying to develop elearning on a tablet with the old versions.

What makes me nervous is that they advertise importing PowerPoint presentations. Why? Because for years this has been the absolute worst feature in Captivate.

On the bright side, I see that they have incorporated templates from The ELearning Brothers – an industry leading elearning template firm. Smart move in my opinion as there is no sense in reinventing the wheel.

Take it for a Spin

Currently all the promotion behind Adobe Captivate Prime and Captivate 9 lacks any substance. There aren’t actual live videos of the interface, only animations.

Because of this you’ll need to either purchase it or sign-up for their trial (something I will be doing in the coming weeks) in order to see behind the curtain.

I sincerely hope that Adobe’s efforts on this latest release will put them back on track as a major industry player.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

10 Comments
  1. Jean Soyke

    Please let us know what you think after the trial. We’re considering getting Captivate 9 and would be interested in your opinion.

  2. BG

    I doubt Adobe’s market share will change much. Prime, in my opinion, won’t change anything. Those who choose to use Captivate for rapid eLearning development will continue to do so and they also continue using their LMS of choice.

    For what it’s worth. I looked at Prime and Draft for 2.5 seconds and disregarded them (for now). Captivate however is still my application of choice.. maybe it’s because I’ve grown up with Adobe and perhaps my intuition for their applications is subsequently aligned.. new releases always feel like a well worn, super comfy pair of jeans, so to speak 😉

    If Prime does see a significant take up, then I think the smart thing to do as an LMS provider is focus on matching/exceeding their feature list, ensure seamless compatibility with eLearning content created in all the major rapid eLearning development software and find ways to seamlessly integrate additional functionality like LRS etc. The fact that LD is built for WP already gives it a significant advantage in my opinion. You get the feeling of true “seamless” integration with your site and don’t have to worry about developing or acquiring additional API’s every time you want to build a bridge from your LMS to your site. But heck, I’m preaching to the choir here!

    I personally don’t see Adobe Prime as a direct threat to LD. For similar reasons I don’t see Udemy being a threat to LD. People will use whatever best suits their requirement.

    B

  3. Been using Captivate since version 1.0, and it’s one of the most reliably buggy and unpolished products I’ve ever used. Every version I hope they will get their act together, never happens. Imagine how far monthly, or even weekly updates would go, fixing small things as they pop up and are reported. Instead we get maybe two updates through out the life of the version.

    I’ll use it, but my expectations, yet again, are as low as can be.

  4. Jorge

    Can you recommend some books/tutorials specifically on version 9 of Captivate? I have seen a few books, but focused on older versions. Even the oficial version 9 Help file is focused on older versions.

  5. Bo Mahnfeldt

    Captivate 9 sucks!!
    I started working with 8 and is now working with 9. The responsive part does not work properly, and when I was nearly done with my e-learning product I found out that the only way to stream videos to Cap9 is YouTube?!
    Vimeo is the only professionel business platform…not YouTube! And by the way – that does not work either!!
    I will now quit Cap9 and start all over in Articulate!

    B

  6. Bobby Loomis

    9 is soooo disappointing. I’ve used it since it was Macromedia’s RoboDemo. Animations are dreadful. You can do more in PPT than Captivate. Adobe is too busy monopolizing the market to create an authoring tool that is simple and easy to use.

    Unfortunately, clients swallow the propaganda and we must make do and suffer along.

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