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First Steps with Adobe Connect in the DFN association

The DFN association offers besides the proposal to do video conferences on the basis of the protocols H.320 and H.323, also the possibility to hold web conferences with the help of Adobe Connect. The first steps are explained here.

You can find in detail the following hints:


Start a meeting

The webconferencingtool Adobe Connect is based on Adobe Flash. Thus it runs usually in every webbrowser. The users need just a camera, a headset and a web access with the help of the browser. A audio usage with the help of an integrated microphone in the camera is not recommended on the basis of our experience.

Usually you will be invited via e-mail by the host to run a meeting with Adobe Connect. The invitations contain the URL, the start time, the ending time and also possibly the description of the meeting which could look like the following:

I hereby invite you to the Adobe Connect meeting.

Meeting name: VCC September 2013
Overview:
Invited from: Frank Schulze (Frank.Schulze@tu-dresden.de)
Time: 11.09.2013 08:45 - 12:45
Time zone: (GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rom, Stockholm, Wien

Details to the audio conference:
Phone: +49 30 200 97925895

Join the meeting:
https://webconf.vc.dfn.de/r5hfuso0tz2/

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If you have never worked with Adobe Connect Meeting:
Test the connection: https://webconf.vc.dfn.de/common/help/de/support/meeting_test.htm
Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/de/products/adobeconnect.html

After entering the URL in the browser, the following login screen will be displayed:

Bild 1: Ausschnitt aus dem Anmeldebildschirm der Startseite
Image 1: Extract from the login screen of the starting page

Here is the possibility to sign in as a guest or as a registered user, if the registration was done before at the DFN. Users can also use the application procedure, if there institution is participating to the service DFN-AAI.

At the first use of the tool is under certain circumstances a additional installation of a Adobe-Add-Ins necessary. Please confirm an according request.

Adobe Connect knows three levels of hierarchy of the participants (so-called "roles"):

At a login as guest as well as registered user you get automatically the role "participant". At this role you just have the right to listen or watch. It is impossible to send or say something. The setting options are limited to the most necessary points.

The "host" can subsequently assign all other "participants" the rights of a "presenter". This role is useful for the online collaboration and should be available by all participants if possible. There should be just one "host",to let the management of the meeting consistent.

As "presenter" it is possible to send audio and video.

The audio assistent should be used for the set-up of the headset. It is accessible in all roles at the menu under [Meeting/Assistent for audio set-up...]

Bild 2: Assistent für die Audio-Einrichtung
Image 2: Assistent for audio set-up

This allows the selection of the source and the review of the correct sending and receiving. There is a nice feature at the review of the audio output: Here will be the own spoken word recorded and after this you can hear it by yourself how it would sounds at the opposite side.

The "host" can display all the time the access number of the telephone participants at the upper right window of the menu.

Bild 3: Hilfetext zur Telefoneinwahl
Image 3: Help text for the telephone access

The participants of the meeting have to connect their own audio at the next step.

Bild 4: Verbinden des eigenen Audios
Image 4: Connection of the own audio

In the following dialogue select the point [use microphone (computer/device)] and confirm with [participant].

Bild 5: Auswahl und Bestätigung der Audioverbindung
Image 5: Selecting and confirming of the audio connection

The query for the camera and microphone access follows on the part of the program, which will be confirmed with [Allow].

Bild 6: Abfrage des Flash Player zur Zulassung der Zugriffe auf den eigenen Rechner
Image 6: Query of the Flash Player to allow the access to the computer

The settings concerning the own microphone and the own camera can be always checked and modified during the conference. This menu selection can be reached by clicking the right mouse button at a arbitrary place on the surface, subsequently select [Settings].

At the bottom edge are five submenus where the various configuration options can be adjusted.

Bild 7: Konfiguration von Adobe Flash Player für Adobe Connect  Bild 7: Konfiguration von Adobe Flash Player für Adobe Connect  Bild 7: Konfiguration von Adobe Flash Player für Adobe Connect  Bild 7: Konfiguration von Adobe Flash Player für Adobe Connect  Bild 7: Konfiguration von Adobe Flash Player für Adobe Connect
Image 7: Configuration of Adobe Flash Player for Adobe Connect

The camera starts by selecting the menu option [Start my webcam].

Bild 8: Start der eigenen Kamera
Image 8: Start the own camera

If there are multiple cameras connected, the requested camera can be selected here. The camera has to be ready to use at the start of Connect, otherwise there will be a preview image at the tool (which makes apparently such a transfer), but there will be nothing transmitted. After selecting the camera there will be a transmission of an image to the meeting participants.

 


Transmission of screen content

As host of a meeting there is the possibility to transmit the entire screen or also seperate windows to the other participants. With the help of this opportunity a presentation can be shown easily.

Bild 9: Auswahlmenü für Freigaben
Image 9: Selection menu for the clearances

Depending on the selection of the menu point under [Share my screen] opens another window.

a) In the first case [Share my screen] can be chosen further sub-menus. If there are two monitors connected, it is maybe just possible to transmit just one monitor completely:

Bild 10: Auswahlmenü für die Bildschirmfreigabe
Image 10: Selection menu for the screen sharing of the monitors

Bild 10: Auswahlmenü für die Bildschirmfreigabe
Image 11: Selection menu for the screen sharing of applications

Bild 10: Auswahlmenü für die Bildschirmfreigabe
Image 12: Selection menu for the scrren sharing of various windows

b) In the second case [Share document] all shared documents and whiteboards of the meetings will be saved into a list under their name, which can be shared by a kind of speed-dial list. Sharing means at Adobe Connect, that all participants got the same view of the document.

Under [Browse computer] further documents from the own computer can be searched and shared. Thereby are at the time (Status 25.09.2013) just the file formats jpg, png, swf, ppt, pptx, pdf, flv, mp3, mp4, f4v and zip possible.


Adobe Connect and encryption

The communication between user pc and Adobe Connect occurs via SSL encryption. Firewall problems can thus almost be eliminated. Technically this means that the media streams (audio, video and files) will be transmitted via the https port as standard.

 


Further notes and recommendations

A series of notes can be found directly at the tool. At the top right-hand corner of the monitor is the menu [Help] with further detailed notes located.

Bild 11: Integriertes Hilfemenü in Adobe Connect
Image 13: Integrated help menu at Adobe Connect

When Adobe Connect will be minimized, a control bar remains on the desktop to handle the basic functions of the program.

Bild 11: Integriertes Hilfemenü in Adobe Connect
Image 14: MiniControl at minimized program

Web conferences at the DFN
Self-running demo to use the application of the product Connect 9
Adobe Connect on the iPad
German-speaking Adobe Connect forum