10 May 2010
Adobe Business Catalyst (BC) is an online business platform that integrates a set of essential web features into one hosted application. Website hosting, content management, e-commerce, e-mail marketing campaigns, and built-in user case management are all rolled into one, so that you can build immersive sites and online stores quickly, at a fraction of the normal cost.
The Business Catalyst Platform benefits three different sets of users:
To deliver these benefits, the Business Catalyst Platform includes the following main modules:
Business Catalyst was acquired by Adobe Systems in September 2009. Since then, we've seen some exciting synergy both from a business and an engineering perspective. In the next section, I'll describe some of the recent improvements to the Business Catalyst Platform.
A major milestone was the launch of a new Business Catalyst extension for Dreamweaver to make it easier than ever to develop BC online businesses within the Dreamweaver workspace. Using Dreamweaver CS4 or Dreamweaver CS5, you can use the Business Catalyst panel, shown in Figure 1, to connect to all your Business Catalyst sites and work on them from within Dreamweaver natively, using workflows you're familiar with.
The new Business Catalyst extension includes the following improvements:
You can use the Files panel the same way you are used to working—by double-clicking files and creating files and folders to build out your site structure. And now you can use DWT files created in Dreamweaver to build site templates, following the same workflow you use when building sites other than Business Catalyst sites. Choose File > New to create a new template, and then choose Insert > Template Objects > Business Catalyst editable region. After defining a region, you can choose File > New > Page from template and the new page will be linked to the template automatically.
Note: To learn more about how to edit BC sites from Dreamweaver Download and install the Business Catalyst extension for Dreamweaver.
On April 7, we launched a beta version of our new InContext Editing feature that enables you and your web clients to update text, images, and links using any browser with an Internet conection. Your site is shown as it would look like live and you can click any element of the site to edit it (see Figure 2). Your clients will really appreciate these improvements to faciltate site updates and they'll enjoy how intuitive it makes website content editing. As we improve this feature, we will enable users to edit modules like blogs and online store products "in-context" to make it even easier to browse and edit content.
As an added bonus, with InContext Editing, you can now set editable regions using Dreamweaver to control which parts of a Business Catalyst site your web clients can edit.
Because the focus of BC is on the web designer, we also provide you with an industry-leading Partner Portal that provides easy access to all of your BC sites and payment and billing history—and lets you manage your web clients in a centralized, online interface (see Figrue 3). It takes just a few clicks to instantiate a new site and there's no complicated deployment process because the whole application is hosted.
It's easy to build and deploy multiple online businesses using one system. You can even quickly create prototypes for potential clients by importing their existing site, adding the features you know they need to improve their business, and presenting it at your first client meeting. Nothing compares to a demo of a live, functioning site with all the bells and whistles, displaying a company's existing branding and web content, to help you seal the deal.
You also have a cost-effective all-in-one solution for your clients combining web-hosting, e-commerce, contact management, and e-mail marketing into a tightly integrated package that offers the functionality that your clients require to run a successful online business.
Your clients will appreciate the ability to update their site's content with the new InContext Editing features and the intuitive WYSIWYG toolbars. You'll enjoy working with the updated Partner Portal, because it makes it easy to run your web business and manage your clients.
And the hosted solution ensures that you'll never have to worry about server configuration, restoring data, or upgrading modules, because everything is handled for you on the back end.
To get started with and learn more about Business Catalyst, check out the following resources:
To get more information about working with the Business Catalyst Platform, refer to the following resources:
To build Business Catalyst online businesses with Dreamweaver, download and install the following software: