Table of contents
13 April 2015
This article covers the tools and workflow for both teaching interactive DPS content design and workflows for publishing shared (student) content in a program’s app. The article assumes familiarity with InDesign and general DPS use.
User level: All
Required Adobe products (retail)
Additional required other products (third-party/labs/open source)
Sample files are available to help build content and assets for a demonstration app. These files include InDesign files for building articles and folios. These files may use separate files for articles, but in some cases use alternate layouts which are intended to become separate, one-article folios. Folders of images used to build the custom library and artwork for building a developer app are also included. Neither mobileprovision files nor developer certificates are provided. Sample resources include:
By downloading software from the Adobe website you agree to the terms of our license agreement. Please read it before downloading.
Higher education institutions have a desire to promote both themselves and their students as a way to maintain and advance their brand. They want to demonstrate the work and skills of their students and the quality of the school. It helps both the students to get jobs after school and the school's ability to attract the best-and-brightest to apply for a seat at the school. A digital publication showcasing student work can benefit both the student and the institution.
The Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is a set of tools and services for creating and distributing beautifully-designed and interactive content to devices. The content can be student-generated, and then published through an institution-owned application to showcase the institution or program by using example work from students.
The app helps to promote the school or program, support student publishing, track student work and progress toward employment – all while driving brand awareness for the school or institution.The app can help promote the school or program, support student publishing, track student work and progress toward employment – all while driving brand awareness for the school or institution.
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) is a strong and dynamic tool for creating content and publishing to tablet and smart phone devices.
In an educational context, DPS can be used both as a medium for creating content and as a method of publication. Understanding both of these uses and how they can be used will increase an institution’s use of DPS.
There are two main types of use covered in this document, one is for using DPS to teach content design and one for publishing into a DPS app built and maintained by the institution.
The first use case, content and classroom teaching, involves using Adobe InDesign to design and share interactive layouts using DPS. This workflow could be used in a class and depends on having access to Adobe InDesign and a free Adobe ID, a verified email address. The Adobe ID is used to sign in to both the software and the InDesign Folio Builder panel. A student or instructor has access to all content features offered by DPS, a free Adobe ID has no access to application building features. This workflow focuses on content and interactive design and all testing or proofing is done using the free Adobe Content Viewer available on all device platforms supported by DPS.
- InDesign CS6 or higher.
- Currently including iOS and Android phone and tablets, and Windows tablets.
General workflow for content design and classroom.
The second use case is based on an institution having full access to DPS. The workflow involves an application built and maintained by the institution using Adobe IDs that are delegate accounts to the institution’s Master DPS account. A number of scenarios are available for this workflow; all are extensions of the workflow used to teach content creation in the first use case. The scenarios include publishing aggregations of student or instructor-submitted content, publishing entire folios of student or instructor content including portfolio materials, and delivering folio content through application sign in.
In a DPS application, the option to sign in can be used to offer certain folios to specific sign in credentials, in DPS this is called “entitlement.” An entitlement server or service maintains information about user sign in credentials and which folios an individual or group can access. An entitlement system would allow delivery of specific content based on the user.
General workflow for publishing to program maintained app.
Users will create content and interactivity with Adobe InDesign CS6 or higher. The DPS Tools (Folio Overlays and Folio Builder panel) are updated occasionally and should be kept current through the InDesign update process.
Adobe Content Viewer for content preview on device (free on iOS and Android tablets and phones, and on Windows tablets)
Windows Store: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/d3ae86c7-b96a-4547-b5e2-ee1e113207e7?ocid=Apps_Search_WOL_en-us_search-main_search-results-from_search-adobe-content-viewer_image_adobe-content-viewer
The institution that wants to build and distribute a DPS app will need a DPS Subscription to gain access to the app building tools and process. While the institution has a “master” account, additional delegate Adobe IDs will be used for each application they build and distribute. Each app will need a unique delegate account (Adobe ID) to host the content for the app, and certain of these accounts might also have app building access.
An institution might use a team to curate the shared folios and articles to check/confirm content & quality meets the institution’s expectations or content guidelines. Once curated, the student submitted content is published into the institution’s app.
Adobe IDs are a key to the DPS workflow. They’re used throughout DPS and used to sign in to various services and tools. An Adobe ID may be used to activate Creative Cloud software and may be based on a personal email address. This is sufficient for the content creation and sharing workflows.
A separate Adobe ID will be used to manage and publish content for a specific app. This Adobe ID should not be based on a personal email address, but it does require a valid and verified email address. Access to this Adobe ID and the responsibility for curating the content may be shared by a number of people. For more information on these accounts and how to configure them please see links at the beginning of this article.
Students use a personal Adobe ID (for example email@example.com) to:
- Sign in to activate Adobe InDesign
- Sign in to Folio Build panel
- Use Folio Builder panel to share a folio with other Adobe IDs:
- Sign in to ACV (for example firstname.lastname@example.org) for testing content and to view shared folios from other users.
- ACV is a free application for iOS, Android, and Windows Store devices.
Faculty, the App Team, and other receivers of shared folios use their Adobe ID to:
- Sign in to ACV with their Adobe ID to view shared folios.
- App team will sign in to the Folio Producer Service to curate and eventually publish student content into the institution’s app.
Challenge: Students need to learn how to use DPS tools to create content and interactivity for future publication.
The primary tool for building content is Adobe InDesign and the tools for building DPS content are available through the Folio Overlays and Folio Builder panels. All features and techniques for building content are available with a Creative Cloud activation and the Folio Builder panel for the DPS workflow can use the same CC log in. These log ins are Adobe IDs and may be the student’s log in for running CC applications, the same Adobe ID can be used in the DPS workflow once it’s been “verified” – a one-time email confirmation process.
Any user with access to InDesign can create designs, layouts, and all interactive content related to DPS. This will serve for teaching classes focused on content creation.
Students and instructors create new InDesign documents following standard DPS workflows (document dimension, color space, page layout, DPS overlays, etc.) and then create folios and articles.
If a user signs in to the Folio Builder panel, all new folios are “online” by default and can be shared. If a folio is built when the user is not signed in to the Folio Builder panel it is a local or offline folio. Offline folios must be uploaded to the Folio Producer before it can be shared.
Content is proofed or checked using the Adobe Content Viewer on a device. A user will sign in to the Adobe Content Viewer with the same Adobe ID used to create the content. Then they can download and view their folios to test the content or to show to others.
Once a student creates an online folio in the DPS workflow they can share the folio with others. The sharing process from InDesign’s Folio Builder panel will collect an email address to receive the share, the recipient will also use Adobe Content Viewer and sign in with their Adobe ID. The shared folio will be available for download and viewing.
Students can share their folios with fellow students and with instructors. The share process would also be a way for a student to deliver a portfolio of work to a potential employer or to an institution’s app team.
- Access to Adobe InDesign for building DPS Content
- A verified Adobe ID (used to sign in to the Folio Builder panel)
Student Content Design workflow:
- Sign in to InDesign and sign in to Folio Builder panel using their Adobe ID.
- Create and design layout and interactivity.
- Build folio in Folio Builder panel and add articles.
- Share folio with fellow student, instructor, or prospective employer.
- Select the folio in the Folio Builder panel, then chose Share from the panel menu.
Basic workflow for teaching and learning content design in DPS.
Instructor Content Review workflow:
- Launch ACV on device, sign in with their Adobe ID.
- Download shared folio from student.
- Review content.
Basic workflow for reviewing content design in DPS.
Challenge: Create and curate an app to show student generated content.
Student designed content could be published into an app built and maintained by the institution. This app could be used to show and promote student work, or as a promotional publication showing the school or a program’s offerings. In this scenario, the school would use a DPS Subscription to create both the application and an Adobe ID used to manage the content published into the application.
A DPS subscription allows the creation of delegate Adobe IDs with permissions or roles for building the application and producing application content. The institution might use teams of trusted individuals to handle the app and content curating. One team with access to app development and store credentials might handle application building, maintenance, and App Store submissions by using a shared, delegate Adobe ID. A second team might have the responsibility to receive, curate, and publish the content into the app using a different shared Adobe ID. Or a single team might handle all these tasks with a single shared Adobe ID that has both the builder and application roles. For information on managing delegate Adobe IDs and granting roles please see links at the beginning of this article.
The application could be used to publish complete folios on a student-by-student basis. Or the application could carry folios that combine articles from a number of student submissions. This aggregate folio would contain articles that are assembled selectively from various student-shared folios.
Both of these publishing scenarios allow the school to curate the content before publishing, and the workflows isolate the published content from the student’s original work. So any changes made by a student after sharing, do not automatically migrate into the schools application. This isolation may be important to avoid undesired content changes from appearing in the school’s application that violate an institutions content guidelines.
These workflows start with students sharing their folios with the Adobe ID used to publish to the school’s application content (email@example.com).
Both workflows are managed in the Folio Producer Service. An app team member would sign in using the Adobe ID for the application content (Appteam@darby.edu) and then work with the shared folios to either publish a student folio or to add specific articles from a student’s folio to an aggregate folio.
If an entire student folio will be published into the institution’s app, the app team would use the Folio Producer Service to do the following:
- Student shared completed folio with the app team (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
- App Team curates the shared folio on a device.
- Launch ACV and sign in with the application Adobe ID (for example email@example.com)
- Proof the content, approve for publishing.
- Sign in to Folio Producer Service with the application Adobe ID (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Select the shared student folio.
- Proof folio metadata.
- Add Library Filter tags for custom libraries if required.
- Publish the folio.
- For public folios, publish as public and free.
- For folios requiring sign in, publish as public and retail. Access to these folios could be handled through an entitlement system as described later in this article.
- The student-built folio is available in the app.
Basic workflow for publishing shared (student) folios into a DPS app.
- Student makes changes to their InDesign source files.
- Student updates their article(s) in the Folio Builder panel.
- App Team reviews updated folio in ACV.
- When they access the folio in ACV they will be prompted to download the updated folio.
- App Team signs in to Folio Producer Service.
- Select the updated student folio.
- Click Update, use the same Product ID used previously.
The most basic process for building an aggregation of articles requires a folio to receive the articles. This aggregate folio might be a new folio created in the InDesign Folio Builder panel. Alternately, articles from shared folios can be added to other folios available in the Folio Producer Service.
To build a new aggregate folio:
- Sign in to the InDesign Folio Builder panel using the Adobe ID for the application.
- Create a new folio.
- This new, empty folio will be available in the Folio Producer.
- Sign in to the Folio Producer Service with application Adobe ID.
- Select the new, empty folio and click Edit.
- In the Folio Producer: Editor mode, click the Add button
- Choose a shared folio and article.
- Click OK and the article is copied into the aggregate folio.
- Edit any article metadata and set the order of articles.
- Add other articles from the same or other shared folios.
- Return to the Folio Producer: Organizer.
- Complete the required metadata and information for the folio.
- Publish the aggregate folio.
- The folio will be available in the app.
Basic workflow for selectively publishing shared (student) article into a DPS app.
- Student makes changes in source files.
- Student updates their article(s).
- App Team uses Folio Producer service.
- Select the aggregate folio.
- Click Update.
The aggregation workflow also supports combining articles from institution-designed folios. This could be used to insert boilerplate articles with an institution’s information, messaging, disclaimers, or other materials.
Do NOT add student Adobe IDs to Institution’s DPS account.
This would lock these Adobe IDs and prevent their use privately by the student or freelancer. It would burn the email address.
Student folios must use a folio version less than or equal to the institution’s app version.
When the institution’s app is built, it has a version number. A folio also has a version number and this must be less than or equal to the application version. If the folio version number is higher than the app version, the app will suggest updating the app and the folio will not display.
The institution must maintain and update their app periodically based on requirements or updates to device operating systems and application store.
Periodically, apps need to be updated to support new DPS features, to address requirements from App Stores, or to fix bugs. The institution’s team with app building and submission responsibilities will need to occasionally rebuild their app and submit the updated app to pertinent stores.
Be Aware: publishing a shared student folio limits the student’s ability to publish.
The workflow described in this article will limit what a student can do with a published, shared folio. If the app team publishes a shared folio, available in the DPS Distribution service so the content is available in their app. Only one app can publish a folio, so the student would not be able to publish their own folio at a later date. Furthermore, the published folio cannot be deleted from the student’s view in the InDesign Folio Builder panel. If a student want to publish in another app, they should Copy their folio in the Folio Producer to duplicate the folio for the second app. Alternately, they could build a new, duplicate folio from their source files.
Insert image of app and establish this is target of walkthrough.
The workflow and the resources used to create the app and its content involves many steps in a variety of DPS tools and services. To complete all tasks, you will need full access to an Adobe ID that has both the application role and builder roles and you will need the credentials and files required to build and download the app.
Tools include Adobe InDesign, use of the DPS Configurator and Entitlement POC systems, and DPS App Builder. Instuctions here are for building an iOS app, but the same process could be used to build Android or Windows Store apps using the App Builder Service.
For this walkthrough a single Adobe ID will be used to create the content, build all customization, control entitlement, and build the app. The sharing workflows described earlier are not used in this walkthrough to simplify the process. In the workflow described earlier, content creation would use a different Adobe ID and folios would be shared with the app team.
The first task is to use InDesign to design content for your app. You will need to build a number of single-article folios to publish for your app. These single-article folios will be used to test entitlement through sign in to the app. Your folios could also be more highly designed with multiple articles and overlay interactivity if you wish.
You can download files from the resources section to help build content for your demo app. The three downloads called Darby_Admissions_Folio.zip,DarbyDesignBoilerplate.zip, and DarbyDesignGenericFolios.zip contain InDesign CC 2014 design files and assets for building folios and article.
- Log in to the InDesign Folio Builder panel using the Adobe ID for your app (for example email@example.com)
- Use standard DPS techniques to build content for your target device.
- Build at least three folios.
- You can proof these folios and articles in ACV.
Sign in to ACV with the Adobe ID
Log in to the Folio Producer Service (https://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com/welcome.html) with the same Adobe ID (for example firstname.lastname@example.org) -- the folios built with InDesign are also seen here.
For each Folio:
- Add the required metadata (Publication Name, Folio Number, Cover Previews, Description)
- Add Library Filter tags for each folio.
- These filter tags will appear in your app and are used to organize content later in the workflow.
- Be careful about your library filter tags, each unique tag will be a category in the app and will need a custom thumbnail to load into the DPS Configurator later. These values are displayed in alphabetical order, and if no thumbnail is defined a generic thumbnail will be used. Beware of capitalization and extra spaces as these will display as additional and undesired, generic thumbnails.
- Publish each folio
- Publish your folios as public and retail if you want to control access to the folio through sign in.
- Publish as public and free if you want all users to see a particular folio.
- Use a unique Product ID for each folio.
The app will use a custom library to display available folios based on the Library Filters used for the published folios. The custom library is HTML that can be hand coded or you can use the DPS Configurator to help generate the code. For this demo app, use the “Custom View with Tabs” template available in the DPS Configurator as described below. This template was built as an example for education users and presents filtered sets of folios based on the use of Library Filter values for published folios.
You can download files from the resources section to help build content for your demo app. The download called AssetsForAppBuilderAndConfigurator.zip has three folders, use the files in the LibraryThumbnails and LibraryBannerSlide folders in DPS Configurator to build your custom library.
Use a browser and go to: https://www.dpsapps.com/dpsapps/store_configurator/
- Choose “Custom View with Tabs” and enter the Adobe ID and password for your app (for example email@example.com). Logging in will display your Library Filter tags in subsequent screens.
- Now work through the options for colors, banners (slides), and your Library Filters along the left edge of the screen. You can choose a font and control the name displayed at the top and many colors throughout the custom library.
This custom library shows tabs near the top which display the Library Filter tags used when you published your folios. Beneath the tabs is a banner area where one or more slides are displayed, each slide can have an action triggered by tapping on the slide. The large area beneath the banner are thumbnails for each of the Library Filter tags, tapping a thumbnail (or the tabs at the top) will reveal the folios available in that filter. When you tap a folio, you get a detail pane showing more information about a specific folio including a Download button. Here’s your opportunity to customize much of how this library appears. Use the left side of the Configurator to edit colors and options.
- If you intend to add sign in capabilities to the app, select Yes for “Entitlement Viewer”
- If you click on one of the thumbnails you will see how the details for a folio will display. Adjust the colors used in the Details section of the interface.
- In the banner section, you can control how banners display and the height of the banner artwork area. Make any banner art files the same height and choose a width to match the device. The number of banner images is controlled by adding a slide, then you can control the action that’s triggered by tapping on a particular banner. Set the action and load banner images for all slides. Click the gear icon in the banner area to load a banner image.
- As you scroll down through the left panel of the configurator, near the bottom you’ll find a label for each of the Library Filter values uses for all published folios. Click the browse button and choose the thumbnail image used for each Library Filter. The Library Filter values used in your pubiished folios also appear at the top of your library above the banner area.
- Once you’ve setup all options in the DPS Configurator, scroll to the bottom of the left column and click on “Download ZIP” – this will save the custom library to your downloads folder. You’ll load this ZIP file into DPS App Builder later.
The ZIP file contains HTML and images for the custom library. The images you loaded for the thumbnails and banners are included along with a default thumbnail image which will display if a folio is published with a Library Filter that does not match your custom library setup. If desired, unZIP the custom library and customize the file called thumb_placeholder.jpg. Then reZIP the contents (not the folder) for loading into DPS App Builder later.
An app can support sign in to control which folios are availabe to a particular user, this is called “entitlement” in DPS. An entitlement server stores information about users and their access to folios. There are resources on the DPS Developer Center which both document how to do this and offer free code samples to get started. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/digitalpublishingsuite/entitlement.html
For proof of concept work, an entitlement system is available for testing. This system is NOT meant for production use and limits the volume of data to an app. Eventually, you may choose to build and host your own entitlement service, possibly based on the resources above.
- Use a browser and go to: https://dpsapps.adobe.com/entitlement_admin/
- Log in with the Adobe ID and password for your app (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
- You will use the Service URL and Integrator ID values displayed when you build your app in DPS App Builder. Copy these values for later use.
- Enter the App ID for your app. This is the ID used in an app store to identify your application and it’s part of the mobileprovision files used to build app in DPS App Builder.
The Entitlement Service uses information about users and groups to award access to specific folios. You should add a couple of users and a couple of groups to test how entitlement works, then grant access to folios. Later, once your app is built and installed, you can sign in to your app using a username and password from the entitlement service. You will see the folios available to that user. Signing out of the app and then using a different user will display the folios available for the second user. Note that any public and free folios are available without signing in and to all users. Also note that any folios downloaded to a device are visible to all users.
- Click the Users tab, the Add User.
- Fill in the name and password, and a description.
- Passwords can be changed by editting the user.
- Add the following users: appteam, faculty01, faculty02, and dean
Groups are an easy way to grant access to a folio to multiple users. Users can also be members of multiple groups.
- Click the Groups tab, then Add Group.
- Fill in the group name. Click OK.
- Select the Group and click Edit Group.
- To entitle all members of a group to a folio, select the folio and click the + sign. Repeat to grant access to additional folios.
- Select a User and click the + sign to add a user to the current group.
- Repeat this process to add more groups.
- Add the following groups: oversight and faculty
Award Folios to Groups and Users
Folios can also be award through the Folios tab.
- Click the Folios tab, all published folios are displayed.
- Select a folio, click Edit Folio
- Choose the Group or User you want to grant access and click the + sign.
- Award folios as follows:
- Using Groups:
- Oversight group gets all folios
- Faculty group gets two folios (Folio A and Folio B)
- Using either Users or Folios:
- Faculty02 also gets Folio E
- Dean gets Folios A–D, but not E
- Using Groups:
An example of group and individual entitlement through user, group, and folio controls for a DPS app. Note that folios can be awarded to individual users and groups.
Now it’s time to create the app and connect or add the custom features we’ve been building. You can download files from the resources section to help build content for your demo app. The download called AssetsForAppBuilderAndConfigurator.zip has three folders, use the files in the Icons and Launch Screens folder in DPS App Builder to build your app.
Launch DPS App Builder and sign in with the Adobe ID that has the builder role (for example email@example.com).
- Click New and choose whether the app will be iPad only or iPad and iPhone. Then use the app builder with the following specific details (otherwise add or change options as you see fit.)
- In the App Details pane, choose:
- App Type: Multi Folio with Entitlement
- Title ID: choose the Adobe ID used to create and publish your content (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Show advanced options: check “Hide sign in button in library”
- Click Next to enter Entitlement Details.
- In the Entitlement Details pane:
- You enter information to connect your app to your entitlement service. If you’re using the POC service, use the values below. If you are using a different service, use values for that system.
- Service URL: https://dpsapps.adobe.com/entitlement_admin/services/index.php
- Enter the same value for the Service auth URL: https://dpsapps.adobe.com/entitlement_admin/services/index.php
- Integrator ID: dps_entitlement_poc
- Forgot password URL: enter a valid URL like http://www.somedomainname.com -- this URL is not expected to work for the test app we’re building.
- Check the option: “Send app ID and version”
- Click Next
- In the Icons and Splash Screens pane:
- Load all icons for SD and HD resources.
- Click Next
- In the Navigation Toolbar pane, choose:
- Hide sign in button
- Click the Library icon in the lower portion of the pane, then click the option to Use custom app library.
- Click the folder icon for Library HTML resources ZIP and load the ZIP file downloaded previously from the DPS Configurator.
- Lock the orientation to portrait.
- Hide title bar
- Auto-launch the custom library.
- Click Next
- Proceed through the remaining panes of DPS App Builder including loading mobileprovision files.
- Download and sign your developer app.
- Install your developer app and test the app, the custom library, sign in with various usernames and password for the entitlement service.
Now that you’ve built your app and published the folios, explore the app and
- Test entitlement by signing in and out with different users.
- Observe Library Filters and folio organization in the library.
With a working app, you can explore both the folio publishing scenarios as well. Either create a new folio and add articles from other folios using the aggregate worflow above, or publish a shared folio. Mix these workflows to insert (add) an article from one folio into a different folio and practice the folio updating process.
To learn more about building your own entitlement system, please refer to two articles in the Digital Publishing Suite Developer Center. How to use DPS Entitlement Service (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/digitalpublishingsuite/articles/how-use-dps-entitlement-service.html) covers the POC Entitlement Service used in this example, and How to install the DPS Entitlement Server (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/digitalpublishingsuite/articles/how-install-dps-entitlement-server.html) covers how to use example code to build your own.
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