Software Demos and tools to create them

Subject: Software Demos and tools to create them
From: Sandra Law <sandra -dot- law -at- quest -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 13:48:55 -0700

I believe this subject has been broached somewhat in recent posts, and the
archives, but I could only search up to 1999. I want to find out about
products or tools that will produce software demos that run in 'real time'.
There can be some guidance (pop-ups at certain points to explain what to do
at that point) but the user should also have some autonomy. Currently the
demos are being created using internal calls that pop-up Notepad
explanations of what the user should do at that point. The dilemma is the
amount of control to give to the user, given that discrete functionalities
must be shown to them. The demos will be pre-sales tools not post-sales

I did some searching yesterday and found a tool called DEMOquick from a
company called AMT Technologies. And I just looked at my email and see that
another subscriber refers to it. I downloaded one of their demos and
thought it accomplished most of the things we wanted to accomplish. Also,
the person who requested the information about demo creation software liked
their demo. I also played a bit with Camtasia thinking that we could create
an AVI demonstrating a certain action, and call it up when the user clicks a
certain interface element. I also looked into various Agent Technology
sites (including MS Agent) thinking that it might provide the necessary
functionality for these 'real-time' demos.

What I need to know is the following:

* What is the best tool if we want as minimal a footprint as possible on the
customer's machine? (i.e. zero client or close to)
* Can agent technologies do what we need to do? (i.e. learning or
interface/software agents)
* What tool should we use so as to have as minimal a learning curve as
possible in these demo creations? (currently we have a two week margin for
creating these prototype demos, in future we may choose a different tool or
method, but for now we need something quick and dirty)
* Has anyone on the list created demos of similar makeup (real-time) and
intent (selling not support tool)?
* If you have worked with a particular tool could you provide a quick
breakdown as to what is involved in creating demos similar to those I
describe (mainly with a focus on investment of time required)?

Your expertise would be appreciated. You can respond to me off list if you
feel this topic has been sufficiently explored in other postings.


Sandra Law

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