Adobe LCCS abandons ship

Today, Adobe announced it will be end-of-lifing its LiveCycle Collaboration Services (LCCS) platform at the end of this year.

For developers and websites looking to integrate face-to-face video into their websites while avoiding the heavy lifting of building their own solution, our OpenTok platform and Adobe’s LCCS offering were the two leading Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options. Now all the folks who chose Adobe – many of whom thought they were going with the “safe” alternative – are about to be left out in the cold.

At TokBox, business is booming. So how can it be that “changes in Adobe’s strategic direction” are moving them away from such a rapidly growing market?

The answer is quite simple: Adobe’s hands are tied by its own platform strategy. As the device landscape continues to evolve, the profile of platforms beyond the PC browser has grown rapidly. iOS – a platform that doesn’t support Flash – is growing rapidly. And Adobe has recently decided to abandon Flash player support for all other mobile platforms.

If you’re Adobe, not being able to deliver LCCS to platforms that don’t or won’t support Flash means making a hard decision: either transition to a non-Flash client endpoint, or accept that the dwindling reach of LCCS means forward-looking developers will have dwindling interest in it. Their decision is made clear by today’s action to shut down LCCS.

For TokBox and OpenTok, the difference couldn’t be more stark. While Adobe is a key partner for us (we rely on Flash player as a building block beneath our Javascript API), Flash player is only a tool, not a strategy. As the technology landscape evolves, and as we move to address platforms beyond the web browser, we will take advantage of the right tools for the job. That will inevitably mean moving some services (or even all services) off Flash.

At the core, this is one of our key value propositions to developers: we worry about the changing technology landscape so you don’t have to. The deal is simple. We will optimize for the current state of the digital world. We will swap out components, change protocols and encodings, re-architect services, and more. You get to focus on your app.

Adobe isn’t interested in that option. And so now, OpenTok stands ready to help customers left in the lurch, and to help those of you who are ready to start building new sites and services.