Publishing a project by Matt Ottewill

Publishing a project happens at the end of the project development process. It is the final stage in creating a project. Sometimes it is called "delivery". Publishing involves one or more of the following processes ...

  • Creating a master DVD, DVDROM or CDROM disc ready for optical disc duplication and packaging
  • Uploading a project to a server
  • Installing a project on a kiosk

Methods of publishing

Here are some of the ways in which a project may be published ...

Web sites

  • A web site is uploaded to a web server
  • A web site is installed on a LAN (Local Area Network) intranet (internal company network)
  • A web site is mastered cross platform onto a optical disc (CD or DVD ROM) ready for pressing plant duplication

Flash

  • A Flash presentation is installed on a LAN (Local Area Network) intranet (internal company network)
  • A Flash presentation is installed on a kiosk
  • A Flash presentation is mastered cross platform onto an optical disc (CD or DVD ROM) ready for pressing plant duplication

Director

  • A Director presentation is installed on a LAN (Local Area Network) intranet (internal company network)
  • A Director presentation is installed on a kiosk
  • A Director presentation is mastered cross platform onto an optical disc (CD or DVD ROM) ready for pressing plant duplication
  • A Director presentation is mastered cross platform with audio tracks as an enhanced music CD onto an optical disc ready for pressing plant duplication
  • A Director presentation is mastered cross platform with DVD video as a hybrid DVD video / DVD ROM onto an optical disc ready for pressing plant duplication

DVD video

  • A DVD video project is mastered onto a DVDR disc ready for pressing plant duplication
  • A Director presentation is mastered with DVD video as a hybrid DVD video / DVD ROM onto an optical disc ready for pressing plant duplication

Portable gaming devices & handheld's

More and more portable gaming devices are coming with the ability to run web browsers and multimedia and video projects. You will need to find the exact technical spec required for such projects. We will cover this emerging area as they become more commonplace.

iPod

Apple is fast turing the iPod into a multimedia / player platform. Read Apple's support articles here.

Mobile phones

Mobile phone companies are trying to encourage us to use their hardware to search the internet and access web sites and multimedia content. Many offer software development kits to help web developers create sites that will function well on small screens, but the iPhone has shown that standard sites can work well on mobile devices with large touch screens.

Issues to consider before publishing

Cross platform issues

When you are publishing a project to be viewed on Macs and PCs, such as a cross platform CDROM or a web site, you must make allowances for the differences between them.

Click here for advice on cross platform issues.

Read Me files for disc based projects

Read me files are necessary for projects published to CDROM and DVDROM. Click here to read about Read Me files.

Minimum system requirements

You will have decided what are the minimum end-user system requirements for your project during the planning stages of your project as part of your profiling of end users.

You will need to re-state minimum system requirements on packaging such as boxes and disc inlays, and in Read Me files for projects published to discs.

Click here for more on minimum system requirements.

Testing

Before uploading or burning a project to disc you will need to test your project on as many end-user systems as possible. There are 3 stages for testing ...

  • Alpha testing This is the testing that you do internally within your team.
  • Beta testing This is performed by a group of typical end-users who have had no involvement in developing the project.
  • Debugging This is the process of fixing any problems highlighted after testing.

Publishing a project

Publishing a project to the web

Providing you have considered all the above issues, you can go ahead and upload your site. Here's what you will need to do ...

Buy a domain name

There are a multitude of organisations who do this. The domain name needs to be hosted (a process known as Domain Name Service). I use http://www.ukreg.co.uk. You don't need to use the same company to register your domain name and host your actual site, but it may be easier if you do.

For example, you may wish to register your domain name with a registration company and then upload your web site to the space that came free with your ISP internet connection. Your ISP will be able to give you the FTP remote site log-in details for your web space (which you can enter into the Manage sites>Remote detail boxes in Dreamweaver, for eg), and you can direct surfers there by configuring your web address forwarding control panel that will come with your domain name registration account.

Buy some web space

There are 3 primary ways you can do this ...

  1. Use your free ISP web space allowance (as detailed above).
  2. Buy some space from a hosting company (I use www.fasthosts.co.uk)
  3. Buy an integrated domain name registration and web hosting package

If you want to read about domain name service and hosting in technical depth, click this link.

Specifying a remote site

You will need the ftp address, log-in and password details for your space in order to upload it. These will be supplied by the hosting company. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a popular way to transfer web files to a server and Dreamweaver is FTP enabled.

Dreamweaver's remote site specification window.

Synchronising

Once your site has been uploaded you will be able to use the Synchronise feature of Dreamweaver to ensure that your remote and local sites match exactly. Synchronising checks the files on the local and remote site and ensures that the most recently updated files are copied to the remote server.

Publishing a project to an intranet (or LAN)

There should be little difference here to uploading to a web site but you will need to talk to the network manager, instruct them on any issues concerning how the site works and will be updated, and sort out any remaining technical and password access issues.

Publishing a project to a kiosk

This is the easiest scenario. You will know the target system. However, if you are not going to be the one to maintain it then you must instruct whoever will and provide them with a written set of troubleshooting guidelines.

Publishing a project to a disc

This is the most challenging way to publish a project. You will need to consider a number of cross platform issues if you want your project to run on PCs and Macs, and you will need to allow for differences in end-user systems.

Publishing issues include ...

Director projects

If you are publishing a Director project, click here for comprehensive advice.