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Tools to Help Save Time Article


Marketing Article

Tools to Help Save Time
by Sharon Housley NotePage, Inc.

Distributing and supporting software can be extremely time consuming. Be sure to consider these two innovative tools that can streamline software distribution and technical support issues.

PAD - Save time in software submissions!
Download sites are a source of excellent referrals and can drive significant traffic to web sites but the submission process can be very time consuming. As a result, the Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP) developed PAD. PAD (Portable Application Description) is the newest, and easiest way to submit software to download sites.

PAD is a formatted XML, which contains all the information about the software developer, program, and relevant program information that should be included with applications or libraries. Place the PAD file on your web site and submit the url of the PAD file location to the download sites. The download sites poll the PAD location and extract the information required to add the file to the download site. A list of sites that support PAD submissions can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/softwaresites.html .

Once the software is listed on a PAD enabled download sites, a number of them will poll the PAD file location and automatically update database information if there have been any PAD file changes.

PAD is a free and literally save hours of time in software submissions. The download sites extract the information in the PAD file and in many cases, immediately create an html page. Additional information and a free fully functional copy of PADgen can be downloaded from http://www.asp -shareware.org/pad additional software sites are expected to adopt the PAD standard in the very near future.

Help them help themselves.
ViewletBuilder lets you create animated online demos of how software works. Viewlets can be created to explain how specific features are used, or how technical issues can be resolved. Its an effective tool for marketing and teaching software.

Screen shots are captured and mini-movies can be created to enhance employee training, or to market products more effectively. It is extremely easy to implement training and product demos that teach how the software is utilized.

Users can easily resolve technical issues instantly, by browsing viewlet libraries and viewing solutions. Web browsers must be java enabled to utilize viewlets, but no additional plug-ins are required and the file size is small, so slow modems are not a problem.

Additional information on viewlets and a free download is available from http://www.qarbon.com

Resources:
Download PAD - http://www.asp-sharware.org/pad
Download ViewBuilder - http://www.qarbon.com/

Examples of a PAD file
WebGate - http://www.notepage.net/pad/webgate.xml

Different Examples of Extrapolated PAD Files on Software Sites
http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/featured.html http://www.softwarevault.com/viewapp.asp?app=communications/notepager_32.xml

Examples of Viewlets ( you will need a java enabled browser to view these)
NotePage, Inc. - http://www.notepage.net/viewlets.htm (click on examples)
Thornsoft.com - http://www.clipmate.com/LeeLou/index.asp (click on examples)

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