24th Apr 2008

DigitallyU Portfolio Software

So this may come off sounding like a bit of an advertisement, but this is one of the major projects I have worked on, so I thought I would mention it.

DigitallyU is the project where I got my start in Flash. We actually started creating it in Flash MX and the final product ended up being produced in Flash 8 (3 years of development in total). The major components of the system are XML, ActionScript, and MDM Script (the scripting language for ZINC, a program that allowed manipulation of the local file system long before Adobe AIR) .

The original idea started out as a method of allowing prospective college students to create multimedia  based portfolios for college admissions. This grew into the idea of portfolios for professionals and as people tested those versions for us they suggested that a generic version for building family media collections would be nice as well. Hence, we ended up with 3 versions; Scholarship, Professional and Scrapbook (the generic version).

The basic methodology of the program is that you select media files (images, sounds, videos and documents) from you local hard drive. For each portfolio the editor tracks the location of the selected files. When you are ready to publish your portfolio you choose from 40 or so templates designed to read exported output. Exporting (aka publishing) a portfolio assembles the selected files along with your selected template into a predefined web ready folder structure that can then be uploaded to the web, or put on some external media device.

The major difference between the version is how much we predefined what sections are in a portfolio. Scholarship includes predefined sections such as SAT scores, Professional mimics a resume and Scrapbook is a free for all. So we were not out simply to provide a generic portfolio tool, but also took into account the final audiences for the portfolios.

Currently, the software is in use at American University, Rutgers, University and the Worchester Preparatory School. We have been told that several students have taken their portfolios to admissions interviews and the response has been very good.

If you would like to play with it, trial version are available on the website http://www.digiallyu.com .

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