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LCCS Alternatives

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

Hi all,

You may have seen an email message earlier today from me describing our plans to shutdown the LCCS service on December 31st.    I would like to use this thread for the community to discuss alternatives.   There isn't a one-size fits all solution so I think it's useful to talk about a couple of different options.  You may discover others on your own so please post them here.  To get the discussion started, here's some things I've looked at.

  • Open Source.  We have looked at this as an option and it's simply not viable for a number of reasons.   There are dependancies on third party and Adobe code that are extremely difficult to separate out.   Some of this code runs other services at Adobe that will continue to operate.
  • Flash Media Server.  LCCS is an application built on top of FMS.   I've spoken with some customers that are planning to build the LCCS features they need on top of an FMS server.   Having spoken with the FMS product manager, I can say that FMS continues to have a roadmap and will be getting investment.   We will continue to sell it into the future.   I realize this option may not be viable for some because of the associated expense around licensing and hosting your own FMS server - which brings us to FMS hosting
  • FMS hosting services:  http://www.influxis.com/ does FMS hosting.  There may be others that provide this service as well.   Please post others if you know of any. 

Also if you need further information from Adobe, I''ll do my best to dig it up.

Thanks,

Jeff

101 Replies
phaseblue
Level 3
Level 3

@mattcom - I also would be very interested in this, if it can be done.  Although I have a strong background in IT, I am pretty much a novice when it comes to setting up/managing servers, let alone something like this.  I was reading the BBB FAQ page and they recommended having a dedicated server with quad core X3450 cpu and 4GB memory.  And, they also "recommend that you use BBB for on line classes totaling twenty five (25) users or less.  This may be one class of 25 users, 2 x 12, 5 x 5, etc."  Well, that solution is unworkable!

@BarryC16 - I agree that rebuilding the components could be a formidable task, but what other option do we have.  I only need the basic components (video chat, whiteboard, notes), so if these can be ported over to to work on another server/backend without too much difficulty then why not?  Again, the alternatives are either lacking in functionality, or they cost too much.

I have looked at TokBox and it seems like a great tool for video chat - lot's of documentation, a good API, and several libraries.  However, it's far from a comprehensive solution.

I'm just hoping that Jeff and the Adobe management come back with something that will help ease our worries.

Matt

BARRYC16
Level 3
Level 3

@phaseblue - I understand your point. Each of are using different subsets of LCCS that are unavailable anywhere else and we have built businesses on the belief that this platform would be around long enough for those businesses to mature to the point where we could invest in building those components ourselves. Our best hope is that Adobe helps us by extending the shutdown date by at least an extra year. In your case, just like mine... the XMPP layer of LCCS is vital for these collaborative components. Tokbox do not have that yet, but they are looking into adding at least the basic messagin layer. Whiteboarding is a little bit more complex.

Personally, I am going to wait to see what Adobe comes up with and then try to build my own messaging system on top of Red5 and also see what Tokbox provides over the next few months. My gut feeling is that Adobe will do something once they realize that the announced shutdown date will mean quite a few of us being put out of business.

sebpatu2000
Level 2
Level 2

Hi Jeff,

Your mail said that a 1000$ free usage was granted, and no PPU account will be charged, but what happens if our business get an usage above 1000$ ?

About the 3 solutions proposed:

  • Open Source. I read the following in another old thread "and in any case the application has large ties with our controlling application server, that in turn has some ties with other Adobe services so it would need a lot of cleanup to make it work standalone anyway". But what exactly this amount of work is? Can anyone else than Adobe help to do the clean up? Is Adobe evaluating this possibility to clean up the server side code to get LCCS work in stand alone? What will be the consequences regarding the number of users allowed per room? It seems to mean that open sourcing and for example giving it Apache, is possible regarding the client side AS3 code, why not doing it at least?
  • Flash Media Server. "LCCS is an application built on top of FMS. I've spoken with some customers that are planning to build the LCCS features they need on top of an FMS server. " would it be possible to share it? the main issue with this solution is that we need to start from scratch, very hard solution for small businesses!
  • FMS hosting services: http://www.influxis.com/ does FMS hosting. Would it be possible to make a deal with influxis to make them help to get the work done to make LCCS work as standalone? influxis has a lot to gain in term of new customers. You could even make a deal with them to allow them to use your third party Adobes Licenced code for server side, at least to make LCCS work as before for one more year or so, giving much more time to find a better solution and getting rid of Adobes license at the end. Would it be possible?

Thanks

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

Sebpatu 2000,

The $1000/month limit was chosen based on historical usage and we determined it to be a safe level for all with room to grow.   If an increase is required we can do that but all indicators are that it won't be.   I think you have nicely enumerated the options we have to consider right now.  However, I can't offer up any code that someone else has built on top of FMS.   That's really up to them.   Another hosting provider or Open Source are the possible options.  I don't have much to report on these right now, but I'll provide an update when i do.

Jeff

sebpatu2000
Level 2
Level 2

hi Jeff, thanks a lot for answering.

Its more clear about 1000$ limit for me now

But what exactly is the amount of work to clean up the server side code? Can anyone else than Adobe help to do the clean up? Is Adobe evaluating this possibility to clean up the server side code to get LCCS work in stand alone or is it out of the scope?

I would also be very interested to get a working solution hosted in amazon Web Services FMS instances, as it is highly scalable.

Last question, which i understand is difficult for you, but would you have a previous time scale of when we can expect a more clear idea of what can be done and what can't?

You can understand that if it takes 6 month, we cant wait and be stuck with only 3 month to find another solution.

Thanks

Seb

phaseblue
Level 3
Level 3

@BarryC16,  I completely agree with you.  I do believe that Jeff is trying to find a solution that is in all of our best interests and we should just wait and see what they come up with.

@Sebpatu2000  I had previously written Jeff an email and described exactly what you said in point 3 of your solutions.  Adobe could charge influxis.com a small licensing fee for the LCCS backend code.  It would be a win-win for all parties involved.

Matt

randell_brownin
Level 1
Level 1

@ Jeff Stanier

It has been over month, any news on the LCCS service shutdown and viable alternatives? My company is in the same situation as everyone else that built a product around LCCS, it is no small task to re-write these parts for any new LCCS solution. Our company just found out recently of the news so we have had a late start on trying to switch to an alternate solution. We need a viable solution for us and have little or no impact on our customer base, what is Adobe doing to help in this matter? I can tell you for a fact if a viable solution is not found, this will have a huge impact on public relations of adobe. No company will want to ever do any business with a company that abandons its customers like the way Adobe has abandoned us. If it does not get resolved reasonably and to our satisfaction I can assure you Adobe will be in court for the next 3 years and I will never again base any software product on their technology or tools ever again! Adobe actions in this matter is unprecedented and shameful!

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

Hi Randell,

You beat me to it.  I was going to post an update today since I had a couple of inquiries about the status of things.   I don't have much to report at this point other than discussions are ongoing and taking longer than I expected.  I still think however that we'll be able to come to an agreement with a hosting partner to take over the service.   I will provide more info as soon as I can but it would be premature to do so at this point,

Thanks for you continued patience.

Jeff

BARRYC16
Level 3
Level 3

Thanks for the update Jeff,

Your efforts to make this happen are VERY MUCH appreciated.

- Barry

adam_k
Level 4
Level 4

agreed, thank you very much jeff, the transparency is greatly appreciated.

randell_brownin
Level 1
Level 1

Jeff,

thank you for the response. I hope Adobe will be more tranparent in this matter. Time is very important and there is going to be a point of no return on this issue. You have people either waiting on Adobe to provide an alternative host before the December deadline or you have others trying to re-write parts of their product. So Adobe needs to be very open in this process and let us know a timeline when an alternative hosting provide can be available for us to access or if not at all.

The reason why:

1. So people can not waiste development time re-writing code and focus on only the changes needed for using the alternate hosting provider and still work on enhancements to their product.

2. if a hosting provider will not be in time of the deadline, adobe should extend the deadline.

3. if hosting is out of the question then the people waiting for adobe to provide an alternative hosting solution can then begin re-writing parts with an alternative to LCCS

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

Randell,

I'll be as transparent as I can.   However, this involves a negotiation and legal contract so I can't disclose details until both parties are ready.

Jeff

mattcom
Level 2
Level 2

Just had a co-worker point out this possible OpenSource alternative that claims it can handle streaming video, both RTMP and RTMPS http://www.fluorinefx.com/

I haven't had the opportunity to explore it yet.  Has anyone had any experience with it?

sebpatu2000
Level 2
Level 2

http://www.fluorinefx.com/ sounds very promising.

Anyone tried it?

It would be great to also share the hosting solutions too.

For example if i need to use BlazeDS and Red5 in place of LCCS, how should i host the services easely? As one of the main interests of LCCS was the "no server side worries".

showphone
Level 1
Level 1

Hi Community Members,

Even after I heard of discontinuation plans for lccs I kept my nose to the grindstone and completed my lccs app.  Good thing I did, that thing works great, no latency, no echo and of course screen sharing is a great feature.  So, it's good to hear that a successor to continue lccs may be possible;  I've used Influxis and if it was to be those guys, they are great.

 

To the point; I've spent the last 3 weeks getting VideoIO,

http://myprojectguide.org/p/flash-videoio/index.html to work and after teaching myself how to do the PythonPath and downloading Cygwin to open Python scripts on a windows machine, that program looks like it's going to work great too.  Developing from where VideoIO leaves you I think will allow you to make great communication apps.  The VideoIO developer has a companion project called VideoCity that works exactly like lccs rooms so if it's rooms you want that's a possibility too.

I havn't spend much time on FVNC but it could turn out to be a viable flash screen share app because it's suppose to tunnel behind routers, which has always been the limitation to VNC.  There's light at the end of the tunnel.

EMelville
Level 2
Level 2

Is there any new news? Will this be moved to Influxis?

showphone
Level 1
Level 1

I see someone has followed up on my mention of Influxis.  While I think they would be a good fit for carrying on lccs and they are great guys, I have no inside information that such an occurance is likely to happen.  Of course we all hope someone comes forward to maintain lccs and the sooner the better.

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

I can't comment on who the partner might be at this point.   We are still in active discussions and I'll share more info just as soon as i can.

sebpatu2000
Level 2
Level 2

Hi Jeff, good to ear that discussions are going on.

But would you have a timeframe (at least a rough one).

Do you think that in 1 month from now, we should have definitive answer that would be positive or negative?

Thanks.

I know its hard question, but as Adobe fixed the 9 month deadline, time is running up for us.

ps: Thats why Adobe shouldhave engaged those discussions BEFORE announcing a deadline.

I hope they learned about it, but sadly im not so sure.

Adobe_ejs
Level 4
Level 4

Hi all,

We are getting very close to a completed deal with a hosting partner to take over the LCCS service.   I had hoped to make an announcement this week as I am going on vacation for the next two weeks, but we are not quite there yet.   I have arranged for an announcement to be sent out once the deal closes. In parallel with the work on the agreement we have been working with this partner to prepare them to take over the service.  The plan is for them to have their service up and running by October 1 to ensure a smooth transition.   We should have more news soon.  Thanks for your continued patience.

Jeff

adam_k
Level 4
Level 4

this is good news jeff. thank you very much for keeping us updated.