Streaming Multimedia Format
Plan-B technology is a screencast format delivering animated software demonstrations over the Internet, easily embeded in HTML pages. It records the use of a PC application. The recoded screencast is then edited for timing and annotated with callout bubbles to explain the action. The result is served by a standard web server and streamed to the Plan-B player a standard Java™ applet on the consumer's PC.
The Technology Foundation
All components of Plan-B technolgy are implemented in Java Version 2™, Sun,s portable Virtual Machine. Through the use of this standardized technology platform, Plan-B screencasts can be played in all modern Operating Systems and Internet Browsers.
The proprietary screencast format is especially developed for the demands of producing instructional screencasts for software applications. It is designed to adjust the timing in an editing process. This means the duration of any sceen can be set, to fit the amount of explanation needed. This makes production very simple, not advanced planning or production script required. The compression of Plan-B technology is adapted to the special demands of PC applications, so that typically 1 minute of screencast does fit in less than 100 Kilobytes (at VGA or XGA resolution). This allows to view the screencast even over a 56K dial-up modem line. Plan-B supports Internet-Explorer 6.0, Netscape 6.0 and Mozilla 1.4 or newer. Plan-B requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.2.0 or newer.
The client does run the Plan-B player a simple Java™ applet, suppported by all modern Internet browsers, such as
- Internet-Explorer 6.0 (or newer),
- Netscape 6.0 (or newer),
- Mozilla 1.4 (or newer).
It requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.2.0 or newer, which is in most cases already installed with the browser. The Computer should have a video card with 16K colors and minimum 800x600 pixel screen resolution. It also needs a 56K Internet connection to stream the screencasts from the web. DSL or Cable modem do increase performance slightly.
The web-server serving the Plan-B screencasts, can be any standard web server, like
- Apache 1.3.9 (or newer),
- Internet Information Services (IIS),
It does not need any modification or configuration, specific for Plan-B technology. The screencasts are uploaded in a directory, together with the HTML files.
The Plan-B recorder and Plan-B Editor require a PC with minimum 1.5 Ghz
Pentium IV or equivalent. It also requires the Java Runtime Environement
release 1.4.0 or higher.
Embedding the Plan-B screencast into a HTML page is simple. Just paste a template in the code and replace the codebase. We provide the template with each screencast.
Java™ is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. or other countries.