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Graphics Pre-Loader

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Now your web-based ToolBook training can run LIGHTENING FAST from ANY server ANYWHERE in the world!

The Problem:  The size of your graphics, use of objects on the page, and use of the Simulation widget coupled with the user's connection speed could really drag down the learning process and frustrate your user's.  That's because each time a learner goes from one web-based page of your course to another, everything on that page has to be "served" from the web-server to the local PC in order to be displayed in the browser.  Now, once that page has been downloaded to the local computer, it is stored in the temporary internet cache and providing it is still in the local cache it will display quickly the next time the user goes to that page.  So doesn't it just make sense to load all of the pages and graphics into the local cache BEFORE the learner starts the training?  YOU BET IT DOES!

The Solution:  The ToolBook Pre-Loader will solve the problem of slow loading pages and graphics by loading them into your end-user's local cache before the training starts.  This means that internet connection speed is no longer an issue!

Click here to learn why Pre-Loading is important. 

What is the ToolBook Pre-Loader?

It is a Widget that you simply drag from the catalog and drop onto the first page of your ToolBook project to add page and graphics pre-loading functionality to your project.  The ToolBook Pre-Loader adds a web-based interface to your program that enables your user's to Pre-Load graphics and pages with the touch of a button or you can automatically start the pre-loading when your program launches - it is your choice. 

Click here to see the ToolBook Pre-Loader in action on a real project.

Why Do I Need the ToolBook Pre-Loader?

The most common way to add Pre-Load functionality to ToolBook projects is to put all of the graphics in the program on one page and have the user navigate to that page and wait for the page to render all of the graphics.  There are a couple of problems with this approach:

  1. It takes a lot of time to add all of those graphics to a page and if they change at all, you have to remember to add the new graphics to that pre-load page.
  2. You aren't actually Pre-Loading all of the graphics, because this approach must be done pre-export.  That means that all of the ToolBook objects that get converted into .gifs in the export process will not get Pre-Loaded.
  3. This approach will only pre-load the graphics and NOT the actual web pages themselves.

The ToolBook Pre-Loader works after the export is completed and and before the preview dialog so it can pre-load all of the .gifs and .jpgs in the program along with all of the other graphics created from ToolBook objects without the hassle of physically putting all of the graphics onto a separate page in your project.  In addition, the ToolBook Pre-Loader will optionally pre-load all of the html pages for your project - sometimes those pages alone can take 5 or more seconds to load.  This is time for EACH PAGE to load since each page is handled as a completely new page with ToolBook 2004 SP3.  So, not only is the ToolBook Pre-Loader easier to use, but it does a more complete and professional job for you :-) 

How Does the ToolBook Pre-Loader Work During Development?

The ToolBook Pre-Loader is easy to use during development, all you need to do is drag the Widget from the Catalog and drop it onto the first page of your ToolBook project.  The Extended Properties Editor will open an allow you to enter the details and configure the Pre-Loader.  The Pre-Loader ships with default values, however, it also provides the ability to save default details.  This means that after you have configured your first Pre-Loader and saved the data then all other ToolBook projects will use these defaults.
If your ToolBook project has already been exported then the Pre-Loader will automatically update the export files, this means that you don't even need to re-export your books to take advantage of Pre-Loading immediately:-)  Please refer to the user guide for details on the files that are updated - briefly there are very few files that you need to upload to the server, again saving a lot of time and effort.

How Does the ToolBook Pre-Loader Work For your User's?

You have several options for launching Pre-Load functionality in your ToolBook projects:

  1. You can automatically launch the Pre-Loading web interface when your program is launched.
  2. You can automatically launch the Ask Pre-Loading web interface when your program is launched, this will give your user's the option to Pre-Load or not, and/or....
  3. You can add Pre-Load functionality to you program by adding a button with an "On click.." event that will invoke the ToolBook Pre-Loader.

Regardless of the approach you take, adding Pre-Load functionality will take less than five minutes.

Who Developed the ToolBook Pre-Loader?

I am the creator of the ToolBook Pre-Loader and its predecessor the Graphics Pre-Loader.  I originally designed the Graphics Pre-Loader for a customer who had dozens of books that required Pre-Load functionality.  Each book had between 150 to 300 pages and each page had an average of 3 graphics.  The most common techniques for Pre-Loading graphics were not sufficient.  However, the Graphics Pre-Loader solved the pre-load challenge handily.  With the release of ToolBook 2004 SP3, page creation and loading has be completely changed to overcome some problems with earlier versions of ToolBook DHTML. Unfortunately this improvement means that each ToolBook page including the background gets loaded on every page.  One of my customers realized that their simulations were loading very slowly after upgrading to SP3 - even though they were using the Graphics Pre-Loader.  This problem was solved by creating a Pre-Loader that not only Pre-Loads the graphics, but it also Pre-Loads the html pages.

ToolBook Pre-Loader Features

  • Extremely easy and fast to use.

  • Extremely easy to Install.

  • Online user guide. (Click here)

  • Don't worry about adding Pre-Load functionality until after you have exported your project.

    • Add Pre-Load functionality to projects that you have already exported.

  • Pre-Load all graphics and pages for the project including .gifs generated for various ToolBook objects during the export process.

  • Fully documented and works for both Instructor and Assistant.

  • Comes with one full year of support and upgrades.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

Specifications

The ToolBook Pre-Loader is available for ToolBook version 2004 and higher.

ToolBook Pre-Loader™ Price

$249 per Developer LicenseQuantity Discounts are available.

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