New courses, old courses and Flash

Hi All, 

Recently Adobe has announced that Flash technology will be abandoned in 2020 (https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/07/adobe-flash-update.html). Literally it says that: 

Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

My questions are: 

  1. How it will impact Articulate software and its capabilities? 
  2. What are the recommended steps for legacy content (flash-based)? 
  3. What can be the impact on learning development ? 

Thank you in advance. 

9 Replies
Allison LaMotte

Hi Piotr,

Thanks for sharing that article and reaching out to us here on E-Learning Heroes! 

We've known that Flash has been on its way out for some time, so we've been working hard to make sure we're ready by building tools that'll fit your needs today and in the future.

That's one of the reasons we shifted to the subscription model with Articulate 360. Now fixes, updates and new features are released on a regular, more frequent schedule.

We've invested heavily in HTML5 and you'll find that Storyline 3 and Articulate 360 have the HTML5 first or HTML5 only publishing options. You can read a bit more about our shift towards HTML5 here. 

For your existing courses there are a couple options (more info here):

  • If you included HTML5 as a part of the published output, you can point to that directly over the Flash version and make sure your users are viewing the course in a supported HTML5 browser. 
  • You could look at updating the courses to Storyline or Studio 360 and publish for HTML5 only.

Three years is still a ways away, and a lot can happen in that time! Don't worry, we'll keep you all posted with more information, updates and any specifics related to Articulate and HTML5 as they become available. 

I hope that answers your questions. If not, let me know! :)

David Goodman

We have been deep into Flash conversions also and originally thought that we could do a "conversion" to html5/Articulate but our experience is now different. If you only have the .swf version for your courses, then your first step is to reverse engineer it to gain the .fla files. Once you are at this stage, you need to go back into Flash and start to export all of the file assets, e.g., text, graphics, narration, images etc and placed them into a structured file/folder structure that matches your course. Ex: chapter 1 in the course will have a file system that might look like ch01sc01.txt, ch01sc01.wav, etc. (chapter1, screen 1). From there you can start to lay out your new course and import your file/folder content for each screen. Anything within the Flash interaction must be redeveloped within Storyline/html5 - there is no "conversion". The reality is that you also have an opportunity to do some redesigning and rethinking of your new course since your original Flash course is probably a few years old by now. This process of rebuilding the course will take about 3 weeks or so. If anyone has a better approach, please tell me since this is an ongoing  effort and any more effective means would be appreciated. PS - if you have the original storyboard for the Flash course, you can at least copy/paste from that doc into Storyline.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi David,

Great news for you today - Storyline 3 is officially Flash-free! You'll now see an HTML5 preview in the player properties windows. It no longer relies on Flash. And that means Storyline 3 is officially Flash-free. You can still publish Flash output, but the Flash Player isn’t required to use Storyline 3. Learn more.

The same is true for Storyline 360 as of Update 32, and you can read more about it here.