I missed the first 30 minutes of the webcast due to a conflicting meeting. Here are the notes I took from 30 minutes in.
[UPDATE: The slide presentation, including the bits that I missed, is available here.]
Adobe recommends that Grants.gov users utilize Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0.9 (not later versions), which has been tested with Grants.gov. An update to the Reader will be made available in October or November• .
Forms conversion: The contractor (Information Analysis Inc.) has tried to retain the look and feel of the PureEdge forms. However, there are some differences.
• Page navigation (form or page): In Adobe, a package of forms are stitched into one complete form, rather than navigating between individual forms (as in PureEdge).
• Mandatory fields: PureEdge highlighted mandatory fields in yellow. Adobe also does this, and outlines them with a red border, too.
• Help tips and error messages: Tips appear as mouse hovers
• Date fields (calendar or specific formats): Adobe provides a visual calendar through which dates are entered.
• Error handling for numeric fields: If the field is an integer, it truncates the number at the first comma.
• Overflow fields: Adobe forms indicate that there’s more data in a particular field by putting a “+” at the end of the field.
• Attachments: To maintain security, binary documents must be closed prior to attaching them to forms. Certain filetypes are also not allowed as attachments.
Douglas Prevelidge of Adobe talked about Adobe LiveCycle product suite in use at Grants.gov.
Michael Pellegrino presented on Grants.gov outreach and training activities. If you’d like Grants.gov to present at your organization, fill out the Outreach Request form on the Grants.gov site.
The next webcast will be on October 17, 2007, with more details to come. The webcast can be viewed on the Grants.gov site, here, tomorrow.
Questions were then received and answered.
• Q: When will agencies start to use Adobe? A: Agencies have been testing. For this fiscal year, Grants.gov recommends continuing use of PureEdge.
• Q: Query about the messagebox in the Adobe Reader. A: The messagebox is an information box that is presented to users to let them know that a field is required. On grant applications, which are quite large, it would be nice to turn off the messageboxes. Adobe is looking into how this may be done.
• Q: Will agencies post opportunities in both Adobe and PureEdge? A: No, it will be one or the other.
• Q: Will applicants be required to submit PDF attachments only? A: No, Grants.gov will continue to accept various filetypes. However, agencies may impose their own attachment requirements, so applicants should review funding opportunity application instructions carefully.
• Q: Will any training be given to either the applicants or grantors for the new system? A: The hope is, training won’t be needed. However, people can request training (via the form linked above), if they wish, or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Grantors should contact their Grants.gov representative to make arrangements for federal agencies.
• Q: Can we use Vista in the new Adobe format and will we ever be able to use it in PureEdge? A: Grants.gov is talking to IBM about Vista compatibility. Adobe is compatible with Vista.
• Q: When will the SF424R&R forms, including subaward budget etc., be available? A: Soon, as soon as
• Q: What agencies are now using the Adobe forms? Is Adobe fully deployed in full submission form or only for agencies to make new forms? A: Grants.gov is pursuing a phased transition. All 147 PureEdge forms are converted into Adobe format. These forms are also in form families. As testing is done, the forms are tested individually and in the form families. These will be phased into production. 60 are out there right now, and all will be available in September. They are available now to see differences. Agencies are waiting until all forms are in production, and others are testing the forms that are available now.
• Q: As the application package is being prepared, is it likely that someone may use one of the unapproved Adobe products to edit it? Q: <Answer was unclear as intent of the question was also unclear.>
Q: If the free Acrobat Reader is the software, how are forms saved, since the free Reader doesn’t allow saving? A: The PDF applications being downloaded have been enabled with the LiveCycle reader extension. So, these forms can be saved offline because they are made available through Grants.gov.
Q: On the FAQ page currently posted on Grants.gov, in response to thw question what platforms can U use, OSX 10.2.8 and 10.3 were listed. Does the mean that Adobe Reader will NOT work on the new version of the OSX? A: Adobe will stay in step with new releases of the OS. The Adobe representative didn’t know the exact situation today but the latest version of OSX will be supported soon.
Other questions are welcome to email@example.com.