Questions & Answers for Existing Customers on the New FrontFace (Version 4)
How does the new FrontFace 4 relate to FrontFace for Public Displays and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks?
FrontFace version 4 is a complete redesign, replacing our products FrontFace for Public Displays (for digital signage) and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks (for interactive touch-screen systems). FrontFace can be used to implement both classic (non-interactive) digital signage applications as well as interactive touchscreen applications or even mixed forms of both.
Will FrontFace for Public Displays and FrontFace for Touch Kiosks be discontinued?
No (not yet!). The existing products will be continued for existing customers. But only security updates and bug fixes will be supplied. However, new features are not added. Nevertheless, we highly recommend to upgrade to the new FrontFace 4.
Can the new FrontFace be installed parallel to FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks?
Yes. If you e.g. are using an existing installation and would like to try out the new FrontFace 4, you can download the trial version and install it on the same computer as your existing FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks installation. Only for the player or kiosk PC(s), you must make sure that, if you use the auto-start feature, you do not start the player apps of the old and the new FrontFace at the same time (this also leads to no error, but of course does not make sense!). However, please note that your existing projects are not compatible with the new version and need to be created again.
How can I upgrade from FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks to the new FrontFace 4?
Customers who are eligible to receive updates and support can swap their existing FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks licenses with FrontFace 4 licenses at any time, free of charge.
However, FrontFace 4 cannot be installed as an "update" over an existing FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks installation. Since there have been many changes in the system architecture and data structures, you must first uninstall the old FrontFace installation and then reinstall the new FrontFace. Unfortunately, old projects (playlists, touch menus) are not compatible with the new version and need to be rebuilt.
To upgrade your FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks license to a FrontFace 4 license, please visit the customer account on our Web site.
What changes from the perspective of a FrontFace for Public Displays user regarding the new FrontFace 4?
Basically, the two products are very similar. You will see that you can easily cope with the new FrontFace without further explanation. There are only a few minor terminology changes that you should be aware of:
- The "Content Update Folder" is now called "Publishing Folder" or "Publishing Target".
- The FrontFace Player application is now called the "FrontFace Player App" and the "Display Assistant" is now called "FrontFace Assistant".
- It is also important to mention that your FrontFace for Public Displays projects cannot be used directly in the new FrontFace 4. You need to recreate your playlists and schedules in the new product. The supported file formats for content such as images, videos, PDFs or Print2Screen are of course fully supported, so that a migration to the new version is only a little manual work but requires no recreating of any content.
- If you have created your own page or screen layouts, you must also rebuild those. However, this does not require the XAML language as before. Instead, FrontFace 4 provides you with a comfortable, visual layout editor that lets you build your layouts conveniently using drag & drop.
- If you use the touch links feature of FrontFace for Public Displays, you should not (yet) upgrade. This feature will be added as part of the integration of the touch features in FrontFace 4 later this year. Alternatively, you can also use the Touch Menu feature of FrontFace 4.1.
What changes from the perspective of a FrontFace for Touch Kiosks user regarding the new FrontFace 4?
As with FrontFace for Touch Kiosks, FrontFace 4 (since version 4.1) allows you to create interactive touch menus that users can use on touch-screen terminals to consume multimedia content such as pictures, videos, web pages or documents. The following new features are available in FrontFace 4:
- Existing FrontFace for Touch Kiosks projects cannot be used directly in the new FrontFace 4. You need to recreate your menus in the new product. The supported file formats for content such as images, videos, PDFs or Print2Screen are of course fully supported, so that a migration to the new version is only a little manual work but requires no recreating of any content.
- The appearance and size of menu buttons and their design can be adjusted more comprehensively.
- Both the menu layout and the content display layout can be customized freely. In this way, e.g. a scrolling news ticker or other functions can be integrated in the menu.
- It is now possible to integrate multiple content elements (media objects) per menu button. Page layouts can be used to split up the screen whereas using multiple pages allows the integration of multi-page content (such as slideshows). Multi-page content can either be played automatically or manually by the user.
- Using the "Screen Saver" event source, a normal FrontFace playlist can be set up as a multimedia screen saver, which will become active if the terminal has not been interactively used for a defined period of time.
- There is now a powerful on-screen keyboard that also allows text input (e.g on web pages) on systems with no physical keyboard.
- The Web Page media object has been enhanced and can thus be used as a full-fledged, interactive web browser.
- Content can optionally be protected with a password or access can be restricted using a RFID or barcode scanner.
- Buttons in the menus, as well as pages of a playlist, can be set visible or invisible for a given time window or can be hidden completely.
- Touch menus can also be multilingual: In addition to a master language, any number of additional languages can be created. Each language represents a completely independent menu tree, so that language versions can be designed differently.