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Who will blink first: desktop vs cloud-based authoring tool

July 18, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Caitlyn Bell, Independent Technology Author

Cloud Who will blink first: desktop vs cloud based authoring tool

The world is progressing into a technologically advanced era and workplaces all around it are rummaging to find the best-suited technology for their employees.

One of the most important aspects of this process is to select the most sophisticated and effective training methodologies for one’s employees. And the biggest tool for this is eLearning and eLearning authoring tools.

As the research for selecting the best e-learning software progresses, managers are often  puzzled with the choice between the hosting types of these tools which can be divided into two categories,


  • Cloud-based authoring tools that are accessed via the internet because they are hosted over an external server.


  • Desktop Authoring tools that are installed on desktops and may or may not require the internet for operation.

Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For you to make an informed decision, you should be aware of both. Here are the factors you should keep in mind before making a purchase.

Ease of use

While buying any software, crucial criteria of selection should be the user interface of the tool for the people who are going to use it. Generally, Cloud eLearning Authoring Tools have a high learning curve as they have more complex features and overall not very user-friendly.

However, there are very powerful tools which are loaded with advanced functionalities. Tools like Lectora Inspire and Adobe Captivate are some of the popular desktop authoring tools which require training or experience for people to be able to enjoy it to its maximum potential.

On the other hand, cloud-based authoring tools are easier to learn and work with. Platforms like Udutu and Claro allow eLearning course developers to create good content instantly due to their straightforward UI.

Usage Flexibility

Most of the desktop authoring tools come with the ability of offline access. This poses an issue of late updates in course content. In other words, whenever there is a change made in the training course, it gets saved locally and has to be manually updated or shared.

Whereas, cloud-based servers allow real-time updates in course content. In fact, irrespective of geography, even if an SME, sitting at one end of the world, decides to update the content with newer facts, those changes will reflect immediately in every system where that course is being studied.

Another fact about the flexibility of these two kinds of Authoring tools is that while many desktop solutions may not work with all categories and brands of hardware and operating systems, cloud-based solutions do not constitute this problem.

The complexity of the course

If you want a leveled, sophisticated eLearning course which consists of multiple complex functionalities games and interactive quizzes and good graphics, no tools can beat Desktop authoring tools. They help the developers in creating professional courses with elaborate templates.

Whereas, cloud-based authoring tools are more widely used for creating simpler and straightforward courses at a faster rate. However, with the rapidly advancing technology in the world, this might be set to change soon.

The ability of collaborative authoring

When it comes to the conventional desktop authoring tools, every eLearning course developer is on their own. While it is understandable that the content required for higher learning may require the expertise of multiple SMEs, desktop tools generally do not have the provision for parallel co-authoring.

On the other hand, cloud-based authoring tools allow multiple people to collaborate, interact and co-create a course without any hassle. This not only builds on the expertise of the course but also saves time.


If you have figured out the cost limitations and the internet network stability in your facility, selecting between both these options should only be a matter of priorities and necessities.

If you feel that one of these platforms is better than the other, we would love to know your take on it. Please let us know in the comments. 



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