Adobe Policy Server Sets PDF Access Rights

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2005-01-05 Print this article Print

Adobe's LiveCycle Policy Server gives corporate document managers sophisticated tools for setting who has the right to open, print or modify PDF files.

Adobe Systems Inc. Tuesday announced the availability of the Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server, which company officials say provides the strongest and most versatile security controls Adobe has ever delivered for determining who can open or modify PDF documents. The LiveCycle Policy Server is tightly integrated with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 and the Adobe Reader 7.0, which Adobe also officially released to the market this week. Adobe first announced the policy server last February at the Demo 2004 technology conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., and followed through with its promise to deliver the product by the end of the year, said John Landwehr, group manager for security solutions and strategy with Adobe, in San Jose, Calif.
The LiveCycle Policy Server is a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application that runs on most widely used platforms, including Windows, Linux and the Macintosh. Pricing for the server starts at $50,000 per CPU.
Adobe developed the Livecycle Policy Server because, for quite a while, customers have been asking for a digital rights management system that gives them sophisticated tools to manage document access, whether the document is inside or outside corporate firewalls, Landwehr said. Click here to read about what is new in Acrobat 7.0. They want to access these documents using the same user authentication passwords used to gain access to corporate computer systems or virtual private networks, Landwehr said. One of the key capabilities of the policy server is "that you can now use your existing authentication scheme whether its based on an LDAP infrastructure or Active Directory or even a developer interface" to other existing authentication mechanisms, he said. Customers "are looking for more sophisticated ways to enforce risk management and regulatory policies," said Eric Skinner, vice president of secure data solutions with Adobe partner Entrust Inc. "Adobes new LiveCycle Policy Server fills an important need for persistent protection of enterprise information, and is very complementary to Entrusts security solutions," Skinner said. The policy server can specify employees singly by name, group, department or reporting structures according to the need of the moment, according to Landwehr. The server obtains this information instantly from the LDAP directory, he said. Next Page: Leasing digital documents.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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