Adobe Policy Server Sets PDF Access Rights

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.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick 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.

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John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s eWEEK.com since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...