Rights Management Apps Help Control Content

Systems from Authentica, Liquid Machines, Microsoft and Adobe allow companies to dictate how content is viewed and transferred.

As companies continue to grapple with regulatory compliance issues—as well as with their corporate-governance initiatives—rights management platforms can help garner control of content inside and outside the corporate firewall.

Through high-level policies and individual permission restrictions, a good enterprise-class rights management system makes it possible for a business to control how documents, e-mails and even content in server-based applications are viewed and transferred. Rights management applications also allow companies to determine how content can be edited, printed, forwarded or even captured as a screen shot.

Businesses should be realistic about the capabilities of an enterprise rights management system. They shouldnt expect total control over document usage and access, because anyone determined enough to get around one of these systems will be able to do so. However, rights management applications such as the four eWEEK Labs reviews in this package do provide important audit trails, and they can prevent accidental or careless transmission of sensitive data.

Two of the applications we reviewed are dedicated, broadly applicable rights management platforms: Authentica Inc.s Active Rights Management and Liquid Machines Inc.s Document Control 5.0. These products will appeal to companies that are interested in deploying rights controls fully across the enterprise. Both of these products work across multiple formats and support multiple content-creation tools, tie easily into a variety of company infrastructures, and offer robust management and reporting capabilities.

The other two products we tested, LiveCycle Policy Server 7.01 and Microsoft Corp.s Windows Rights Management Services Service Pack 1 are targeted at Abobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft environments, respectively.

LiveCycle Policy Server is useful for companies interested solely in controlling PDF content, and Windows Rights Management Services SP1 will be a fit at Microsoft-centric companies that need some rights management capabilities but are not looking to deploy rights management fully across the enterprise.

Each of the products tested uses a slightly different pricing model, but they end up costing about the same when all is said and done, depending on the usual variables. Companies should expect to pay $30,000 to upward of six figures to deploy one of these systems.

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Click here to read the full review of Active Rights Management.

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Click here to read the full review of Document Control 5.0.

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Click here to read the full review of Windows Rights Management Services SP1.

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Click here to read the full review of LiveCycle Policy Server 7.01.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.

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