Adobe Automates Image Production Tasks

Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 reduces the time and cost of creating and updating images.

Adobe Systems Inc. Monday announced the newest version of its graphics and imaging server software, Adobe Graphics Server 2.0.

The new software, formerly known as Adobe AlterCast, reduces the time and cost of creating and updating images by automating image production tasks, and integrates easily with asset management and e-commerce applications, said Allister Lundberg, Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 product manager at the San Jose, Calif., company.

Lundberg said the new version could be used in both Web and cross-media workflows, while meeting the requirements of asset management and prepress systems. He said new capabilities in Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 include robust support for Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF); conversion of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files to Adobe PDF; enhanced support for image metadata and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 native files and engines; CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) image manipulation; and clipping path support.

In addition, the product features integration with other Adobe applications and file formats to enable businesses with complex workflows, graphically rich Web sites and print materials to set up a process for creating, automating and delivering customized images in multiple formats, Lundberg said.

"Companies need to repurpose images to many print channels or Web channels," Lundberg said. "Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 automates the creation and repurposing of images for print and the Web."

He said the product also easily integrates with asset management and content management systems, such as those from Documentum Inc. and MediaBin Inc.

Businesses can use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive and InDesign software to create new templates that can be automatically updated by Adobe Graphics Server to enhance visual communications and branding efforts, Lundberg said.

"In our business, it is vital for the quality of an image to live up to the quality of our product and brand," said Robert Blau, director of e-business technology for CHANEL Inc., in New York, said in a statement. "With Adobe Graphics Server, our creative team produces a single master image which is reformatted by the Graphics Server to the various sizes and weights we require, while maintaining the same visual quality as the original image. This greatly benefits the production of our brand Web site, our syndicated e-commerce site, as well as Web advertising. With Adobe Graphics Server, weve reduced the time, effort and cost of producing these images, freeing our team for more complex projects."

Lundberg said Adobe Graphics Server runs on major application servers from BEA Systems Inc., IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp.

"Customers can use the product in the development environment they currently work in," he said. "They can call on the graphics server via plug-ins, or it can be accessed via a Web service via a Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP] request."

Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 will be available by the end of the year and will sell for about $7,500 per CPU, Lundberg said. An upgrade from Adobe AlterCast to Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 will run about $2,250 per CPU, and a developer license is half the cost of the regular price, or $3,750 per CPU.

In addition, Adobe Graphics Server 2.0 will be sold with the Documentums Documentum Media Services and the MediaBin Brand Asset Management technology as part of OEM agreements.