Adobe Announces Document Center, Releases LiveCycle Policy Server

Adobe plans to launch Adobe Document Center in 2007, and has released Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 in an effort to help business pros protect, share and track documents.

Adobe Systems announced in a statement Nov. 15 the release of Adobe Document Center, a new Web-based service that will allow business users to safeguard, share and trace the usage of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents.

Adobe Document Center is designed for business professionals who share or publish business-, time- or version-sensitive documents; the new Web-based service allows business professionals to approve and revoke access to documents that are sent inside or outside the firewall, and it also gives users the ability to assess actions such as opening, adding comments to or printing those documents.

"With Adobe Document Center, were putting the control and protection of sensitive information within the reach of individuals in businesses of all sizes," said Tom Hale, senior vice president of the Knowledge Worker Business Unit at San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe, in a company statement.

With Adobe Document Center, business users will be able to create PDF files with Adobe Acrobat 8, which allows users to interact with the loaded, important information that is contained in PDF documents, and forms, while also being able to set security settings to those documents from within Acrobat.

"Business users will be able to encrypt documents for any Internet user, regardless of the distribution mechanism [Web, e-mail or FTP], without having to grant or share a password," said Patrice Lagrange, director of hosted services marketing and product management for Adobe.

This new Web-based service also lets business users protect Microsoft Word and Excel 2003 files by installing a lightweight plug-in that lets users apply security settings from those applications.

It will also let users in early 2007 convert files to PDF while being able to set security and control settings directly from Adobe Document Center.

In order for a user to view the documents that are controlled through the Adobe Document Center, the user will need free Adobe Reader 8 software to get into PDF files and the lightweight plug-in to access Word and Excel files.

Once granted access to view the documents, the user will be given an Adobe ID provided by the Adobe Document Center to gain access to the files.

"We believe that Acrobat users in general and other knowledge workers in industries like professional services and manufacturing will find the service most compelling as it extends the way they control their intellectual property and work on products across organizations," Lagrange said.

Adobe Document Center is expected to be available in early 2007 for a special six-month introductory subscription price of $19.99 a month or $199 a year per user. Pricing after the introductory period will be announced at a later date.

Adobe also announced Nov. 15 the release of Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2, which lets businesses protect and control documents from the creation of a document to the distribution, collaboration, archiving and destruction of that document.

Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 allows organizations to protect a variety of financial, government, engineering documents or other files across multiple formats such as Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Dassault Systemes CATIA V5 files.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about Microsofts video that compares Microsofts Visual Studio 2005 to Adobes Dreamweaver 8.

Steve Gottwals, senior manager of policy server and security server for Adobe, said Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 "provides a mechanism to prevent intellectual property leakage out of the organization, helps support regulatory compliance by protecting privacy data and provides real return on investments as organizations move from paper-based to electronic-based processes."

With the Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2, businesses can revise or revoke usage rights despite where the information is saved or allocated, while also being able to keep track of document activity captured in an audit trail, which allows businesses to perform sensitive business electronically.

"Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 delivers the flexibility to exchange sensitive information in the source formats in which theyre created and used while also allowing business to accelerate the pace of innovation and reduce time-to-market by allowing collaboration to occur earlier in the process, with greater assurances that proprietary information is more effectively protected against intentional or accidental disclosure," said David Mendels, senior vice president of the Enterprise and Developer Business Unit at Adobe, in a company statement.

Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 for CATIA allows engineering professionals to set document-level access and usage controls to Dassault Systems CATIA V5R16 engineering and design documents, which will let engineering professionals to protect valuable workflows such as supply chain collaboration and external version control.

Adobe LiveCycle Policy is available immediately; pricing starts at $100 per user.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on image editing and Web publishing tools.