Adobe takes Acrobat Elements to the server

Adobe takes Acrobat Elements to the server

Adobe Systems has announced Acrobat Elements Server 6.0, a product aimed at enterprises that removes the need for desktop software to create Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Acrobat Elements Server 6.0 follows the introduction of Acrobat Elements 6.0 for desktops in April. Both products aim to offer businesses a simple tool to convert documents into PDF files, without the bells and whistles offered in Acrobat 6 Standard or Professional editions.

Adobe Elements products support encryption and password protection on PDF files. The software lack features such as review-management and commenting tools or the ability to combine documents from multiple applications into a single PDF file. Those are available in Acrobat 6 Standard and Professional.

Adobe is happy with the take-up of Acrobat Elements 6.0 but is adding the server product for those companies that don't want to install software on users' computers.

"IT managers came to us and said they did not want to install the product on the desktop," worldwide evangelist at Adobe, Jonathan Knowles, said

The desktop product allows users to easily convert files in several popular formats by dragging and dropping them on an icon. When working from a Microsoft application, they could convert files with one click, Adobe said.

Acrobat Elements Server supports different ways in which IT administrators can allow users to convert a file into PDF. It offers a converter in a Web browser, can receive files through email and can be associated with network folders and convert files saved to that folder, according to Adobe.

Administrators could preset settings, such as encryption and quality, for the PDF file output for different email aliases or network folders and offer options on the Web interface, Adobe said.

Buyers as well as other software makers could also link their own applications to the Acrobat Elements server by programming to the application programming interface (API), Adobe said.

Adobe may be the inventor of PDF, but it is not the first with a server product to convert files into the format. ActivePDF, Enfocus and others already sell products that perform tasks similar to Adobe's new Elements Server.

Adobe's Knowles dismissed the competition.

"Adobe invented the technology; nobody does it better," he said.

Acrobat Elements Server 6.0 costs $US28 per user with a 1000-user minimum.

It could also be purchased on a per-server license for $US22,500 per server, Adobe said.

The per-user license allows for installation on multiple servers. The first release of the product is scheduled to be available November 26.

It would support only English and be sold worldwide, except in Japan, China and South Korea, because there was no support yet for so-called double-byte file names, Knowles said.

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