New Adobe Software Bolsters Document Security, Rights Management

The LiveCycle software family includes new services for document control and security--Document Security Server and Adobe Policy Server--as well as a group of services for process management: Adobe Form Manager, Adobe Form Server, Adobe Barcoded Paper Forms Solution, Adobe Reader Extensions Server and Adobe Designer.

Document Security Server, available now at $50,000 per CPU, applies server-side encryption to documents that will last throughout their life. That offering, which will work with Policy Server is designed to enable users to apply variable levels of control to documents and regulate access to them, even after they exit the firewall. Policy Server, which will is due out later this year, enables logic to be embedded in a document so that when recipients are authenticated when they click on a file to view it, and the document checks back in to make sure it hasn't been outdated or revoked since it was issued, said Shawn Cadeau, director of product marketing at Adobe's Intelligent Document Business Unit, San Jose, Calif.

The key to access is embedded in the file, so users with Acrobat Reader can interact with the document or view it, depending on the assigned rights. Controls can be assigned granularly, with some fields locked down and others dynamic. Users also can save the document to the desktop to work with it offline.

In digital rights management (DRM), Adobe must contend with capabilities Microsoft is building into its Windows Server 2003 and Office 2003. Solution providers say they see opportunity in DRM offerings.

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"DRM is important because it ... puts information control into the hands of the author so he can ensure his work product is viewable by as many or as few people as he wants," said Ken Winell, CEO of Econium, a Totowa, N.J., solution provider.