Adobe's New Service Helps Track Documents

Adobe Document Center enables knowledge workers to better protect, share and track the usage of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents.


Adobe Systems has introduced Adobe Document Center, a new hosted service that enables knowledge workers to better protect, share and track the usage of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents. This new web-based service gives business professionals the power to grant and dynamically revoke access to documents distributed inside or outside the firewall, as well as audit actions such as opening, adding comments to, or printing those documents.

"With Adobe Document Center, we're putting the control and protection of sensitive information within the reach of individuals in businesses of all sizes", said Tom Hale, senior vice president, Knowledge Worker Business Unit at Adobe.

Users can customize access settings, closely audit usage of their documents, and retain control over the files regardless of where they travel. Users also have the ability to set expiration dates on documents, supersede an older version once a new version is distributed, and revoke access after distribution. They even have the ability to track who has received the documents and what recipients have done, or attempted to do, with the files.

Business professionals are able to add persistent protection and dynamic controls to files in several ways with Adobe Document Center. They can create PDF files with Adobe Acrobat 8 software and, through a new connection to the service, apply security settings to those documents from within Acrobat. To protect Microsoft Word and Excel 2003 files, users simply install a lightweight plug-in that enables them to apply dynamic security settings directly from those applications, as well. Soon, users will also have the ability to convert files to PDF and apply security and control settings to them directly from Adobe Document Center.

To view and interact with documents controlled through Adobe Document Center, recipients need free Adobe Reader 8 software to access PDF files and the same lightweight plug-in to access Word and Excel files. If an author has chosen to grant document access to select individuals only, recipients will use an Adobe ID—created via the Adobe Document Center site—to gain access to the files. An Adobe ID enables recipients to authenticate themselves with a password only known to them each time they view a document and helps ensure they are using an email address that matches the address indicated by the author.

Available now through the end of the current calendar year, Adobe is offering a free trial of Adobe Document Center for policy protecting an unlimited number of documents. The commercial release of Adobe Document Center is expected to be available in English in early calendar 2007 for a special six-month introductory subscription price of US$19.99/month, or US$199/year per user. The introductory subscription price enables users to protect up to five documents for a period of one year. Pricing after the introductory period will be announced at a later date.

Additional language versions are expected in calendar 2007. The ability to convert files to PDF and apply security and control settings to them directly from Adobe Document Center is expected to be available in early 2007.

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