Adobe Systems Incorporated, has introduced the Adobe Acrobat 6.0 product line, an upgrade and expansion of the company's cornerstone software application and a component of its solutions for integrating documents into business processes. The new Acrobat 6.0 family enables power users, workgroups, and business professionals to create, share, review, and archive files in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The new Acrobat 6.0 family—Acrobat 6.0 Professional, Acrobat 6.0 Standard and Acrobat Elements—offers different levels of functionality to address specific customer needs. Acrobat 6.0 Professional helps business, creative, and engineering professionals who work with complex, graphically rich layouts to improve the process of document exchange, review, and archive. Acrobat 6.0 Standard enables workgroups to simplify document reviews using tools and a new, task-based interface. Acrobat Elements is a volume-license-only product that allows enterprises to place Adobe PDF creation capability on every desktop, enabling reliable document distribution. The company also announced Adobe Reader 6.0 software (expected to be available in by the end of May 2003), an upgrade and re-naming of the widely distributed, free Acrobat Reader. Adobe Reader, which supports numerous desktop and mobile device platforms, is the definitive application for viewing, interacting with and printing Adobe PDF content ranging from business documents and forms to Photoshop Album slide shows, eBooks, and embedded multimedia. Adobe Reader will be available free of charge as a download from Adobe.com by the end of May 2003.
Adobe has also announced an XML architecture for document creation, collaboration, and process management across the enterprise. The new XML architecture provides an open framework for extending the value of business processes inside and outside the firewall. Adobe's XML architecture supports end-to-end document processes. Key components include intelligent forms, process automation, data integration, security, and publishing for archiving and printing. The architecture will be supported across Adobe's client and server solutions and will integrate Adobe PDF. It will take full advantage of XML for integration and bring continuity to business processes by presenting XML data in PDF for reliably sharing, viewing, and interacting through Acrobat 6.0 software or Adobe Reader. XML combined with the open, cross-platform nature of PDF, means documents can be accessed across systems and core business applications for deployment. Reliability and policy management features available in Adobe PDF let businesses control access and integrity of business critical documents across the extended enterprise. All standard XML tools work directly with Adobe's XML architecture and it builds upon W3C XML standards including Namespaces, XSLT, XPath, XML Schema and XML Digital Signatures for full compatibility with existing applications and XML data streams. Over the coming months, Adobe plans to deliver a new tool for designing XML and PDF templates and forms; make the XML architecture specification publicly available, and deliver an XML toolkit for developers to provide easy access to PDF file content from common scripting languages and Java.
Adobe is also working with IBM to deliver integrated document solutions based on Adobe Form Solutions and IBM DB2 Content Manager. Initially aimed at the government market, the new solutions will integrate capabilities for intelligent, Web-based forms from Adobe with the robust infrastructure of IBM DB2 Content Manager, giving organizations the ability to automate their existing paper-based processes.