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Adobe Rolls Out Acrobat Elements Server

Adobe Systems Monday introduced Acrobat Elements Server to help enterprises disseminate Portable Document Format (PDF) files across their businesses.

Adobe Elements Server 6.0 lets companies to simply convert and offer PDF documents via the desktop, or server, without additional client software on employees' desktops.

The new software offers businesses a simple tool for converting documents into PDF files, without all of the features contained in Acrobat 6 Standard and Professional editions.

"Through a selection of user interfaces -- the Web for uploading documents, email aliases for sending attachments, or watched folders for drag-and-drop submissions -- the product enables Adobe PDF conversion from a variety of common file types. Using the Web services API, Acrobat Elements Server also can be integrated into more complex document creation and assembly workflows driven by enterprise content management systems," Adobe said in a statement.

Server-based PDF creation is expected to lower both deployment and support costs for IT managers of enterprises systems.

Acrobat Elements Server allows IT administrators to customize differing levels of access to different departments, or employees within a company. For example, one group may need 128-bit encryption or password protection for its PDF files, while another department may not need as high a level of security.

Adobe says its software supports PDF conversion from a variety of different desktop file formats, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Corel WordPerfect and Adobe's own Photoshop image format.

Adobe says Elements Server for Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP Professional are available through its Open Options licensing program and can be bought on a per-user or a per-server basis. Adobe said pricing will begin at $28 per user for a 1,000 user license, or $22,500 per server, and is expected to be shipped by the end of November.

While Adobe created the PDF format, it is not the only company with a server product for converting files into the format. ActivePDF and Enfocus Software offer similar functions to the Acrobat Elements Server product.

Adobe just a week ago made an acquisition to solidify its position as a Web-based forms provider, purchasing the assets of Yellow Dragon, a small maker of tools for XML messaging and metadata software.

Adobe's latest moves follow its decision this past summer to shift to an XML architecture, and offer customers XML form creation software enabling users to deploy form in either PDF, or in an XML Data Package (XDP).

On November 14, Adobe Systems cut its workforce by three percent, or 100 jobs. Adobe has 3,500 employees worldwide. The jobs cuts were primarily at the company's Seattle and Ottawa offices, and its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.