Adobe has rolled out two products to offer companies greater control over who can view sensitive documents.
Adobe Document Center and Adobe LifeCycle Policy Server 7.2 provide companies with the ability to specify which users can access a certain document, and the level of permitted access.
The concept, known as enterprise rights management, goes beyond simply requiring a password to view a file. The software lets companies control the level of user access to a file even after it has been distributed.
Adobe Document Center is targeted at smaller businesses, and individuals who often need to share documents via email. The service supports Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word and Excel.
The software will allow users to set controls on documents that restrict who can view the file, specify when access will be revoked, and trace where a document has gone or who has viewed it.
Patrice Lagrange, director of hosted services solutions and strategy at Adobe, claimed that the process requires no encoding on the user's part.
The user selects what permissions will be set on a file from within the application. The service is built in to Acrobat 8 and is available as a plug-in for Word and Excel. The file is then uploaded to an ADC server and distributed through email.
Adobe Document Center will be available in the US as a free trial until the end of 2006, after which the service will cost $19.95 per month. Adobe expects to launch the service in the UK, France, and Germany in early 2007.
Adobe LifeCycle Policy Server 7.2 has been updated to include support for Word, Excel and CAD files.
The product lets enterprises apply permissions that limit who can view files, what they can do with them, and which parts of a project each user can view.
John Landwehr, director of security solutions and strategy at Adobe, explained that the ability to set different controls in CAD files is especially important.
CAD programs are often used by engineers and architects that may have higher security for certain components in a design.
Landwehr used the design of an airplane as an example. "LifeCycle Policy Server can protect the whole airplane, but can provide different policies on different parts such as the landing gear or the wings," he said.
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