Feeds

Adobe updates Acrobat for the XML era

Version 6.0 bridges proprietary PDF to open XML

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Adobe has melded its Portable Document Format (PDF) and XML, updating its Acrobat family of PDF creation tools to version 6.0 in the process.

The move encourages organisations to use XML to encode their business information which retaining the popular PDF format to ensure that information can, where appropriate, be shared and published.

XML provides a framework for not only formatting documents - HTML, basically - but incorporating meta data - information about the information. That makes it possible to incorporate into the data itself workflows for taking source information and generating documents based upon it, whether for internal or external use, archiving, email or printing.

XML also makes it possible to share those documents outside the organisation by incorporating all the extra information reader software needs to display or print the document. That's exactly what PDF has offered for the last 15 years or so, albeit based on Adobe's proprietary PostScript document formatting language.

Adobe no doubt feels that XML has achieved sufficient momentum in the corporate world - or is about to - that it needs to align these two technologies to prevent the one (XML) ousting the other (PDF).

If all applications saved documents not in their existing, proprietary formats, but in XML, then any app could open any other app's files and display the contents. You might not be able to edit the results - CorelDRAW doesn't have spreadsheet functionality, after all - but you could save yourself having to convert documents to an interchange format first. An interchange format such as... well... PDF.

And should PDF fall out of favour, Adobe is positioning itself as a provider of document creation workflow tools that enable this world of rich XML documents and process automation driven by the use of document standards. Witness the alliances the company today said it had struck with the likes of Documentum, Open Tex, SAP and IBM. In the meantime, while PDF remains the de facto standard for document interchange, Adobe's tools manage the production of PDF files too.

Indeed, the Acrobat family, today upgraded to version 6.0, targets the broad spectrum of document producers. Acrobat Professional includes high-end print production pre-flighting tools, allows the creation of technical drawing-friendly multi-layer documents, and has an electronic forms engine. Collaboration tools, such as document review management and commenting, document encryption (128-bit) and the ability to combine multiple documents into a single PDF, it shares with the mainstream Acrobat Standard edition. Acrobat Elements provides simple native-to-PDF file conversion tools, and is aimed at corporates seeking to bulk license PDF creation technology.

Professional and Standard are expected to ship at the end of May for around $449 and $299, respectively. Users of Acrobat 4.0 and 5.0 can upgrade to Professional for $199 or Standard for $99. Multiple Windows versions are supported, but Mac users are going to have to get with the programme and upgrade to OS X if they want to use Acrobat 6.0 creation tools.

Version 6.0 of the free Acrobat Reader software will be released in the same timeframe, Adobe said. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.