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Archive for February, 2011

February 15, 2011

Acrobat Solutions Insights with Todd Gerber: FormsCentral

Tune in to hear insights from Todd Gerber, Group Product Marketing Manager, Acrobat Solutions, as he discusses Adobe FormsCentral, a new cloud-based form creation and distribution service that empowers Knowledge Workers to easily design, collect and analyze data from HTML forms and surveys that look great but don’t take a lot of time to create. 

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February 14, 2011

Start a Forms Revolution…In the Cloud

Introducing online forms from the Acrobat Solutions team

Forms are the life-blood of businesses and organizations. But how does the average person take advantage of the recent technology advances in Web and mobile without IT help to collect information that will move their business forward? Given how important the information you collect from surveys, contracts, or registration forms is, an online solution that lets you quickly create, distribute, collect and analyze data from forms or surveys would be a huge asset.  Well, today we’re announcing a complete service that makes that time-consuming – albeit important – task, well, less time-consuming: Adobe FormsCentral.

FormsCentral is an online forms service that lets you easily design, distribute, collect, and analyze data from HTML forms and surveys that look great but don’t take a lot of time to create. Built by the Acrobat Solutions team with a legacy of PDF forms expertise, we’ve taken our popular desktop forms capabilities and put them online for a simplified end user experience. Now it’s easy to get answers with online forms using Adobe FormsCentral —including questionnaires, contact forms, registration pages, mailing lists and much more. From forms branded with a company logo to multi-page questionnaires, a compelling design can help to improve your results. Now you can focus on the content, without worrying about the code.

Be creative and analytical

Using FormsCentral, anyone can view and customize attractive templates, or create forms and surveys from scratch to capture data. And you don’t need IT involvement. You can quickly analyze data from anywhere in real time while maintaining data security.

You have lots of room for creativity, too. With FormsCentral you can quickly create attractive, professional online forms and surveys using customizable templates or completely from scratch with easy to use design tools. FormsCentral helps you put your best foot forward, while you promote and reinforce your brand.

Adobe FormsCentral makes it easy to distribute your forms and surveys and automate the collection of responses. You control every step in the online experience.

Get social: Collaboration and beyond

With FormsCentral, you can share links via e-mail, Twitter or web pages and recipients can access and complete forms or surveys from any device with a web browser and Internet connection – smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop devices.

Adobe FormsCentral lets you immediately analyze online form and survey results so you can make the right decisions, at the right time for your business or organization. With your form or survey online, data is automatically added to your response table, eliminating the need to consolidate or transcribe the results into a traditional spreadsheet.

Built-in mathematical and statistical formulas let you analyze and work with data online, and export any time using familiar formats. And as you analyze the data, you can keep everyone on the same page with simultaneous access to your form and survey results. You can assign roles and decide each person’s level of access. Collaboration at its best!

Be insightful

We’ve tailored FormsCentral to meet various customer needs. With a free account, you get up to 50 responses and you can begin collecting and reviewing responses immediately. For $14.99 per month, create up to five forms and collect 500 responses per form. For $199 a year, create any unlimited number of forms or surveys and get up to 5,000 responses each.

We think FormsCentral will revolutionize data collection and analysis. So spend less time designing, distributing and collecting info, and spend more time applying those valuable insights, analyzing new data – and driving your business forward.  Speaking of driving, take FormsCentral for a spin and let me know what you think, mgrilli@adobe.com Looking forward to hearing more about forms in your world.

Mark Grilli, Director of Product Marketing, Acrobat Solutions

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February 10, 2011

Our First SCUP Catalog for Acrobat and Reader X is Here

One of the important improvements in Acrobat X and Reader X is that it’s easier to manage updates through support for Microsoft’s System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP).  Using SCUP catalogs and Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), IT managers can manage the deployment of updates across their organization.  Joel Geraci previewed this in his IT Matters blog in November where he also mentioned that our first SCUP catalogs would be available along with our first update.

Earlier this week, with the release of our 10.0.1 update, we included the download locations for our first SCUP catalogs.  You can find them in the release notes.  We’ll also be including them in release notes for updates going forward.

There are separate SCUP catalogs for Acrobat X and Reader X.  You can download from the following URLs:

http://armmf.adobe.com/arm-manifests/win/SCUP/Acrobat10_Catalog.cab

http://armmf.adobe.com/arm-manifests/win/SCUP/Reader10_Catalog.cab

You’ll find instructions for deploying updates using SCUP and SCCM in our Enterprise Administration Guide which is available on our Enterprise Administration page.  

Still hungry for more on SCUP and Acrobat and Reader X for IT? Joel and I will be talking about SCUP and other deployment improvements for Acrobat and Reader X in a free Tech Talk on February 22.  Join us.

 Chris French, Senior Product Manager, Acrobat Solutions

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February 9, 2011

Protecting Your PDF Files: Taking Security to a New Level

From improved application security and more granular controls to tighter operating system integration and improved deployment and administration tools, the recently announced Adobe Acrobat X and Adobe Reader X are engineered with security in mind. The Adobe product security teams continuously test and evolve Acrobat and Reader to handle any new threats as they emerge to help ensure that your data is safe and secure whenever you use Adobe products.

One of the key pieces of this elevated risk-management strategy is a concept called ‘sandboxing’  – introduced in Adobe Reader X in November. Highly respected by security professionals, sandboxing is a method of creating a confined execution environment for running programs with low rights or privileges. Sandboxes protect users’ systems from being harmed by untrusted documents that contain executable code. In the context of Adobe Reader, the untrusted content is any PDF file and the processes it invokes. Adobe Reader X treats all PDF documents as potentially corrupt and confines all processing to the sandbox.

Specifically, to protect you and your organization from malicious code that attempts to use PDF files to write to a computer’s file system, Adobe provides an implementation of sandboxing technology called Protected Mode. Enabled by default whenever you launch Adobe Reader X, Protected Mode helps prevent attackers from installing malware on a user’s system, thereby reducing the risk of potential security threats. Protected Mode limits the level of access granted to the program, safeguarding systems running the Windows operating system from malicious PDF files that might attempt to write to the computer’s file system, delete files, or otherwise modify system information.

Check out this new white paper that dives deep into sandboxing and other security features, and how the Acrobat X family of products takes the security of PDF documents and data to a new level.

Steve Gottwals, Group Product Manager, Adobe Reader

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February 7, 2011

People are Still Talking

A few weeks ago we shared some of the comments we received from you about Acrobat X since we announced the product last October. We continue to hear from many of you about your experiences with Acrobat X and it’s helping you do your jobs better and run your businesses more smoothly. Many of you are giving us high scores for PDF Portfolios and our collaboration features.

For instance, Barkley Court Reporters, the largest independently owned court reporting firm in the U.S. and abroad, since its start, has been a driving force for innovation both internally and externally for its clients. By embracing Acrobat software, Barkley has transformed the quality and interactivity of deposition transcripts, scanned exhibits, and other case materials delivered to clients, which include some of the largest law firms in the U.S.

The company uses Acrobat software to replace inefficient paper-based legal process and uses easy-to-navigate PDF Portfolios to give legal teams rapid access to vital case documents for internal review and presentation. Mason Farmani, COO and Managing Partner, Barkley Court Reporters, says, “We are impressed by the new design and overall enhancements to PDF Portfolio capabilities. The ability to easily apply new layouts and colors and select visual themes can help legal teams to create presentations that standout and better communicate case details.” 

“Acrobat X enables our in-house council to quickly assemble a variety of documents into a PDF Portfolio, delivering an unparalleled platform for collaboration and information sharing,” Farmani adds.

Lawyers at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, one of Delaware’s largest firms, understand how important collaboration is in winning cases. PDF Portfolios play a key role here. “Creating PDF Portfolios in Adobe Acrobat X is fantastic. The software’s interface is clean and engaging, and we can combine all important case documents—from deposition transcripts and discovery notes to research and presentation of evidence—into a single, convenient file ready for courtroom presentation,” says Molly DiBianca, associate attorney.

Bureau Veritas (BV) is a leading global engineering consulting firm that helps clients worldwide adhere to quality, environmental, construction, and health and safety standards. With 900 global offices and more than 400,000 workers that deliver a comprehensive range of services including inspection, testing, auditing, certification, training, and more, sharing information and collaborating smoothly and effectively are critical to successful projects and a positive bottom line. “The PDF Portfolios help us take collaboration to the next level. Consolidating and presenting all kinds of content—from presentations to design drawings and even videos—in a single file will streamline collaborating  with employees and partners, and help to ensure we complete projects on time and under budget,” says Kyle Froling, senior IS support associate.

It’s easy to see how PDF Portfolios benefit businesses like BV or law firms like Young Conaway. But forward-looking educators have embraced the technology, as well. Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), Lincoln, Nebraska, has been recognized by SchoolMatch, an independent ranking service, as one of the most successful school districts in the nation.

At LPS, students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and staff use PDF Portfolios for a number of activities. “PDF Portfolios created with Adobe Acrobat X will benefit students for showcasing work, parents for increased communication about student progress, teachers for online review and grading of student work, counselors for career guidance, and administrators and support staff for communication and planning,” according to Linda Dickeson, Adobe Education Leader & Distance Learning Coordinator at Lincoln Public Schools. LPS plans to use PDF Portfolios to support a more collaborative approach to communication and planning among teachers, career guidance counselors, administrators and support staff PDF, as well.

Advanced redaction and commenting tools in Acrobat X add to its extensive collaboration capabilities. At Young Conaway, for example, legal teams can easily review everyone’s comments in a single file and add their feedback, helping to get everyone on the same page. “If documents contain sensitive client information, then we can quickly and reliably redact details—knowing that we can easily bring back the content for our own files when needed,” adds Young Conaway’s DiBianca.

Consultants at Datastream Connexion, an IT consulting firm serving clients of all sizes, from small, independent firms to large-scale government projects rely on several Acrobat X capabilities: from digital forms and signatures, commenting and markup to PDF Portfolios.  Recently, Datastream Connexion provided support for FoodSHIELD, a grant-funded web-based system for communication, coordination, education, and training among the nation’s food and agriculture sectors. This secure system allows public health and food regulatory officials at the local, state, and federal levels across the U.S. to work together. It also helps communicate food safety information among other government agencies, the private sector, and the public. “The ability to create dynamic, fillable forms in Acrobat X will be essential to the FoodSHIELD program. Many ports in the world that handle food products use PDF forms to process and certify items before entering the system. Acrobat X makes it easier to standardize forms and accelerate processing with digital signatures,” says Eric Hoffman, managing partner, Datastream Connexion.

Hoffman continues: “Using Acrobat X to create PDF Portfolios ushers in a new way of communicating and collaborating with our partners. Instead of exchanging static Microsoft Word documents or sending large emails, we can compile an array of interactive, rich files—drawings, presentations, and videos—into a single, compact file. It enables us to communicate information more effectively and efficiently.”

And that’s how we see it too: communicate information more effectively and efficiently. If you have a story about Acrobat and how it helps you communicate more effectively and efficiently, please send it my way, mgrilli@adobe.com. We’ll love to share it with the Acrobat community.

Mark Grilli, Director of Product Marketing, Acrobat Solutions

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February 2, 2011

Adobe Acrobat TV: Get Lost in “Translation”!

Do you know more than one language? If so, you’d be perfect for the Adobe TV Acrobat Community Translation project!

The project was launched in 2010 and offers participants an opportunity to translate Adobe TV Acrobat videos into any language. The program is already 57 participants strong with more than 128 videos translated.

Adobe TV translators are volunteers and anyone can apply to translate. We’re looking for individuals who can translate Adobe TV Acrobat video content, while maintaining the tone and personality of the original speaker. Once you’re approved, you can translate as many videos as you’d like. 

And the more videos you translate, the better! We’re giving away small prizes like iTunes cards for the great work being produced by our translators. Also, for every video each volunteer works on, he or she earns 50 Adobe TV points. Translators with at least 2,000 Adobe TV points will be featured in the Translator Showcase coming soon.

Signing up is very easy and you can learn more about the translation process here!

Lori DeFurio, Group Product Marketing Manager, Acrobat Solutions

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