Enterprise Deployment of the Adobe Acrobat 8 Family

Adobe Acrobat 8 poses new opportunities—and some new challenges—for the IT staff of large organizations which need to deploy Acrobat to many users.

Adobe offers a new, completely re-written installation tool called the Adobe Customization Wizard for Acrobat 8.0. This tool allows you to create a Windows Installer Transform file (.MST) to modify Microsoft Installer files (.MSI).

On March 9, 2007, Adobe announced that we are discontinuing the Adobe License Manager . I consider this a win for customers!

This article covers two issues:

  • I’ve already deployed Acrobat with ALM or I need non-ALM licenses to install. What do I do?
  • How do I customize the installation of Adobe Acrobat?

I’ve included several links throughout this article which offer a deeper dive.

For the record, I’m not a deployment expert, so I cannot respond to technical questions about this topic.

Read on to learn more about common deployment questions…

Cleaning up after ALM

If you have obtained Acrobat license media before the "ALM is Dead" announcement, but haven’t deployed it yet, you should follow the link here to obtain new non-ALM licenses.

If you’ve already deployed Acrobat using ALM, you should follow one of the links below:

Deployed using an in-house ALM license server
Deployed using an Adobe-hosted ALM license server

How do I get to my Adobe licenses and software?
Adobe license customers can go to the Adobe Licensing Website to access their licenses and download software. This password protected site contains confidential licensing order history and order tracking for Adobe license purchases. If you don’t remember your log-in and password, you can call Contact Adobe’s Volume Licensing Support at 800-443-8158.

More information about ALM can be found here on the Adobe website. 

Enterprise deployment of 8.0 using the Adobe Customization Wizard

The Adobe Customization Wizard for Acrobat 8.0 is a free tool to customize your deployment of Acrobat 8.0.

You might also want to review the Adobe Customization Wizard Datasheet and a more detailed technical note.

The Adobe Customization Wizard for Acrobat 8.0 to creates Microsoft Transform (MST) files to modify MSI files. Note that Adobe doesn’t support manual modification of MSI files.

The Adobe Customization Wizard 8.x is compatible with the following Acrobat 8.x products:

  • Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8
  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional
  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard
  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Elements (when available)
  • Adobe Reader 8

To build your own MSI customized for your firm, take the following steps:

  1. Install the Adobe Customization Wizard 8 and build a transform for your environment. Depending on your application to push out applications/utilities, you may want to build a package that copies the following files:
    - Abcpy.ini
    - AcroRead.msi
    - AcroRead.mst (the transform you create with the wizard)
    - Data1.cab
    - Setup.exe
    - setup.ini
    The wizard will generate a setup.ini file along with the transform file.
  2. Run "setup.exe" and which will run the transform you built. 

Additional Resources

Acrobat 8.0 Troubleshooting Guide

Adobe Annual Support Plans

Acrobat Deployment Tools

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