Policy Server Hosted Service – Now Available in Beta.

For a limited time, paid subscribers of the Create Adobe PDF Online service have access to a beta preview of Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server running as a hosted service for enterprise rights management on PDF files.

Create Adobe PDF Online is an existing production service from Adobe Systems that converts many popular file formats into the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) without installing additional desktop software. Subscribers can use their web browser to upload a native file for conversion or configure a Windows network printer driver to convert directly within native desktop applications. This subscription service is available in the U.S. and Canada for US$9.99/month or US$99.99/year.

Paid subscribers can experience the new hosted Policy Server Beta to restrict who can open their published PDF documents and what those authorized recipients can do with those documents – using only email addresses and the free cross-platform Adobe Reader 7.0. Both the subscribing author as well as all invited document recipients simply register their email address as an Adobe ID to receive the benefits of persistent confidentiality and privacy for their documents.

In the protected document’s usage policy, the subscribing author can specify authorized recipients by their registered email address and restrict printing, copy/paste, and offline access. The policy can optionally specify an expiration date for a document as either fixed (e.g. December 31, 2006) or relative (e.g. 30 days from publishing) after which the document is restricted from opening. Because the policies are dynamically maintained for a document, recipients and permissions can be changed by the author after the document is published. This also allows the author to immediately revoke a document they previously published, no matter how many copies where made or where they are stored. This is a convenient way to provide persistent version control of documents independent of storage and transport mechanisms.

To protect a document, authors can easily upload a PDF into the service using their web browser. While not required, authors with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 or later can more easily protect documents using the Secure application toolbar button in their Acrobat desktop application, customized to display policies from the hosted service account.

Here are some demonstration documents authorized for Adobe ID subscribers:
- APS_Beta_Demo.pdf - with a protected FAQ describing the expansion of Policy Server to native Office and CAD formats

- APS_Beta_Expired.pdf - sample document that has expired

- APS_Beta_Revoked.pdf - sample document that was immediately revoked

To view these sample protected documents, you must have a registered AdobeID. A paid subscription is not required.

To create protected documents in this beta service, you must have a Create PDF Online paid subscription, as trial accounts are not eligible. For more information, here is the FAQ.