Acrobat add-on will handle PKI, digital signatures

Acrobat add-on will handle PKI, digital signatures

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format, widely used at agencies for cross-platform document viewing, will get digital signature capability early next year.

Sarah Rosenbaum, group product marketing manager at Adobe Systems Inc., said the Adobe Business Tools adjunct to Acrobat 4.0 will sell for about $100 per seat for Microsoft Windows 9x, Windows NT and Mac OS.

It will have built-in connections to certificate authority programs from Entrust Technologies Inc. of Plano, Texas, and Verisign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. The Business Tools signatures also will work with other public-key infrastructure tools that comply with the international X.509 digital certificate standard, she said.

Missing ingredient

'People who process and collaborate with digital signatures have not been as well served [by Acrobat] as the viewers and creators of documents,' Rosenbaum said. She said Acrobat Reader has about 110 million users.

Business Tools can capture and download fully formatted Web pages as .pdf documents for offline markup, highlighting, annotating, underlining and archiving. Workgroup users that do not need full PKI authority can still self-sign a .pdf document and later roll it back to check the status at various points in the approval process.

Business Tools has search capability and can attach .pdf files to the user's own e-mail templates. Rosenbaum said a Table Picker feature will copy and paste tables such as spreadsheets between .pdf files without destroying their tabular structure.

More information will appear later on Adobe's Web site, at www.adobe.com.

Contact Adobe's federal office at 703-883-2800.

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