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Vene, Vidi, Adobe!

Adobe takes it to the MAX

Flexible Business Model
Digital Editions will integrate with a new, hosted content authorization service to protect publisher's rights while maintaining superior ease-of-use for consumers. This new Adobe Digital Editions Protection Service, based on Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server, will allow publishers to choose from a flexible array of business models, with user-ID-based authorization that provides an improved user experience over competitive DRM models. Digital Editions also supports Adobe Content Server DRM, delivering full compatibility with existing protected PDF content and infrastructure.

Adobe notes that Digital Editions is designed to support a wide range of business models including public domain texts (open content), advertising-supported content, library lending and other borrowing/subscription models, and the purchase of eBooks and digital content.

Digital Editions, it says, will integrate with a new hosted content authorization service to protect publisher's rights while maintaining ease-of-use for consumers. This new Adobe Digital Editions Protection Service, based on LiveCycle Policy Server, will allow publishers to choose from a flexible array of business models, with user-ID-based authorization that provides an improved user experience over competitive DRM models.

The Digital Editions download is less than 3MB (including Adobe Flash Player 9) and typically takes less than two minutes to install over a broadband connection. With an RIA service model, users will have access to the latest version of Digital Editions, so they can take advantage of new features and security enhancements.

A Developer Renaissance
In breakout sessions with Adobe's SVP and chief software architect Kevin Lynch we learned more about the company's long-term vision for technology diversity.

"We're starting to see productivity applications being developed inside the browser (such as Google spreadsheets) - and Adobe is actively working to bridge the gap between the Web and the desktop here," said Lynch. "So now I think we're going to see a renaissance in application development as this new breed of rich online applications emerges," he added.

I put it to Lynch that, while this is all great news, Adobe must surely be aware of the inherent security and privacy issues that are thrown up as people start to expose increasing amounts of personal and corporate data online in this form. Lynch agreed that this is the case, but that Adobe has a dedicated security team working to address these issues with monthly security updates and the company is embracing security standards such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer technology) to resolve, or at least corral, these problems where possible.

Adobe Extends Support to Macs and Linux
Adobe also announced it is extending its toolset for designing and deploying a new class of rich Internet applications to the Apple Macintosh platform. The pre-release version of Adobe Flex Builder 2 for the Mac enables developers on the Macintosh platform to build RIAs - which Adobe defines as "next-generation Web applications that combine the benefits of desktop software with the reach of the Web to create more engaging user experiences." With support for both Intel and PowerPC hardware, pre-release versions of Flex Builder 2 for the Mac and the Flex Builder 2 Eclipse Plug-in for the Mac are now publicly available at Adobe Labs.

Adobe also recently introduced the public beta of the Flash Player 9 for Linux, extending the reach of rich Flex applications to Linux desktops. The combination of the Flex 2 SDK and the Flash Player 9 for Linux comprises a fully supported, free rich Internet application development platform. With an update to the free Flex 2 SDK that includes the debug version of the Flash Player for Linux, the company will enable developers to develop, debug and deploy Flex software-based applications entirely on Linux. The Flex 2 SDK update is expected to be available in early January.

"With Flex 2, Adobe has listened to the needs of the development community by providing a solid framework for rapidly developing applications deployable to a majority of users," said Chafic Kazoun, chief software architect at Atellis and author of Programming Flex 2. "Now with Flex Builder for the Mac, developers are able not only to deploy applications across platforms, but also to develop Flex applications with a modern IDE on their platform of choice."

Out-of-the-Box
Adobe Flex 2 software includes dozens of out-of-the-box components for UI, data, and security to help developers build applications faster. The growing Flex developer community can now build on this foundation by creating custom components and posting them on the Flex Component Exchange. Adobe also is working with leading commercial component developers to deliver components that will help further expand the Flex ecosystem.

"We are well on our way to our goal of attaining one million Flex developers," said Jeff Whatcott, senior director of product marketing for Adobe's Enterprise and Developer Business Unit. "By extending our support to the Mac and Linux platforms, we are showing our dedication to helping developers everywhere join in on the next wave of Web application development."

The Flex 2 product line provides developers with a comprehensive, integrated set of tools and technology for fast, end-to-end development of rich and innovative Web applications. With free versions of the Flex 2 SDK and Flex Data Services 2 Express, a single-CPU production license that provides powerful message-based data management services, developers have everything they need to build and deploy complete rich Internet applications with no software licensing costs. Flex Builder 2, a powerful Eclipse-based IDE, includes a library of built-in controls and services for application development and UI design. Flex Data Services 2 empowers developers to create data-intensive applications that improve application performance, real-time data synchronization and collaboration capabilities.

Genuine Excitement
In summary, this was one of the best developer events I have attended in the last three years. The management of the keynotes, the quality of the breakouts, the access to spokespeople and - judging by the comments of most of the developers I spoke to - the quality of the sessions and classes that were available allowed the total package to set an enviable standard. There was genuine excitement among the attendees and that really came through.

Fast Facts

  • If you search Google for file types and extensions (.pdf filetype:pdf) you get 1,530 million hits
  • Over a billion people in China & India will never use a PC to connect to the Web so development of rich Internet experiences on "devices" will be fundamental to the success of emerging technologies.
  • Flash Player and Adobe Reader software is now installed on more than 700 million Internet-connected desktops and mobile devices - creating a versatile foundation for capturing and holding audiences' attention through more active and effective applications and media.
  • All the top video sites on the Web such as YouTube are using Flash Player to deliver their video experiences.
Developer resources

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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