Adobe announced a comprehensive XML architecture for document creation, collaboration and process management across the enterprise (see separate announcement, "Adobe Delivers Document Integration Solutions for the Extended Enterprise"). The new XML architecture provides an open framework for extending the value of business processes inside and outside the firewall. Now, businesses can bring people and processes together via XML, while retaining the inherent presentation, security and interactivity of documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF).
Adobe's XML architecture supports end-to-end document processes. Key components include intelligent forms, process automation, data integration, security and publishing for archiving and printing. The architecture will be supported across Adobe's client and server solutions and will integrate Adobe PDF. It will take full advantage of XML for integration and bring continuity to business processes by presenting XML data in PDF for reliably sharing, viewing and interacting through Acrobat(r) 6.0 software or Adobe Reader.
"PDF is a recognized standard for universal access to digital information, and XML provides a powerful mechanism for interchanging data between systems," said Shantanu Narayen, executive vice president, Worldwide Products, Adobe. "By combining these standards, Adobe can provide a set of document integration solutions that promise to redefine how people in large enterprises, government agencies, and financial institutions work with data and documents."
Now, companies can create intelligent and interactive documents that include embedded calculations and business logic to help ensure accurate data collection both on and offline. Once the data has been captured, the process can be managed with the Adobe Workflow Server or other core systems. The architecture also enables dynamic rendering of PDF documents from XML for publishing or archiving with XMP meta data for search and retrieval.
XML has become a critical standard within the enterprise and government agencies because of its ability to provide data utilization for Web services, reporting and interoperability with enterprise systems. With more than half-a-billion copies of the Adobe Reader distributed to date, PDF is already a universal standard for document-based communications. Now, companies that take advantage of Adobe's XML architecture can easily enable people to participate in business processes.
XML combined with the open, cross-platform nature of PDF, means documents can be easily accessed across systems and core business applications for rapid, enterprise-wide deployment. Reliability and policy management features available in Adobe PDF lets businesses control access and integrity of business critical documents across the extended enterprise.
All standard XML tools work directly with Adobe's XML architecture and it builds upon W3C XML standards including Namespaces, XSLT, XPath, XML Schema and XML Digital Signatures for full compatibility with existing applications and XML data streams. Over the coming months, Adobe will deliver a new tool for designing XML and PDF templates and forms; make the XML architecture specification publicly available and deliver an XML toolkit for developers to provide easy access to PDF file content from common scripting languages and Java.