Adobe LiveCycle ES
Strengths: Full-feature document lifecycle workflow and management
Weaknesses: Documentation needs to be streamlined
Verdict: Solid product, but the documentation could use a bit of tweaking to be perfect
Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management is a client-server-based digital rights management product that integrates with most existing infrastructure, including directory systems, operating systems and databases. LiveCycle allows organisations to create enforcement and control policies on a document basis to prevent printing, editing or copying for file types including PDF, Microsoft Office and CAD. It can also provide dynamic watermarking for extra protection, to add additional information such as username, IP address or even policy name.
Embedded metadata in files allows the files to link back to policies on the server, with a centrally managed interface, so users and/or administrators can change or edit policies in real-time to remove or add users and groups or revoke access to documents.
Installation and deployment is straightforward. The installation is guided by a setup wizard that installs the server software as well as the application server. At the end of installation, a second wizard is launched for configuration and deployment. The product applications are also simple and intuitive to use.
LiveCycle uses an application and web server to host documents, giving flexibility and transparency to the end user. Administrators can easily create document workflows using the included tools and provide complete document security.
Documentation comprises a number of PDF guides, including installation and administration guides. All manuals were well-organised and included clear configuration instructions. The only problem we found with the documentation is that there were just too many different PDFs. We would like to see it consolidated for better ease of searching.
Adobe offers an online knowledgebase as a free technical resource. Enterprise-level support can be obtained through various contracts at a price of 20 per cent of the licence fee. This level includes 24/7 phone and email technical support.
With a price starting at £78.44 per recipient, this product can become expensive. However, we do find it to be good value for the money, based on its ability to control the entire document management process.