API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Rich DeFabritus, Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Elizabeth White

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Adobe Flex: Article

Adobe Releases Significantly Enhanced LiveCycle ES

Adobe Expands LiveCycle Enterprise Suite

Adobe has released a substantially enhanced BPM/RIA solution. While LiveCycle suite isn't new software, its popularity increased in June of 2007 when the entire suite started to run on the same J2EE server and the RIA components were introduced. Today, over 5,000 enterprises use LiveCycle in financial services, government, manufacturing, and other verticals.

Flex developers will enjoy easier integration with this powerful BPM software. Combine the power of Flex/AIR on the front tier with workflow and strong document generation support (PDF), and you’ll get a killer enterprise suite that can bring to the next level such applications as account opening, insurance quotes, applications for benefits, supplier bids on RFQ, filing any approval process, filing corporate taxes, and more.

LiveCycle ES not only simplifies the job of business analysts, but  it also helps to retain customers who are often frustrated with the overall experience of working with some of today’s Web applications that repeatedly require them to enter the same information on different screens. With LiveCycle ES, customers can expect a personalized experience, especially in collaboration scenarios that require document processing done by several parties.

Imagine a car accident claim application that you need to fill out online with your insurance provider. You drag and drop cars on the intersection using Flex-supported RIA, mark the damaged parts of the vehicle body, and a professionally looking  auto-generated claim report immediately goes to processing through the rest of the workflow.  Yes, all Flex forms are automatically embedded in the PDF, which is sent to the server’s workflow, and the customer goes back to convenient Flash/Flex/AIR views if need be.

Think of financial reports created by Wall Street analysts who, in addition to specific performance data, need to generate a number of legal and marketing documents that meet corporate standards and compliance requirements. This document is created by a number of people collaboratively. It really becomes a dynamic template, not just a static doc. With the new LiveCycle ES such (digitally signed) documents are generated in minutes.

The entire process can be laid out by the business analysts using friendly LiveCycle UI tools, and then developer start from there.

Today’s LiveCycle ES Update 1 adds new components: LiveCycle Content Services ES and LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES, significant product enhancements for improved developer and end-user experience, and expanded protection including extended formats for Rights Management, and new Adobe Solution Accelerators (deployable software code and the best practice methodologies accelerating development).

The full text of today’s press release is included below.

Adobe Expands LiveCycle Enterprise Suite                  

Suite Now Includes Content Services and New Solution Accelerators to Expedite Deployment of Enterprise Applications

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 17, 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® LiveCycle™ Enterprise Suite (ES) Update 1, a significant enhancement to the LiveCycle ES technology platform that helps businesses and governments more effectively engage with customers, citizens, and partners inside and outside the organization. LiveCycle ES Update 1 adds new components for rapid development of content-rich applications, automated conversion of two- and three-dimensional CAD design data to PDF and new Adobe® Solution Accelerators to help customers expedite deployment of enterprise applications.

LiveCycle ES Update 1 adds Adobe LiveCycle Content Services ES, a fully integrated set of content services and Adobe LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES, a solution for automating the creation and assembly of PDF documents from engineering product data. This update also integrates the capabilities of Adobe Flex® 3 and Adobe AIR™, while leveraging the ubiquity and reach of Adobe Flash® Player and Adobe Reader® to enable a new class of applications that easily connect people inside and outside organizations to information and processes.  Furthermore, with LiveCycle ES Update 1, LiveCycle Rights Management ES extends policy protection for Microsoft Office 2007 and PTC Pro/ENGINEER files.

“With LiveCycle ES Update 1, we give customers the ability to deliver content-rich engagement applications faster through a fully integrated set of content services,” said Rob Tarkoff , senior vice president, Business Productivity Business Unit at Adobe. “This release enriches Adobe’s LiveCycle technology platform with new capabilities and productivity enhancements for customers to deliver applications that reduce paperwork, accelerate decision-making, and help ensure regulatory compliance."

“LiveCycle ES Update 1 brings us closer to our continued goal of improving patient services while reducing hospital administration costs,” said Tim Stettheimer, CIO, St. Vincent ’s Health System. “Because LiveCycle ES integrates with existing systems and simplifies deploying applications for data capture and processing, as well as offers enhanced content management capabilities, we can do more with limited IT resources. We’re constantly balancing what we want to do with what we can do. LiveCycle ES helps to close that gap.”

LiveCycle Content Services ES enables organizations to quickly create a process or application that is deeply integrated with enterprise content and allows them to manage content in a lower-cost, extensible way for cross-company and cross-organization processes. This solution component offers organizations comprehensive capabilities to collaborate on, create, store, manage, and secure content as a cohesive part of their end to end  engagement applications. LiveCycle Content Services ES is the result of a partnership between Adobe and Alfresco Software, the leading open source alternative for content management.

The second solution component, LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES, allows organizations to share two-and three-dimensional information across the product creation process, enabling smooth communication, accelerated development cycles and lower costs. Product designers can create rich, complex PDF files with confidence that the full features and measurements will be retained when viewed through Adobe Reader. LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES automates the conversion and integration of more than 40 CAD and other formats, which may then be policy protected and forwarded for review and collaboration. 

Adobe also announced today new Adobe® Solution Accelerators, deployable solution framework and best practices methodologies to help organizations more rapidly develop applications that better engage with end users.  The Solution Accelerators include the Enrollment Solution Accelerator and the Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator.  These have particular applicability to financial services and government organizations when enrolling customers or citizens in services and personalizing correspondence communications.  Adobe Solution Accelerators aim to decrease development time of applications and increase return on investment for Adobe customers.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe LiveCycle ES is currently available worldwide. LiveCycle ES Update 1 is expected to become available in July 2008.  For pricing information please visit: www.adobe.com/livecycle.  Adobe Solution Accelerators are expected to become available in late-Summer 2008 and will be free of charge . Additional information on the new Solutions Accelerators also can be found at www.adobe.com/livecycle.

More Stories By Flex News Desk

Flex News Desk provides the very latest news on the cross-platform Flex development framework for creating rich Internet applications, and on Adobe's AIR/Flex/Flash product combination.

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