A little over a year ago Adobe launched its Document Cloud service, the company's comprehensive service for minding the gap between paper and electronic document and form processing. Given the scope of Document Cloud, the latest round of updates seems relatively minimal, albeit notable for the strategic direction they suggest.
- Acrobat DC. Adobe says it's streamlined the experience of commenting, annotating and highlighting on touch devices. These include not forcing you to perform OCR on a scanned document to highlight text. The company has also modified some menus and dialog boxes for easier operation by the visually impaired and added screen reader support for the Home view and Save As options. Acrobat's also the only application/app that's included with two subscription plans -- Creative Cloud and Document Cloud -- so Adobe's added the ability for CC Team and Enterprise administrators to deploy Acrobat once rather than twice via the Creative Cloud packager.
- Storage partners. DC now has direct integration with Box and Microsoft OneDrive; that means it can seamlessly get notifications from these services, open, process and sync back forms. Still missing: Google Drive. When asked about support for it, I got the response "stay tuned." A year ago, the answer was "it's on the roadmap." Clearly the long and winding roadmap. Adobe's also continuing to expand its regional data centers.
- Adobe Sign. This is Adobe's rebranding of the eSign Manager app, which handles routing documents through the signing process. It also gets a slight interface design modernization.
- Adobe Marketing Cloud integration. It ain't for consumers, but in my opinion the coupling of Adobe Sign with Adobe Experience Manager is the biggest enhancement to DC, and an important strategic move for Adobe. For your business, it provides the ability to manage customer interactions from end-to-end -- cross-platform form tools for aquiring and registering them, to tracking and analyzing the process. For Adobe, the more cross-service product integration it provides the better able it can justify roping businesses into multiple subscriptions.
The updates will be rolled out at various times, beginning in May 2016 and continuing through the fall. Pricing remains unchanged at $156 and $180 a year for Standard or Pro (£137 and £160, AU$156 and AU$180).