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Adobe updates server software

The company is set to announce a Web services upgrade to AlterCast, its new server software for managing and manipulating images across a corporate network.

Adobe Systems on Monday will announce a Web services upgrade to AlterCast, its new server software for managing and manipulating images across a corporate network.

The free add-on for AlterCast will allow customers to use the software's services over the Internet as well as a corporate network. It adds support for Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, a widely supported communications standard for Web services that allows computers running disparate software to exchange data.

Released in late January after months of beta testing, AlterCast is meant to simplify the handling of images for companies such as online retailers and catalog merchants. For example, the software can automatically produce multiple versions of an image optimized for different uses.

The new add-on will extend the range of the software, said Adobe product manager Gregg Brown, and will allow it to work with emerging Web services initiatives such as Microsoft's .Net and Sun Microsystems' SunOne.

"We're finding customers want to access AlterCast from multiple different application processes," Brown said.

The software industry is pushing Web services as a way for companies with different computing systems to communicate and conduct transactions. In the next few years, analysts expect Web services to gain popularity as a more efficient way of building software and linking dissimilar systems.