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Adobe LiveCycle
Adobe LiveCycle Icon
Developer(s) Adobe Systems Incorporated
Stable release Enterprise Suite (ES) 8.2.1 / 2008
Operating system AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows
License Proprietary
Website Adobe LiveCycle Homepage

Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite (ES) is a SOA J2EE-based (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) server software product from Adobe Systems Incorporated used to build applications that automate a broad range of business processes for enterprises and government agencies. It combines technologies for data capture, information assurance, document output, content services, and process management to deliver solutions such as account opening, services and benefits enrollment, correspondence management, request for proposal processes, and other manual based workflows. LiveCycle ES incorporates PDF (Portable Document Format) technology with Flex (Flash-based UI technology) to allow developers to create human interactive applications.

Adobe positions LiveCycle ES as a platform to help with customer engagement by providing end users with more compelling experiences which can be extended outside the organization to customers, partners, and citizens. LiveCycle applications also function in both online or offline environments. These capabilities are enabled through the use of Adobe Reader and the Flash Player clients that are found on the majority of desktop computers and mobile devices.

Adobe recently released an upgrade of LiveCycle ES called “Update 1” which included an integrated content repository from Alfresco for template publishing, in-process storage of forms and documents, and archive. The platform is made up of a number of integrated solution components and developer tooling detailed below.


LiveCycle ES Solution Components

LiveCycle ES solution components are various types of services available to developers including those needed to capture information, manage and optimize processes, secure information, invoke web services, create documents, and integrate with other applications and data sources.

The solution components leverage shared "foundation" services which include administration and configuration services, service orchestration, invocation methods across components, and encryption services.


LiveCycle ES Data Capture Products

LiveCycle Forms ES

LiveCycle Forms[1] allows users to create and deploy XML-based form templates as PDF, SWF, or HTML for use with the Adobe Reader, Flash Player, and web browsers. LiveCycle Forms ES supports data driven forms by merging XML content to create personalized renditions. The product includes the ability to render "Form Guides", which are Flash based wizards to help guide users through the data capture process. This product includes LiveCycle Data Services ES (see below), and form assembly functionality which was previously sold as a separate product.

LiveCycle Data Services ES

LiveCycle Data Services[2] is a high performance, scalable, and flexible framework that simplifies development of Flex and AIR applications. It includes functionality for messaging, remoting, data management, and PDF creation of RIA interfaces. It solves complex data management problems such as maintaining a single instance of data across the application. With LiveCycle Data Services, information can be synchronized across clients and applications, providing a framework for conflict resolution in real time.

LiveCycle Barcoded Forms ES

LiveCycle Barcoded Forms[3] is primarily used when users have to fill in a form online and then submit printed and signed copy by mail or fax. When a user fills out the form electronically, the data is encoded in the 2D barcode (PDF417, QRCode, or DataMatrix). At the processing facility, the printed forms are scanned and processed through the Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms server to retrieve the data.

LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES

LiveCycle Reader Extensions[4] switches on functionality within the Adobe Reader on a per document basis. When “Reader Extending” a PDF document, the user selects the capabilities they want to enable, then the Reader would enable that functionality when opening the document or form. The user can select all or any combination of the following capabilities: commenting, import and export of form data, ability to submit outside of a web browser, enable database and web services capabilities, capture digital signatures, and embed file attachments.

LiveCycle ES Process Management Products

LiveCycle Process Management ES

LiveCycle Process Management[5] orchestrates the business processes that are automated by LiveCycle. This solution component includes a process design environment and orchestration engine to bring together people, systems, content, and business rules into streamlined, end-to-end processes. It includes LiveCycle ES BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) which provides a configurable dashboard capability for managing events and metrics within business processes, enabling users to better manage the performance of their automated processes.

LiveCycle ES Information Assurance

LiveCycle Digital Signatures ES

LiveCycle Digital Signatures[6] enables the application of digital signatures to PDF documents, to provide integrity (proof that the document hasn’t changed) and authenticity (proof that it comes from the author). Organizations use this to authenticate certified documents in bulk or in an on demand signing workflow. Common use cases include university transcripts, government documents such as annual budgets, grants, or tax returns.

LiveCycle Rights Management ES

LiveCycle Rights Management[7] is an enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) product that provides user access and control policies to various types of documents including Flash Video, PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and CATIA and PTC Pro/ENGINEER CAD (computer aided design) output formats. This product provides persistent security, in that it can control or revoke access to information that has already been distributed out to users. This is done by the client software that “phones home” to the server to authenticate a user when opening up the document. Off-line use is possible through the concept of document “leasing” for a finite period of time before it has to reconnect with the server. The product also includes detailed audit trail reporting for rights protected information.

LiveCycle ES Document Generation Products

LiveCycle PDF Generator ES

LiveCycle PDF Generator[8] is server-based software that automates the creation, assembly, and manipulation of PDF documents. It converts documents authored in native source applications such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and many others (supported formats list [9]) into PDF documents. It supports the creation of customized PDF document packages by assembling or disassembling existing PDF files or PDF pages and adding dynamic custom elements such as headers, footers, links, bookmarks, tables of contents, and watermarks. In addition, it can convert PDF to PostScript, image, or PDF/A formats for direct server-based printing or compliance with archiving requirements. There is also OCR optical character recognition functionality with this product to create searchable PDF documents from scanned images.

LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES

LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D[10] extends LiveCycle PDF Generator ES (see above) with support for 2D/3D CAD design and product data into a single PDF document that can be shared using the Adobe Reader software.

LiveCycle Output ES

LiveCycle Output[11] automates the generation of template-driven, final-form documents. It merges XML data with LiveCycle Designer templates to generate personalized documents in PDF, Postscript, PCL, or Zebra label formats [12]. It includes capabilities to assemble or disassemble existing PDF files or PDF pages and supports adding dynamic custom elements such as headers, footers, links, bookmarks, tables of contents, and watermarks to create customized PDF document packages. It also converts PDF to PostScript, image, or PDF/A formats for direct server-based printing or compliance with archiving requirements.

LiveCycle Production Print ES

Adobe partnered with StreamServe Inc. [13]to create LiveCycle Production Print[14]. This product combines LiveCycle Designer with a document composition system from StreamServe to merge XML or ASCII data types with templates to generate personalized print or electronic documents in a wide variety of formats, including AFP (Advanced Function Presentation) and PDF. It includes a variety of post-processing functions to rendered documents such as batch sorting, house-holding, batch splitting, imposition, (2 up printing), and document marking for enveloping and insertion machines. It supports conversion of AFP or PDF formats to any supported output format for e-delivery of AFP files or compliance with archiving requirements.

LiveCycle ES Content Services Products

LiveCycle Content Services ES

LiveCycle Content Services[15] includes a set of library services that can be leveraged with other LiveCycle solution components to allow the creation of content spaces to share and collaborate on content integrated within a business process. It supports check-in/check-out capabilities and keeps a complete audit history of all actions. Content spaces can be enhanced with rules to automatically convert content into PDF and apply rights management to content based on access permissions. It supports categorization of content with custom hierarchical classifications which enables parameterized searches using a combination of custom classifications, word-based matching, and additional content metadata, such as content type, author, date, and location, to rapidly find information. It also includes team collaboration capabilities such as forums and discussions. In addition, it provides Microsoft Office plug-ins that enable users to interact with the process engine and content repository using Microsoft Word and Excel.

LiveCycle ES Connectors for ECM

LiveCycle ES Connectors for ECM[16] integrates other ECMs (enterprise content management systems) with LiveCycle for design time asset management and runtime process management. At design time, users can manage assets for the application including forms, fragments, images, and other content assets in the ECM system. Developers can then access those assets directly within LiveCycle Workbench ES for the creation of forms, documents, and packages. The connectors also enable business processes to retrieve content objects, as well as their content attributes or metadata directly from the ECM system. Specific ECM systems supported by these connectors include IBM Content Manager, IBM/FileNet content repository, and EMC/Documentum’s document repository.

LiveCycle ES Tooling Products

Adobe Flex Builder integrates with the LiveCycle Workbench ES environment. Using Flex Builder developers can create RIAs and create custom additions to forms created in LiveCycle Designer ES.

LiveCycle Workbench ES

The primary development tool to create LiveCycle applications is LiveCycle Workbench[17]. This is an Eclipse-based development environment which allows developers to create form templates and process designs that can be integrated with a variety of data sources and existing applications. It includes an integrated repository for collaborative development, and simplifies deployment via an archive file which contains all of the assets associated to the application. The process design environment enables drag and drop of process services to create process workflows and also provides the ability for developers to save them as single WSDL-based components for others developers to use.

LiveCycle Designer ES

Authors and developers use LiveCycle Designer[18] to build intelligent templates that merge with enterprise data to deliver interactive forms or personalized documents in a wide variety of electronic or print formats. LiveCycle Designer ES is included in every LiveCycle ES installation and embedded within LiveCycle Workbench ES

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