Version 5.0 is the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat. These days, the company makes a point of referring to itself as a "network publishing" developer rather than the "desktop publishing" company of yore. Major updates to Acrobat reflect this mindset, with an emphasis on document sharing features created for Adobe's target market of "business, IT, and graphic arts professionals" (in other words, just about everyone). Version 5.0 also enables ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity), tighter Web integration, and support for the XML markup language.
Most recently, with an eye to improving the interactivity of the product, Adobe announced Acrobat Approval 5.0, an add-on that enables users to fill in, submit, and apply signatures to electronic forms from within their Web browsers. These capabilities were developed to make it easier for business workgroups to share and collaborate using PDF files.
Both Acrobat 5.0 and Acrobat Approval 5.0 run on Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000 platforms and on Mac OS 8.6 to 9.1 systems. Support for Mac OS X is in the works, and should be available soon, according to the company. The cost of Acrobat is $249. The cost of Approval, which is scheduled to ship in Q3, has yet to be announced. (Adobe Systems; www.adobe.com) -JD