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This week, at its annual worldwide conference, Adobe Systems (new,site) revealed their new Digital Publishing Suite. The package aims to help publishers create, publish and sell digital content targeted at mobile devices. Even with Apple's Steve Jobs’ public disdain for Flash, Adobe seems determined to lead the mobile publishing market.

Examining the Suite

Adobe has created an integrated platform that allows designers to use existing tools like InDesign CS5, PDF and HTML5 to create interactive digital content in magazine form. Adobe  took lessons learned from creating digital editions for clients such as the New Yorker and designed the system to integrate easily into the existing workflow processes for customers already using products like InDesign.

Publishers can take content from their print publications and supplement it with interactive features to provide a new digital experience for their customers. Initially, the product will only support distribution to Apple iPad, but eventually it will be extended to support additional platforms.

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Adobe Digital Publishing process

The Digital Publishing Suite includes four enterprise services:

  • Production Service: The production service allows designers to upload content from InDesign CS5 into a hosted environment. Within the environment, you can collaborate on design, assemble final content, add metadata and preview the complete issue.     
  • Distribution Service: The distribution service allows you to securely store, host and distribute digital content to multiple devices. The distribution service also allows publishers to notify consumers when new content is available for download.
  • E-commerce Service: This service makes it easier for publishers to integrate with common mobile market place platforms and or host content for profit directly.
  • Analytics Service: The analytic service allows publishers to see how effective content and campaigns are in real-time. The suite seems to take full advantage of Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture last year.  The product provides pre-built dashboards, but more advanced reporting and analytics are achievable with a separate Adobe SiteCatalyst subscription.

Content created in the Digital Suite is viewable using the Adobe Content Viewer for Adobe AIR and iOS. Both viewers support publisher branding, which enables creation of a very immersive and consistent experience for consumers. The Digital Publishing Suite has the potential to extend Adobe’s popularity for publishing tools to a new platform.

How Can I Get It

The commercial release of the product is expected the second quarter of 2011. Adobe will offer a Professional and Enterprise version. The Professional version will cost US$ 699 per month per company (publisher) plus a per-issue fee. The per-issue fee varies by publishing volume. Potential customers that cannot wait for the commercial release can download a beta edition on Adobe Labs or join the pre-release program.