In April, Adobe released Acrobat Document Cloud (DC), its newest iteration of the document reading and editing application. Unlike Creative Cloud, which is only offered in a subscription-based model, Acrobat DC is available through either a perpetual license or as a subscription. Both licensing models can be purchased for every market segment, depending on an organization’s needs and IT environment.
Perpetual or subscription – what’s the difference? Organizations have struggled with this question and others since Acrobat DC was launched earlier this year, and we want to clear up the confusion about which options are available and other roadblocks users have come across. Here are five common questions we’re asked about Acrobat DC.
1. Is Acrobat DC only available as a subscription license?
The most common misconception customers have regarding the release of Acrobat DC is the program’s licensing. Many customers believe that, like many of Adobe’s flagship applications, Acrobat DC is only available through subscription licensing. This is not true.
Acrobat DC is actually available through two licensing models: perpetual via the Transitional Licensing Program (TLP) or Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP), or subscription via the Value Incentive Plan (VIP) program.
Acrobat DC, like previous versions of Acrobat, can be installed as a perpetual license on a local desktop. Or, organizations can purchase a 12-month minimum subscription to Acrobat DC through the VIP program. Subscription VIP licenses can be revoked and reassigned at any time throughout the subscription term, making the pool of licenses easy for administrators to manage.
2. Do the subscription and perpetual offerings have the same features?
When Acrobat DC was launched, we detailed the differences between the perpetual and subscription licenses of Acrobat DC’s Standard and Professional options. To state it simply, the subscription model has more features than its perpetual counterpart in both circumstances.
The subscription version of Acrobat DC Professional has the full laundry list of services and mobile apps that allows users to create, export, edit, share, and track PDFs from anywhere — and stay connected to recent files across all devices. Users can also:
- Send, track, and confirm delivery of important documents electronically
- Maintain a consistent user experience across all devices
- Create PDFs on the go in a browser or on a mobile device
- Merge multiple documents into one PDF in a browser
- Export PDFs to Office formats in a browser or on a mobile device
- Add or edit text — or rearrange pages — in a PDF on your iPad
- Collect e-signatures from others and track responses in real time
3. Is Acrobat DC hosted in the cloud?
Adobe broke its naming conventions when it chose Acrobat Document Cloud. Despite the inclusion of cloud in its title, this is a desktop application.
Acrobat DC does offer access to cloud services and storage through the perpetual license, but customers can easily turn off these features to comply with legal or security restrictions. For instance, many government agencies are restricted by law from storing information in Adobe’s Cloud Storage. Other organizations may turn off the online service to block access to third-party connections such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
4. Do I have to use the sign-in screen for a perpetual license of Acrobat DC?
Adobe automatically includes cloud services and storage when an organization purchases Acrobat DC through perpetual licensing. However, users can disable the cloud storage and the sign-in screen, as well as all other cloud services, when installing the application through Adobe’s Customization Wizard.
5. Can I downgrade to Acrobat XI?
As is the case of other Adobe software, users can downgrade the perpetual license of Acrobat Pro DC and instead install a previous version, if they wish. But be forewarned: Adobe will stop supporting Acrobat X after Nov. 15, 2015. Acrobat XI is the only version that will be supported past November, with an end of life scheduled for Oct. 15, 2017.
Have other Acrobat DC questions?
The intricacies of Acrobat DC’s licensing can cause headaches in your organization. To help determine the best licensing option, start by examining your organization’s needs. Partnering with a licensing expert can eliminate some of this confusion and ensure you receive the features you desire without being over-licensed.
What other questions do you have about Acrobat DC? Leave us a comment below.