November 2006

Adobe Intelligent Document Platform

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Reaching out to government departments with responsive, convenient, and cost-effective services does not remain a daunting challenge it previously used to be. The government is now able to replace inefficient, standalone processes with automated, interoperable business processes by leveraging open technology standards such as XML and Web services.

Documents and forms, arguably

the effective “frontlines” of many government-facing services, are crucial to these efforts. Forms are a common interface between a government department and its back end systems and work processes, but tend to be costly, cumbersome and vulnerable to data errors when traditionally produced and distributed on paper.

Adobe Intelligent Document Platform

Using forms is one of the most common ways for government departments and governments to interact. However, traditional paper-based communications are costly, time-consuming, and susceptible to errors. And digital workflows are often disparate, incompatible back-end systems, making it difficult to extend electronic forms outside the agency’s network.

The Adobe Intelligent Document Platform provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for form processing that helps agencies streamline the more secure movement of forms and data – to and from government departments, between agencies, and across business processes. Through this solution agencies are able to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively deploy PDF (Portable Document Format) and XML forms online; create a single form for print or online use; access electronic forms using free Adobe Reader software; allow users to download forms and complete them online or offline; leverage 2D barcodes and XML to reduce dependence on costly, error-prone manual data entry; capture form data through XML into back end systems; more securely share form data with other agencies inside and outside the firewall; and, add document controls to certify document authenticity and privacy for respondents.

Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions software enables to easily share interactive, intelligent Adobe PDF documents with external parties – without requiring respondents to invest in costly software. With LiveCycle Reader Extensions, document-based processes can be extended outside ones business while accurately capturing critical data from customers, partners, government departments, and colleagues. The software activates hidden functionality within Adobe Reader; enable end users to save, fill in, annotate, sign and submit PDF documents; streamline collaboration for document reviews; automate data capture with electronic forms, enabling anyone to complete and submit forms online or offline; and, provide enhanced security with digital signatures.

Key participants in business processes are located inside and outside ones organisation. Whether internal or external, customer trading partners, suppliers, and employees are integral to your business processes. But not all of them can be counted on to use the same computing platform or to invest in the same software, while one is creating applications, CAD drawings, marketing collateral, purchase orders, or forms.

With Adobe LiveCycle™ Reader Extensions, no costly software is required to easily and efficiently equip third parties to participate in the individual’s business processes. LiveCycle Reader Extensions works with existing IT assets to create an automated environment for capturing information and feedback vital to helping the company or government agency cut costs, improve customer satisfaction, speed time to market, and extend the value of investment in enterprise applications.

How it works

LiveCycle Reader Extensions allows embedding one-time usage rights within an Adobe PDF document. These usage rights “turn on” hidden functionality within free Adobe Reader software, so as to enable end users view and interact with intelligent Adobe PDF documents. To manually assign rights to a small number of documents or forms one at a time, LiveCycle Reader Extensions provides an intuitive Web browser interface. The Web interface enables any authorised user of LiveCycle Reader Extensions to assign functionality, with no special technical expertise required. Using a programm-able Application Programming Interface (API), one can also assign functionality to a large batch of documents.

LiveCycle Reader Extensions software works hand in hand with the ubiquitous Adobe Reader universal client, which is available free of charge and already has been distributed to more than 500 million desktops. Normally dormant end-user capabilities are automatically activated when the rights-enabled Adobe PDF document is launched within Adobe Reader. When the respondent is finished working with the document, those functions are once again disabled until the user receives another rights-enabled PDF file. All of this functionality comes at no additional cost to customers, government departments, partners, or colleagues.

Key features

Add collaborative functionality to Adobe Reader enable users to save a copy of PDF documents including any data or comments they have added; allow users to interact with PDF documents offline, while retaining their data and comments for submittal when they reconnect; provide users with intuitive tools that make it easy to highlight or underline text, create sticky notes, add stamps, and add attachments to documents; equip users to sign, certify, and authenticate documents with support for digital signatures (VeriSign, Entrust, and other PKIs); and, empower users to electronically submit PDF documents and forms online or via email.

LiveCycle Reader Extensions software streamline process adminis-tration by applying rights via an intuitive Web browser interface; automating processes further using an API; take advantage of the free, ubiquitous Adobe Reader to ensure compatibility with any respondent; and, extend the reach of critical processes to any Web browser.

It leverages existing IT investments by integrating with other enterprise applications that have SOAP-based interfaces, and deploying on a scalable, high-performance server architecture.
In government, LiveCycle Reader Extensions software streamline the processing of tax forms, license and passport renewals, vehicle registrations, and other documents that require infor-mation and approvals from government departments; and, enable end users to easily and intuitively interact online with agencies, promoting faster service and enhanced constituent satisfaction.

Success stories

The Ministry of Company Affairs, Government of India (GoI), is using Adobe LiveCycle Solutions forms for its MCA-21 project, which has seen millions of hits, and 2.5 lakh filings happen amongst the registered Companies in India. Adobe’s Tier 1 Partner, TCS Ltd, carried out this project.

It may be recalled that DCA-21 [as it was a Department then] sought the service of few professionals along with NISG (National Institute of Smart Governance) who embarked upon rendering services to the registered companies in an output-based manner. While the department was trying to see which area of its sovereign function impacted the stakeholders, it was no surprise that forms were the key components of interaction and transactions between companies and the department alike. That’s where electronic forms were considered to alleviate the pains associated with paper-based forms and processes. It was then that Adobe stepped in with its partner who helped develop the application, integrate the eForms with end users possessing just the free Adobe Reader to see the impact and experience the benefits therein. Based on the outcomes and that Adobe PDF Forms supports XML and interoperable was key, an RFP was raised by the department seeking IT Vendors to bid for the modernisation project. This RFP clearly directed the selected IT vendor to carry out a pilot and rollout as envisaged in the extensive development stages. That’s how Adobe entered this Mission Mode Project and since then has never looked back. As the project matured, there were hundreds of forms that were designed and hosted in Adobe PDF LiveCycle technology; the forms were pre-populated using Adobe’s LiveCycle Forms servers, and the Digital Signatures were catered to by Adobe’s Security Server. Even the mandate that all supporting documents to be in PDF format was addressed by Adobe with help of a Dynamic PDF Creation Server Engine – PDF Generator at the back end.

Another major e-Forms success story in the making is that of Department of Income tax, which is to render couple of forms from Adobe. These forms are designed by our Adobe ACE Tier 2 Partner, EBridge Solutions.

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