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3rd annual Adobe Acrobat and PDF Conference opens with a bang

April 20, 2005

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Today marked the opening of the 3rd annual Adobe Acrobat and PDF Conference in Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. Despite the sunny Orlando weather, the delegates put aside the fun of the magic kingdom and got down to the serious business of PDF. Of course, that's not to say that the conference was without a little magic of its own.

The conference opened with a bang, with Adobe's Pam Deziel talking about an untapped potential Acrobat user base of 100,000,000 worldwide. A gaudy figure indeed! The expo floor once again lit up with the bells and whistles that we have come to know and love from past years, but there was serious business going on at the stands, as the expo floor was well-attended during the day. The format was familiar, but there were a few changes from last year -- for instance, the new expo starting time of 7 AM, which increased the exposure of delegates to the expo without missing sessions.

Ever with a focus on the practical, one of the first sessions of the day was entitled "Real-World PDF", and focused on practical implementations of PDF-based solutions. During the session, Dennis Newman covered a secure approval workflow for engineering documents, while David Morgan covered e-Business with a focus on one-to-one marketing, but the stars of the show were the intelligent cross-linked maps showcased by Layton Graphics' Andy Skillen in his section on PDF for Homeland Security. They featured a huge amount of granularity, and took advantage of optional content groups (also known as OCG or layers,) database connectivity and even dynamic links to GPS systems!

Of course, no session based around the "Real World" would be complete without discussing problems and challenges associated with such solutions, and this one closed with a lively discussion of real-world problems experienced by delegates, which the panel then attempted to solve.

Later in the day, I interviewed Adobe Systems' Pam Deziel, with much of the conversation turning to Adobe's acquisition of long-time rival Macromedia earlier in the week. Stay tuned, as I'll be posting that interview very soon. More from me in the conference wrap-up, coming in a couple of days.

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