Acrobat X Is Available

As planned, today Adobe terminated the Acrobat Prerelease program and made Acrobat X available to the public. Unfortunately, none of SYCODE’s 10 Acrobat 3D data exchange plug-ins will work with it. Why? Because Adobe has removed the 3D PDF library from Acrobat and killed off the top end Acrobat Pro Extended version. The 3D PDF library is the technology used by third party developers like myself to work with the 3D parts of a 3D PDF file. Now the top end product is Acrobat Pro and it does not come with the 3D PDF library.

To make our plug-ins work with Acrobat Pro, you will now need to pay an additional $400 to buy a product called 3D PDF Converter from Tetra 4D, which is a company that Tech Soft 3D handed the 3D PDF library to, Tech Soft 3D being the company that Adobe partnered with to continue developing 3D PDF because they finally realized that they could not do it themselves. It’s a long and complicated story. One that gives me a pretty good idea of how a big company can get into something without understanding what is involved and then get out of it without understanding what is involved.

One of these days I intend to write about this at length. If I do, the post will be titled “The Adobe 3D PDF Train Wreck“, because that is precisely what it is.

  • Deelip, while I understand your confusion (hopefully this will be clarified through our meeting this week), we need to be careful that we do not compare apples with oranges.

    The 3D API was never available in Acrobat Pro 9, nor is it available in Acrobat X Pro. Previously users (and SYCODE’s data exchange plug-ins) required Acrobat Pro Extended in order to leverage the 3D PDF Library’s and this fundamentally has not changed. The API’s are in final stage of migration, and will be publically available in the equivalent product to Acrobat Pro Extended 9, which is Acrobat Pro X + 3D PDF Converter.

    The net result will be the same apples to apples functionality, with specialized 3D support and the potential for future 3D PDF / 3D API enhancements with an accelerated release to market. Something that the end users, developers and Adobe are excited about.

    We look forward to our planned discussion later this week, to clarify the details, and drive to an improved 3D Platform that benefits the entire ecosystem.

  • Kevin Quigley

    tetra 4D, sorry, no, Deelip is right. he may not be comparing apples to apples but as far as the end user is concerned they bought Acrobat 9 Extended, or Acrobat 8 3D and any number of plug ins from companies like Sycode. Now with Acrobat X Adobe are asking those same users to pay an upgrade fee to find out that all the plug ins they have no longer work, and that they can no longer import native CAD files into Acrobat.

    You have to bear in mind that up until a short time ago Adobe were promoting an Adobe product – Acrobat Extended – as the solution for manufacturing industry. Now, the upgrade doesn’t work.

    It is no different to, say, buying SolidWorks and then in the next update finding that you cannot do assembly modelling anymore, and you have to buy a further update – from a totally different company – at more that the cost of the update to do what you could before. Talk about a hard sell?

    We shall see what happens with all this. I have no doubt that Tech-Soft can handle it all, but frankly, so could TTF in Lyon. The difficulty here was lack of foresight by the Adobe management in the rush to cut costs and offload overheads.

    Instead they could have developed it all in house and built in 3D capabilities directly into Indesign and Illustrator so that they had a genuine world beating solution for technical illustration and instruction manuals – printed or online. But they didn’t see further than the end of the balance sheet. Lost opportunity. I was hoping CS6 would finally integrate all this stuff.