We are proud to announce the immediate availability of Portfolio Server™ 9, our powerful digital asset management solution.
As I’m sure that you can tell, we’ve been very busy of late! The Portfolio Server 9 release comes close on the heels of our recent release of Universal Type Server 2.
This version of Portfolio Server includes a slew of new features and many enhancements. The most prominent new feature is the entirely new Portfolio Web Client. This new feature allows you to catalog, search, edit, batch convert, automate tasks and manage assets from anywhere, anytime.
Highlights of Portfolio Server 9 include:
- A New Adobe® FLEX Web Client that serves as a powerful dashboard for creative workflows.
- All-new Java-based server architecture for outstanding stability and easy integration.
- Scalable MediaRich® media processing engine for extensive file format support and fast media delivery.
- Web-based server administration for remote management of server and users.
- Industry-standard Adobe® XMP® Toolkit integration for reading and writing metadata, allowing data to be accessible across applications.
- Best-in-class integration with Adobe® creative applications with drag-n-drop functionality through Portfolio Express palette.
- Support for Windows® Server 2008 and Microsoft® SQL Server®
“Portfolio Server is very reliable and straightforward to install and administer,” said Colin White, Head of Photography at the National Gallery of London. “With the Portfolio suite of products, we’ve created branded web portals that allow us to distribute a wide range of digital content extensively within the Gallery.”
Portfolio Server 9 is easy to implement and provides a new web-based administration console to manage the server, catalogs and users remotely. In addition, the new server offers greater scalability, enhanced performance and extensible media processing architecture. Under the hood, Portfolio Server utilizes a new powerful media-processing engine from Equilibrium®. The MediaRich® Server offers a new metadata architecture, resulting in extensive file format support and allowing users to catalog and thumbnail virtually any file.
“In Portfolio Server 9 we have enhanced our metadata support, by leveraging the Adobe XMP Toolkit,” says Martin Stein, Vice President of Products and Services at Extensis. “This is an important capability, as it ensures the highest level of compatibility and gives the user the assurance that the information they enter in Portfolio will be transferred to and be readily available within other applications and vice versa.”
Portfolio Server continues to offer an open system built on industry-leading technologies such as Java™ J2EE™, Adobe® FLEX®, JBoss and OpenOffice.org. For end users, this translates into superior usability and unique integration with their existing workflow. For IT administrators, it delivers power and efficiency. In addition, the optional SQL Connect module, coupled with our industry-standards database, provides greater scalability, enhanced performance and superior integration.
If you’re in the market for some new technology for your institution, why not check out this year’s Campus Technology Conference in Boston. The event covers all areas of technology, and how it can be applied to higher education. Extensis will be presenting a session about digital asset management during the conference:
Enhance Teaching and Improve Student Literacy with Digital Asset Management
This session will focus on digital asset management best practices and techniques you can implement to improve student visual literacy and enhance teaching through image catalogs. We will cover how Extensis Portfolio can collect all your images in a central location where you can easily access, repurpose and share them with others in your institution.
When: July 27–30, 2009
Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
For more information and to register, see the Campus Technology website.
If you’re like me, sometimes I prefer watching a software demo before I download a piece of software. It gives me the opportunity to see all of the new features in action, and know the capabilities of the software before I spend the time setting it up.
If you’re interested in server-based font management for your group, or interested in upgrading your current font manager, I’d highly recommend our Universal Type Server 2.0 webcast next week. Cindy Valladares will be covering what’s new in the this version, and how the new features will make your world of font management much easier.
So, here’s the scoop:
What: What’s new in Universal Type Server 2.0 webcast
When: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -07:00, San Francisco)
Who: Extensis Product Marketing Manager, Cindy Valladares
If you are unable to make the webcast, but would like to view a recorded copy of it later, please register for the webcast. When the recorded version is available (typically within 24 hours of the event) a link to the recording is sent out to everyone who registered for this event, whether you were able to attend or not.
June 17th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
We’re happy to announce that our Universal Type Server 2.0 font management software is now available.
Universal Type Server 2.0 is available in two different versions:
- Professional – intended for workgroups of any size.
- Lite – for teams of up to ten concurrent users.
This version integrates a number of new and innovative features. Most prominently, this release includes
Some of the new features in Universal Type Server 2.0 include:
- Universal Type Server 2.0 Professional is the only server-based font management solution that offers secure and dynamic integration with Microsoft’s Active Directory and Apple’s Open Directory, with full support for Kerberos single sign-on. This integration with LDAP directory services is available FREE for new and existing customers for a limited time.
- External Database Module supports Microsoft SQL Server for enhanced scalability.
- Font compliance reports allow administrators to track users’ access to fonts.
- Administrators can implement a “system font policy” of fonts allowed in users’ system fonts folders, an efficient way to keep rogue and unlicensed fonts out of your workflow.
- Enhanced previews in the Universal Type Client, that include “tear-off” floating previews.
- Auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator® and InDesign® CS2, CS3 and CS4, as well as QuarkXPress® 7 and 8
- Administrators can batch apply server settings across multiple users.
- Remotely deployment of server connection settings to Type Client machines.
- Enhanced server-controlled Startup Sets.
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) support for server administration.
- Set maximum number of retained backups on the server.
- Warnings to offline Type Client users, when font access is about to expire.
- Ability for administrators to view all workgroups that contain a font, as well as selectively delete fonts from server-based personal workgroups.
- Enhanced font corruption detection and repair.
- The Type Client can now override system fonts.
- Added search criteria for better visibility. For example, the “Added By” search field can be used to monitor when a font was added to the system and by whom.
Universal Type Server 2 upgrade, client access license upgrades and the new Directory Integration Module will be available free-of-charge to existing Universal Type Server Professional customers under a current annual service agreement (ASA). In addition, the Directory Integration Module will be offered free of charge for all new Universal Type Server 2.0 Professional customers for a limited time. Upgrade pricing is available for all current Universal Type Server Lite, FontReserve Server, Suitcase Server, and volume license customers.
Universal Type Server is available immediately. Universal Type Server Professional is available at an estimated retail price of US $1,800.00 for the Server plus $165.00 per Client Connection. Universal Type Server Professional and associated clients include a one-year Annual Service Agreement. Universal Type Server Lite sells for an estimated retail price of US $1,395 and includes 10 Client Access Licenses.
For more information on Universal Type Server family of products, visit www.extensis.com/typeserver.
June 12th, 2009 by Thomas Phinney
On Friday, June 26, I’ll be speaking at the HOW Design Conference in Austin, Texas (which runs from Wednesday through Saturday). My talk is entitled “10 Things You Didn’t Know Fonts Could Do.” Here’s the blurb from the conference program:
- Join type guru Thomas Phinney on a whirlwind tour of advanced typography using OpenType, from the incredibly useful to the bizarre. You’ll learn how advanced typographic effects formerly only available to experts can now be automated, and see how cutting-edge fonts can do everything from emulate realistic handwriting to translate languages. You’ll get plenty of tips and tricks (including tips for more legible type in print and onscreen), and there will be time set aside for Q&A—so be sure to bring your burning type questions.
I’ll also show a bit on using fonts to defeat evil and stop crime, and fonts that censor themselves! I promise this is a not-to-be-missed show. Most folks have never seen anything like some of the things I’m going to show here.
Oh, yeah, and somewhere in there I’ll have a little bit on server-based font management.
If you’re at the show, please feel free to accost me to chat about anything font related, including of course Suitcase Fusion 2 and Universal Type Server 2.
June 10th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
What’s so sexy about SQL databases? Well, um, sexy… gosh, you’ve got me there.
While it might not be the sexiest feature of our newest upcoming release, our External Database add-on module is one that you may find critical for your organization. How can we say that it’s critical you ask? Well, ask why don’t ya?
“OK Jim, I’ll bite. Why is it critical?”
Why, I thought that you’d never ask!
SQL databases provide additional power and stability behind the Universal Type Server that is above and beyond the default native Type Server database. They do this in a variety of ways:
- With the External Database module, you can store your entire Type Server database in a Microsoft SQL Server database. This includes all users, font licenses, keywords, etc. – pretty much everything.
- External databases can run on totally separate hardware from Universal Type Server, effectively distributing your font management server across multiple machines.
- Using SQL Server can take advantage of any potential SQL database standardization of your organization.
- SQL databases can be queried and maintained using standard SQL Server maintenance utilities.
- Most importantly, organizations with large numbers of users, very large font databases, and heavy usage will see a significant performance boost with the External Database add-on module. Check out the following chart for a comparison of the native, built-in Type Server database and an implementation using an external SQL Server database.
Of course, using an external database is optional. You can run a stable and reliable Type Server with the native database. But, I’m willing to bet that many of our customers will find the External Database add-on module critical to their business.
And hey, please don’t be offended if you actually find SQL databases sexy. I guess that it’s just up to personal preference.
June 8th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
When we first released Universal Type Server almost a year ago, the application totally redefined how users and administrators worked with a server-based font manager. With the release of Universal Type Server 2.0 in the coming weeks, both administrators and Universal Type Client users will see helpful improvements.
The Universal Type Client 2.0 will include a number of features that make it easier to identify, preview and activate exactly what you need. These are a few of the new and improved features that you’ll find in the next version of the Universal Type Client:
Taking a page from our single-user font manager, Suitcase Fusion 2, we’ve introduced floating previews to the Type Client. Basically, any font preview in the Type Client’s Preview Pane can be “torn-off” so that floats on top of all other applications.
A new feature The Glyph View allows you to zoom in on any glyphs in a font, and compare those glyphs side-by-side with other glyphs of the same font, or any other font in available in Universal Type Server.
Encoding-aware font previews
The Universal Type Client accurately identifies the character set in selected fonts, and only displays characters in the font that make sense for that font face. For example, if you are using custom QuickType text in your preview window, and the selected font does not contain those characters, the Type Client displays characters that exist in the font.
Print what you see
The Universal Type Client can display many types of font previews – ABC123, waterfall, paragraph or QuickType. In version 2.0, you can now print anything that you see in the Preview pane. Need to see your client’s name in 100 different typefaces? No problem. Select your typefaces, customize the text and type size, then print them.
Use auto-activation plug-ins to have the fonts that you need when you need them, automatically. Plug-ins are available for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS2, CS3 and CS4 and QuarkXPress 7 and 8 documents whether you’re running on a Macintosh or Windows system.
We’ve all been there. Negotiating a price from one side or the other can sometimes be a challenging process. This really great video pokes a bit of lighthearted fun at the Vendor/Client relationship when it comes to pricing, and takes many of the negotiation tactics into other realms. Hilarious.
[Thanks to James Dempsey for the heads up!]
June 3rd, 2009 by Thomas Phinney
One of the enhancements in the upcoming Universal Type Server 2.0 is the new Directory Integration Module (DIM to its friends), which we’re giving away at no additional charge for the first six months. I’m excited about it because it dramatically simplifies user management, and offers the option of Single Sign-on (SSO), which makes lives easier for users while enhancing network security.
What the heck is “directory integration,” you may ask? Basically, some organizations, and virtually all large ones, manage users and groups on their network with a centralized LDAP directory service such as Microsoft’s Active Directory, or Apple’s Open Directory. Type Server 2.0 can integrate with these services so as to automatically populate the Type Server database with network user accounts from the LDAP directory.
How does it actually work? You (or the person setting up your Universal Type Server) simply enter the DIM serial number to unlock the functionality which is already there in your Type Server. Then you connect to your Active Directory or Open Directory domain from the Universal Type Server User Management web interface, and set up workgroup mappings which permit users on the network to use Type Server. The web interface makes it easy to browse your directory tree, browse just groups or users, or search by name. You can put individual network user accounts into Type Server workgroups, or map directory groups (such as Active Directory security or distribution groups) to Type Server workgroups.
Once you set this up, it isn’t just a one-time import; Type Server will regularly check for changes to your directory service and update itself! So your IT administrator can add a network user to a directory service group, and they will automatically show up in the appropriate Type Server workgroup; or if users are removed from the mapped directory service group, they will be removed from the corresponding Type Server workgroup. Also, mappings can be associated with Type Server roles; members of one security group in your AD server can be mapped to a workgroup as Font Administrators, while members in another are mapped to the same Type Server workgroup as regular users.
If you take advantage of the option to use Kerberos technology to allow Single Sign-on (SSO), the Directory Integration Module makes things simpler for users, too. Instead of having a separate log-in for Type Server clients, users simply log into the network, and their Type Server client automatically gets logged in for them. That’s one less password to remember and login to deal with.
Kerberos is the industry-standard secure network authentication protocol, preferred by both Apple (Open Directory) and Microsoft (Active Directory). It’s highly secure in part because passwords are never sent over the wire to Type Server; users establish their identity when they log into their client machines.
Secure, always in sync, easier to administer, easier to use: Four good reasons for people doing server-based font management to check out the Directory Integration Module in Universal Type Server 2.0.
(Thanks are due to my colleague Chris Corbell, who led the programming of this module, for his contributions to my little write-up.)
June 2nd, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
We’re happy to announce that our efforts to develop innovative font management technologies have been rewarded with a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This patent covers the technology that we developed that allows multiple fonts to be displayed simultaneously in a preview window.
You’ve probably used this feature in one of our font management products, including including Universal Type Server, Suitcase Fusion and Suitcase for Windows. We’re proud with how this innovative feature has revolutionized the way users preview fonts, and that it’s currently in use by many font managers in the industry.
As your type collection gets larger, the list of fonts can be unwieldy and difficult to manage. With this functionality, you no longer need to scroll through thousands of fonts and preview them individually, but rather you can easily preview a variety of typefaces from within one window, adjust point size on the fly, type in custom text and select the most appropriate font to be used in a document.
“Creative, print and publishing professionals who work in font-intensive environments have been benefiting greatly from this technology that has fundamentally changed font management,” said Thomas Phinney, Senior Product Manager for Font Solutions at Extensis. “Comparing fonts side-by-side in a preview window within your professional font management application makes the selection process easier and faster.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the patent, number 7,539,939 and entitled “Preview Window to Preview Text in Several Different Fonts Simultaneously” to Extensis for its unique technology advancements in font management.
We do our best to cultivate an environment that is committed to creating breakthrough technology. We are proud that our teams have created new and innovative technology, and has been granted several patents and has additional patent applications pending in the United States.