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Adobe launches dynamic imaging server software

Graphics software company Adobe Systems is now shipping AlterCast, its new dynamic imaging server software.

AlterCast saves companies time and money by allowing them to manage, publish, repurpose and share images automatically, according to Gregg Brown, head of Group Products for Altercast at Adobe. With it, businesses can ensure that customers see the images they want them to see.

Although many companies already employ automated methods to customise text and keep online published content up to date, they don't always use such systems to manage images and graphics. In fact, Brown said, some processes such as resizing, reformatting and repurposing print images for the Web are usually done by hand.

The software allows graphics artists to automatically manage large image libraries and is targeted at enterprises such as online retailers and news organisations - businesses needing multiple versions of a variety of images.

Altercast, which sits on content management or Web servers, is the first product to be released by Adobe's new Server Product Group.

AlterCast software integrates into existing Web or print publishing programs and supports a wide range of Web development programming interfaces, including Java, Component Object Model, Perl and .net and protocols such as HTML, HTTP and SOAP, Brown said. It is designed to work with other Adobe products, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

Rob Perry, an analyst at The Yankee Group, said Adobe is one of the few companies offering products in the nascent image management market. Because image management products can be expensive, Adobe's success depends on its ability to target companies such as online retailers that need to manage product images in different colours, sizes and angles, Perry said.

Adobe said AlterCast is priced at $7,500 (£5,300) per CPU, up to a maximum of $60,000 for eight or more CPUs.

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