Yesterday, Adobe reviewed the latest update to Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Version 27, and this is the first release in a while to shift the focus back to client-side capabilities. The DPS team is clearly growing, which was reflected by several folks on the team reviewing new features rather then just the product manager.

Pinterest Social Sharing Support

DPS v27 includes a redesigned Sharing menu, with new icons, that offers support to pin a page to Pinterest from within an article. This feature enables readers to share what they’re reading in your publication along with a related image with friends on Pinterest. Default descriptive text will let people know the source of the content. When users click on the pinned item in Pinterest, they will be able to go to the top of that article in the Desktop Web Viewer. About 80% of pins on Pinterest get reshared, so there’s a lot of opportunity to reach additional readers here.

Free Article Preview

Article Preview was released with v26, providing the ability to indicate that certain articles in your publication are free to all users for sampling. Adobe has added support for metered content in v27. As before, free content is available to any reader, and protected articles are available only to those who purchase or subscribe to a folio, but metered articles are available for preview and sharing up to a preset limit the publisher sets and controls, called a paywall threshold. So now, someone previewing a publication can download a metered article by clicking a Read Article button.

In addition, Adobe is now using a thumbnail image that has been scaled up for the preview image, with a mesh treatment applied to slightly obscure it. This makes it clearer to the reader that it’s not a fully available article, plus using a thumbnail image decreases the folio size.


Adobe is now tracking subscription term (length) and type (new vs. renewed). This will help publishers understand subscriber behavior in more detail, such as identifying how engaged readers are toward the beginning of a subscription term compared with the end of the term.

In addition, Adobe has begun tracking app stores, starting with iOS, so you can determine which storefront is bringing in most of your readers.

You can also now track the number of readers who opt into receiving push notifications, to help you better identify your target audience for them.

Viewer Features

Device/GPS integration –  Adobe has included GPS integration using JavaScript APIs, so you can provide location-based content, both at the viewer level and within a folio. This will allow you to connect more deeply with readers by providing region-specific folios in the library, by merchandising content based on a certain region or location, or by providing a geo-specific banner in your custom library.

GPS location integration, such as location-based advertising, can also be done inside the folio, using the Reading API released in v25.

First Free Folio enhancement – You already had the ability to provide auto-download and auto-view of content to quickly get it in front of readers, but now you can include a custom message in the entitlement banner for the free folio. Adobe has decoupled the auto-view and auto-download capabilities, so you can configure the viewer to automatically download the folio, show the message in the entitlement banner, and then let the reader click the folio to view it.

Improved viewer for Android – The UI for Android devices has been enhanced so that the viewer works well with the 10-in. Nexus and similar devices. You can also now create folios up to 4095 x 4095 rather than just 2048 x 2048.

Also, the privacy policy is now enabled for the iPhone as well as the iPad, per legal requirements in some states.

Web Viewer

  • You’ve been able to host the Web Viewer inside an iFrame inside your page, but that meant users had to log into your web page and then the iFrame to get authenticated for content. Now there’s single sign-on between the hosting page and the iFrame.
  • If you’ve marked an article as free, it doesn’t count against your paywall threshold. You can set TOC and ad pages as free, for instance, so that they won’t count against that threshold. This will allow publishers to specify that a user can read three articles, as opposed to three pages, for example, before hitting the threshold.
  • Publishers complained about having to go into the Folio Producer web tool to individually mark articles as free, metered, or protected. Now you can configure the protection level of articles at import time, or use the sidecar.XML file outside of your content to reset article protection levels.
  • A new Copy Folio feature (awesome!!) gives you ability to copy an entire folio one of two ways: You can duplicate whole folio from within an account, rather than creating a new folio and copying article by article; or you can copy in a shared folio, i.e., you can share a folio from a test account to the Folio Producer in your production account rather than having to reimport it, cutting the time from 15 to 20 minutes to just seconds.

Other Improvements

  • Migration to Amazon AWS S3 from the Los Angeles data center has been going on since May, and as of April all new content has been published on S3. Unfortunately, this resulted in longer publishing times, but Adobe has worked to resolve this issue over the past few months to reduce publishing time to earlier levels. That improvement should be apparent in this release.
  • By publishing directly into Amazon, there’s a much more efficient route to get content onto Adobe’s content delivery network (Akamai) now, so that end users’ downloads are much more efficient and faster than before.
  • Additional configuration changes on the Akamai side should result in increased efficiency and fewer download errors.
  • The migration of asset data to S3 (article, video, audio, etc.) is now complete. Next up is the migration of the metadata around all these folios, followed by the migration of Adobe’s distribution service, which is expected to be completed by the beginning of Q3.

What’s Planned for Version 28

On-Sale Date provides a scheduling mechanism allowing users to schedule a folio to go public at a certain date and time; in the interim, it’s published as a private folio. Note that it will not automatically kick off notifications to let users know when it’s available; that will be addressed in a future release.

iOS Viewers are next on the list. With Apple’s announcement of iOS 7 and the significant changes to the UI and features, Adobe will initiate a new UI as well. From DPS Viewer standpoint, this will affect every UI element, including the Newsstand icon, so expect its appearance to change significantly.

AirDrop is a file-sharing system that will allow wireless sharing with devices located nearby. Users will be able to share a URL to an article they’re reading by tapping a Sharing icon that will bring up a new activity screen. The URL will be shared if the intended recipient has the app and is entitled to access the folio. If the receiver doesn’t have the AirDrop app, then he will be navigated to the App Store.

Crash Reporter is a welcome improvement. Every time the viewer crashes, a crash report is sent to Adobe to let them know where in the problem is occurring and proactively address it. Adobe is releasing this feature now in v27 for Adobe Content Viewer and then in v28 for all branded viewers.

Article Viewer (Mobile Safari) allows single shared articles, e.g., ones shared on Pinterest, to be read on mobile devices using iOS 6 and higher and iPad2 and higher. It will not have a TOC or article navigation, but will include both an Adobe iOS Smart App Web Banner showing from where the app can be downloaded or to let the user open the article if they have it, and an App Promotion banner, that opens on the bottom of the window when the page is tapped. This banner will contain article descriptions, an option to purchase the app and will have  a paywall associated with it.

Overlay Support continues to grow as Adobe continues to increase the number of overlay types supported by desktop and mobile browsers.

Analytics Enhancements have been improved by using specific issue information and a set time frame, a collection of audience metrics will be gathered within four standard audience reports on the base analytics dashboard, including unique readers, sessions, time spent per reader, and average sessions per reader.

Native Android Viewer is making progress as Adobe plans to add support for direct entitlement and additional overlay types and the appearance of the UI with the initial focus on Android phones.

Windows 8 Viewer Adobe plans to make sure that the Windows 8 UI looks like it belongs with the operating system; however, Adobe needs to wait for release 8.1. They are working with Microsoft on release timing so that at the end of v28 the beta viewer will support direct entitlement as well as the new UI. By v29, Adobe hopes to have a viewer that works well on 8.1.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.