Breaking down the Adobe licensing and understanding the facts

Adobe is one of the most popular software vendors for design and video products that can be widely found on desktops and servers.

Adobe’s products are very diverse and can, at the present moment, fall in one of the following categories:

Creativity & design

Business solutions

PDF & E-signatures

Marketing & analytics

In the variety of products that Adobe sells, the most common ones that most professionals and amateurs like to have and use are the ‘star’ applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate (the successor of Flash Pro), Dreamweaver, which enable users to create content for personal and company use.

To the cloud and back

At the beginning of 2012, Adobe adopted the subscription model (mainly to counteract pirated software) and at the beginning of 2017 they announced to stop selling perpetual CS6 products. Adobe’s Creative Cloud suites include the entire collection of desktop apps, from Acrobat Pro to Photoshop and Audition, but the products are also sold separately as single apps. Customers may currently choose from Creative Cloud for Individuals, Creative Cloud for Teams and Creative Cloud Enterprise. The license metric for Adobe’s cloud software is ‘per user’, as opposed to the perpetual software that requires a serial number that ties usage to a particular device.

Even though cloud is part of many conversations, Adobe products can still be widely found on desktops and servers. One notable example is Acrobat Standard/ Pro which is sold both as perpetual and cloud. Other perpetual products are Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, Captivate and ColdFusion. The general license metric for desktop software is ‘per installation’. Meaning you may install and use one copy of the software on your computer. Although this is a quite easy metric and applies to most of the desktop products, there are still some exceptions to it.

Having so many options to acquire Adobe products and different licensing scenarios for each of them might cause confusion among the end users and make the Adobe licensing seem as a complex one. But is that really true? With Adobe’s Volume Licensing Programs and cloud software, the way to acquire their products has been made easier, and has become more transparent for software users and Adobe itself.

Even though Adobe’s licensing is not complex, not understanding why it is important can lead to underestimating the impact of Adobe products on your network. By knowing what Adobe software is, how it enters your company, controlling it and understanding Adobe’s licensing rules will make your life easier.

Our white paper provides you insight into the evolution of Adobe products and helps you better understand the whys and hows of Adobe’s current licensing scenarios.

This article was published on 21-11-2017