The competing digital certification companies Entrust Technologies Inc. and Verisign Inc. have made system-compatibility announcements with Adobe Systems Inc. and its Acrobat 4.0 document software.

With Entrust/PKI or Verisign Document Signer, Acrobat gains digital signature capabilities that enable users to validate electronic documents and authenticate their authors.

Adobe product manager Joel Geraci described the digital signature technique as "a solid mechanism for exchanging information" and one that can help companies "save time and money in a variety of areas" such as human resources, legal contracts, and financial reports.

The Entrust plug-in "combines Adobe's goal of ... secure document exchange with Entrust's goal of enabling organizations to change the way they do business more confidently," said John Ryan, president of Entrust in Richardson, Tex.

"Adobe has solved the problem of cross-platform, cross-application digital document delivery," said Richard Yanowitch, vice president of marketing for Verisign in Mountain View, Calif.

In the same spate of Adobe-related data security announcements, Communications Intelligence Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif., announced an Acrobat 4.0 version of its Sign-it digital signature technology.

"The more businesses understand the benefits of electronically sharing documents, the greater the demand for ways to digitally sign and protect documents," said Adobe group product manager Sheri Schurter.

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