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Updated Jun 01, 2020.

Document Cloud Product Tracks

Continuous or Classic track?

The Acrobat product family provides two tracks for both Acrobat and Reader:

  • The Continuous track provides service-based tools as well as new features, security and platform enhancements, and bug fixes as part of frequent (and most often) silent updates. Over time, the Continuous track’s update cadence will be more frequent than the Classic track. Classic license program customers do not have access to this track for Acrobat.

  • The Classic track is similar to the 11.x model and provides few (if any) new features in updates. Free services are available, but optional. Like previous releases, a quarterly update cadence delivers security and platform enhancements as well as bug fixes.

Note

For up-to-date details about what features exist in each track, see https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/whats-new.html.

Example release schedules:

_images/continuous.png

Which track should I use?

Continuous track

Choose this track if you:

  • Use named-user deployments; that is, you want to manage entitlements through enterprise IDs. In service-centric environments, it’s beneficial to have a single identity of the user across the desktop, mobile & cloud. DC products support federated and enterprise IDs for identity-based licensing.

  • Want new features delivered in updates as soon as they become available.

  • Use DC web services.

  • Would like to take advantage of frequent updates for security and functionality reasons (you can leverage the silent and automatic update mode, but it is not required).

  • Can automatically update or push controlled updates on a 60 day schedule. Since web and desktop updates are released in tandem, keeping the desktop updated ensures features and functionality remain synchronized with Document Cloud services.

  • For the Continuous track, only the latest base release and last update will be available for download.

Classic track

Choose this track if you:

  • Use serialized deployments; that is, you don’t need identity-based licensing and deployment and the ability to manage users via the Admin Console.

  • Want to limit the feature set to those included in major releases.

  • Have not purchased services.

  • Want to manage updates like previous 11.x releases.

  • Manage a locked environment and need to control the frequency and nature of updates. All updates remain available for download.

License types

Licenses are associated with a particular track. A Continuous track license cannot be used with a Classic installer and vice versa.

License programs

License programs and bundle/track associations

License program

Plan names

Tracks

ETLA

Adobe Document Cloud for enterprise: Premium 1, Premium 2, Pro w/ services, Std w/ services

Continuous

ETLA

Adobe Document Cloud for enterprise: Pro or Std

Continuous

ELA, CLP, TLP

Adobe Acrobat Pro Document Cloud and Standard Document Cloud

Classic

VIP

Adobe Acrobat Pro Document Cloud and Standard Document Cloud

Continuous

Can I switch tracks?

With the right license, yes. Installing a different track requires uninstalling the existing product first.

Acrobat Professional vs. Standard

Acrobat Professional and Standard DC are delivered as a single installer. Product behavior and features become enabled based on the entitlements granted by the licensing methodology (a user ID or serial number).

Licensing (provisioning)

DC products support named users deployments in addition to traditional, serialized deployments. Named user deployments provide the following advantages:

  • Management of usage rights for users and groups via the Admin Console.

  • Streamlined license management and compliance.

  • Provisioning mobile devices for Document Cloud services.

  • Leveraging existing systems so that users can fully participate in more efficient e-sign workflows.

A comparison of named user and serialized deployments

Item

Named user deployment

Serialized deployment

License access

Admin Console

Licensing website (LWS)

License association

Assigned users and groups

Specific machines

License programs

ETLA, VIP

ELA, CLP, TLP

Entitlement granted to

each user

each machine

Entitlement management

Admin Console

Pre-deployment configuration

Internet connection

Required: Users must log in and signing out deactivates product. *

Only required pre-deployment for activation

Activation

Occurs on user log-in

Admin pre-activates for all users

Services ID

Federated ID, Enterprise ID, Adobe ID

Adobe ID

Integrated mobile provisioning

Yes

No

Services access

Yes (optional)

Yes (optional)

Virtualization support

App-V (Jan 2017: Citrix, VMWare) (Nov 2017: WTS)

Citrix, WTS, App-V

SCCM, AIP/GPO, ARD

Yes

Yes

Track support

Classic, Continuous

Classic only after Dec. 2018

* For the VIP program, the product performs an online activation check every 24 hours. Users can be offline for 30 days on the monthly plan and 99 days on an annual plan.

Installer bit locations

The requisite installers are available from the following locations:

Acrobat download locations

Location

Continuous

Classic

What’s available?

Base installer and last update

Base installer and all updates

Admin Console

Base installer

None

Licensing Website

Base installer

Base installer

Download pages

Last update only

All updates

FTP site

DC dir: Last update only

All updates

Reader download locations

Location

Continuous

Classic

What’s available?

Base installer and last update

Base installer and all updates

Admin Console

None

None

Download pages

Base installer and last update

Base installer and all updates

FTP site

DC dir: Base installer and last update

All updates

get.adobe.com

Latest full installer

None

Continuous vs. Classic comparison

Acrobat product tracks

Acrobat track comparison

Feature

Continuous

Classic

Updates

Frequent

Planned quarterlies

Update order

Base + last update

Base + last update

Update UI

Auto or off

Auto or off

Update registry controls

Auto or off

Win: Same as 11.x

Services integration

All tools enabled *

Free tools only *

Upsell enabled?

Standard only

N/A

Languages

MUI only: licenses are language specific

MUI only: licenses are language specific

File and preference paths

Versionless: always under DC

Versioned: Under major version, 2015|2017|2020, etc.

Windows installer

Acrobat_DC_Web_WWMUI.exe

Acrobat_2015|2017|2020_Web_WWMUI.exe

Windows install paths

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat DC\

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 2015|2017|2020

Registry paths

HKCU\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\DC\

HKCU\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\2015|2017|2020

Application data path

%Appdata%\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\DC\

%Appdata%\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\2015|2017|2020

FTP download locations

ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobat/win/DC/

ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobat/win/2015|2017|2020

* What services are visible in the user interface varies by the purchased track and license type. Use the Customization Wizard or registry/plist configuration to remove unwanted items from the user interface.

  • For the Continuous track, all services are visible and functional. Note that some features, such as Create PDF and Export PDF, are part of the desktop offering and don’t use a DC service.

  • For the Classic track, paid for service-based tools are unavailable. Features such as Export PDF are part of the desktop product and don’t require a service to function. Free services which don’t duplicate existing functionality are on by default.

Reader DC tracks

Reader track comparison

Feature

Continuous

Classic

Updates

frequent; often silent

Planned quarterlies

Update order

Base + last update

Base + last update

Update UI

None (no UI but registry settings can still be used)

Auto or off

Update registry controls

Auto or off

Auto or off

Services integration

All tools visible *

Free tools visible *

Upsell enabled?

On by default

On by default

Spelling pack

Add on

Bundled

Font pack

Add on

Bundled

Languages

Win: single language or MUI

MUI only

File and preference paths

Versionless: always under DC

Versioned: Under major version, 2015|2017|2020, etc.

Windows installer

AcroRdrDC<version>_<lang ID>.exe

AcroRdr2015|2017|2020_MUI.exe

Windows install paths

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat Reader 2015|2017|2020

Registry/plist paths

HKCU\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\DC\

HKCU\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\2015|2017|2020

Application data path

%Appdata%\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\DC\

%Appdata%\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\2015|2017|2020

* What services are visible in the user interface varies by the purchased track and license type. Use the Customization Wizard or registry/plist configuration to remove unwanted items from the user interface.

  • For the Continuous track, all services are visible. Free services are functional by default, and paid-for services require an upgrade or purchase to access.

  • For the Classic track, most service-based tools are hidden. Basic, paid-for services such as Create PDF and Export PDF are visible but must be enabled with a purchase.

Product versioning

Track release schedules and their respective versions will be different, but both the Continuous and Classic tracks share an identical methodology. The new strategy is designed to provide better granularity, support more frequent releases, and aid in troubleshooting by providing build information. In it’s generic form, the version number will appear as major.minor.minor_minor.

_images/version.png
Versioning

Version

Range

Notes

major

1-255

The last two digits of the release year.*

minor

1-255

An internal number indicating when code moves from Trunk to Beta.

minor_minor

1-65535

The first two digits indicate the track. 20 = Continuous. 30 = Classic.

Hidden 4th field

Changelist number

Only visible if user clicks on the version number in the About box.

* The year-based version number is not the same as the Classic track name. While the Classic track versioning contains a year-number (2015|2017|2020), the track name only changes at each major release–not every year. The version number increments every year.