Adobe will release version 7.0 of its Acrobat products by the end of the year, including a new free Acrobat Reader that now includes reviewing capabilities, the company revealed.

With the updates Adobe is underscoring its focus on workgroups and document management. The client products all tie in to the company's Intelligent Document Platform, a set of elements Adobe wants to use to make PDF with XML additions a common way to get data in and out of enterprise systems.

Acrobat 7.0 Professional users can create PDF files and allow those to be reviewed and commented on by Acrobat Reader 7.0 users. The reader features a new reviewing toolbar that can be enabled when the PDF file is created in Acrobat Professional, according to Adobe.

Acrobat 7.0 Professional will also be included in will be integrated in Adobe Creative Suite Premium, the company claims.

Included with Acrobat 7.0 Professional is Adobe LiveCycle Designer, a tool to design PDF forms that work with back-end enterprise systems using XML. These special forms allow organizations to automatically process data sent in PDF forms, so there's no need to re-enter the information into their own back-end systems.

Adobe's Intelligent Document Platform goes up against Microsoft's XML plans for Office and InfoPath and competes with products from several smaller vendors.

Catering to its traditional audience of design professionals, Adobe has enhanced the Acrobat applications to display PDF files that include ‘live’ 3D CAD content as opposed to a static 3D picture, the company said.

The high-end Acrobat 7.0 Professional is targeted at technical and creative professionals and is priced at £395 ex VAT. An upgrade from selected preceding versions is available for £135 ex VAT.

Acrobat 7.0 Standard is aimed at business professionals and costs £245 plus VAT, with the upgrade version priced at £79 plus VAT.

Acrobat 7.0 Standard and Professional will be available in English, French, German and Japanese by the end of the year for Windows and Mac. Acrobat Reader 7.0 will be available for Windows and Mac by year's end and next year for Linux, Pocket PC, Palm OS and Symbian, according to Adobe.