Extensis has announced Universal Type Server, its next generation server-based font management solution for Mac and Windows.

Universal Type Server is capable of handling all font-related issues that may arise while working in font-intensive workflows, according to Extensive. The Java-based server with a SQL backend offers server and user administration via Web-based applications and Active Directory integration. It supports both Mac and Windows clients independently or simultaneously, and can support mobile users users can go ‘offline’ and still access the fonts they need.

The server offers font license tracking and fast type activation, with fast, customizable previews driven by Apple’s Core animation technology. There's automated organization of font libraries via classification, foundry, file type, custom keywords, and more.

Universal Type Server will support Extensis’ patented Font Sense technology offering users the ability to automatically activate the exact versions of fonts used in InDesign, Illustrator and QuarkXPress document when that document is opened. Unlike basic auto-activation, Font Sense works seamlessly to allow for a deep level of font analysis instead of simply selecting and activating the first font with the same PostScript or font menu name. Font Sense avoids silent font substitution, incorrect glyphs, text re-flows, and layout issues.

The software is available in three versions. Universal Type Server Lite is for up to 10 concurrent users. The Professional edition allows up to 250 concurrent connections. The Corporate edition is designed for large corporate workgroups. It allows for more than 250 concurrent connections and includes Active Directory and external database (Microsoft SQL 2005) functionality.

Universal Type Server is currently beta testing and is expected to ship in Spring 2008.