Collaboration software that allows people at distant locations to work together on one document or a large project is moving steadily to cloud-based environments, but there are many users who need to keep collaboration work on their own networks. A company called Bluebeam Software has introduced Studio Server, a server-based collaboration platform for editing text, images, CAD drawings, blueprints and other content in Portable Document Format (PDF) form but still provide the security of keeping the project behind the firewall.
Studio Server is a follow-up to Bluebeam's PDF Revu 9.0, which enables collaboration in a cloud environment. Small-to-midsize businesses may be comfortable collaborating on projects in a cloud-based environment, but bigger firms and enterprises have concerns about sharing documents concerning a highly sensitive project in the cloud, says Richard Lee, president and CEO of Bluebeam.
"And it isn't just the government and DoD [Department of Defense] customers," Lee says. "You find that large construction and architectural engineering companies would like to maintain the security of their own documents."
Studio Server allows a project manager to control who is granted access to documents in a project and in a particular collaboration session. Each meeting is given a unique ID number, and only those given the number can join that meeting. Although the server storing the project PDFs is behind the firewall, an organizer can grant access to participants beyond the firewall, such as subcontractors, partners and legal counsel.
Studio Server still has the same features of PDF Revu 9.0 for marking up PDFs for a particular project, says Stephani Haynes, director of marketing for Bluebeam. The application includes a number of different markup tools for editing documents, such as highlighting, adding notes in text boxes, and cut and paste functionality. The application also keeps track of changes made to the document, when and by whom, and also notes when and if changes were accepted or rejected.