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Adobe Reader Extensions

Category: Enterprise Applications

The Adobe Reader Extensions Service (ARES) provides form owners with the capability to apply usage rights within a PDF (Portable Document Format) to activate functionality within Adobe Reader to enhance end user interaction.  This functionality includes the ability to create pages from templates and alter form fields as well as enable digital signatures, 2D barcodes, and file embedding.


Note: To utilize all the features available with this service, it is necessary to create the source document with the latest Adobe Acrobat Professional development tools.  See the Adobe site at
The service is hosted by BCCS and is available to all State agencies, boards, commissions, universities, colleges, Offices of the General Assembly, and Constitutional Officers as well as county and municipal governments within Illinois.



Unit of Measure

Debit Code  Rates 

Adobe Reader Extensions Service

Per Billing Entity Per Year  459 $500.00 


What is Included?

ARES allows an authorized user to activate one or more of the following features once they have been embedded within a PDF form or document.  These features can be utilized through Adobe Reader in accordance with the usage rights activated by ARES:

Basic Capabilities Available For Activation

Form Owner

  • Managed user access to the form
  • Create pages from templates
  • Activation of 2D barcode decoding
  • Enable digital signatures
  • Creation of editable form fields
  • Embedded file attachments

Form End User

  • Submission of data via outside web browser
  • Submission of completed forms
  • Real-time database connectivity
  • Free form data entry
  • Easy entry into the user interface
  • Digital signatures

What Should You Expect?

  • Quick access to the service once the BCCS Service Administrator receives an official request from a customer (provided enrollment form).  In most cases this will take 5 to 15 working days.
  • Real-time access to uploaded documents (typically less than 5 seconds turnaround time)

Possible benefits of employing enabled PDF documents in your organization:

  • Intelligent document files can be saved to end user local hard drives allowing edited data to be stored.
  • Ability to sign electronic documents with authentication applying public key infrastructure (PKI) technologies either through in-house PKI strategies or professional security vendors.
  • Ability for end users to edit and fill in electronic forms and documents and submit them in place of paper documents
  • Enhanced integrity and accuracy of collected information resulting from the elimination of paper media and related manual re-entries
  • No further reliance on facsimile or email technologies for electronic document transmissions
  • PDF document enabled with usage rights can activate latent capabilities with Adobe Reader to significantly enhance a form owner’s processing and management of end user data


How Can You Help?

  • Ensure that ARES services are not used for personal or other matters that do not pertain to official business needs.
  • Reporting significant changes in business operations that may influence ARES services.
  • Reporting changes in service performance in a timely manner to allow for accurate and speedy diagnostics.
  • Ensure that intended users of the Adobe Reader Extensions Service will have Internet access outside the firewall.
  • Ensure that intended users of the Adobe Reader Extensions Service will have access to Adobe Reader version 8.0 or later.