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April 09, 2008



My name is Olga and I work for a company that specializes in digital signatures.
I liked the article - it's very well written and very objective.
If you're interested, there's some useful background (non-commercial) information about digital signatures at http://www.arx.com/digital-signatures-faq.php

Thomas B. Higgins, P.E.

It's surprising to me that the DWF team at Autodesk is behind the curve on digital signatures. The PDF folks have this one figured out. This issue is going to increase resistance to switching from PDF to DWF, despite all the reasons DWF is better. I'm a structural engineer. Both of the states where I do most of my work, Oregon and Washington, have laws enabling digital signatures for engineers. (Architects too, I believe.) Oregon permits self-signed certificates. Washington requires independent certificate issuance (Verisign). Agencies (ODOT, for example) are starting to expect digital signatures; they want to get away from paper, too, but have to have authentication. I use CutePDF Professional for this purpose. It uses PKCS#12 for X.509 keys. See the Wikipedia article. This standard can accommodate multiple signatures, which is important when more than one professional are signing a drawing. When you folks implement digital signatures, pay attention to the image layering used by Adobe. If a seal raster image has an opaque background it can be allowed to blot out the "signature valid" and "signature not verified" messages while permitting the "signature invalid" message to always be on top. This is important because it allows the documents to have their traditional appearance unless invalid. See http://www.adobe.com/security/pdfs/samplesignatures.pdf and the Acrobat Digital Signature Appearances document. Adobe got this right; CutePDF got it wrong, but there is a workaround. Autodesk needs to move on digital signatures. It's becoming an obstruction to progress.

Volker Joseph

Digital signatures where introduced with Autodesk Design Review 2010.

Thank you.

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