Product Definitions for Adobe CC 2016 release

Adobe has recently made available a June 2016 release of Creative Cloud. We have added corresponding product definitions to PRS. As usual, they will automatically be added to your Products window whenever your KeyServer has discovered a similar footprint on your site.

For several years now there has been a new CC release each June. In past years it has been effectively a “major release” where all components are updated. This year though vice president and general manager Mala Sharma described it as a “dot release” (or minor release). This makes some sense as the update only includes new versions of a handful of individual applications. However, the way the products are described and marketed by Adobe gets a bit confusing.

New product definitions for Adobe Creative Cloud 2016

New product definitions for Adobe Creative Cloud 2016

 

Major vs Minor

The updated “point product” (individual applications) each are shown by Adobe as a 2015 version, e.g. “Photoshop CC 2015.5”. Further, they seem to avoid calling the entire suite “Creative Cloud 2016” and instead simply refer to “the latest update”. Since you will see the “2015.5” style versioning on the Adobe web site and in the Application Manager, we’ve mimicked that naming, as confusing as it is. For the suites, we have simply named them with “2016” for clarity.

Oddly enough, even though Photoshop is a “dot release”, the actual executables do have an entirely new major version, as you can see in the new product details:

New version of Photoshop CC

New version of Photoshop CC

The 2015.5 release has an executable version of 17.x whereas last year’s release has an executable version of 16.x – which includes the initial 2015 release as well as 2015.1, 2015.2, 2015.3, and 2015.4. In fact, all of the applications that have been updated for the June 2016 release have new major version – EXCEPT for InDesign. For InDesign, the initial 2015 release had an 11.0.x version. Then minor updates over the course of the year had 11.1.x, 11.2.x, and 11.3.x. Here’s last year’s product definition, which used to simply include 11.x variants:

cc_03_minor

Last year’s version of InDesign CC

Now as you can see the version mask has been pushed out one decimal so that the 2015 Product will include all of the 2015 releases but not 2015.4 (since it was released in June 2016).

All of this is slightly confusing but we’ve made definitions that attempt to match what Adobe sees as significant releases. An alternative would be to combine all versions into single products (Photoshop CC any version) but this would not provide as much information when using K2.

Noticing new Products

Now let’s look at how you might see the new products which have been discovered by PRS. First of all, the main Products window has an optional column called “Import Date”. Right-click a column header and select “Customize Columns” to add this column. You can sort on this column to see what has been imported most recently.

To focus on a more specific list of products you can run the Upgrade Discoveries report. This report is meant to show products that you will be interested in the most – a subset of all the new products that have been imported.

cc_04_discovery

Upgrade Discoveries report

In this example, Creative Cloud 2016 is displayed because in this configuration there is already a Policy for Creative Cloud 2015. Since CC 2015 is controlled, it’s likely that you’ll want to control CC 2016 as well. Likewise Photoshop CC 2015.5 is displayed because Photoshop CC 2015 is controlled. The KeyReporter dashboard also has a widget which will show the same data. The widget makes it easy to monitor and notice when there’s a new version, without having to think of running a report.

cc_05_widget

Upgraded Products widget

 

Purchases and Reconcile

Another way to notice that a change might be needed is using the Reconcile option from the tasks menu. Opening this window shows something like this:

cc_06_reconcile

Product Reconciliation showing that we could make changes

Even though the number of Entitled (purchased) and Managed match, the purchase lines are shown in red. This is because they are subscription purchases, and those subscriptions include entitlements to any new versions released during the subscription term. The fact that there is now a new version available means that the purchase can now support it and we might need to do some work.

If we open one of the purchases, here’s the important pane from the Product details.

cc_07_purchase

Example of a Creative Cloud purchase record

First of all you’ll see how a subscription is recorded. In the summary area you will see the explicit statement that a new version is available and entitlements could be upgraded. Clicking Reconcile gives you a window specific to this family of products, along with associated Purchases and Policies.

Using Reconcile to upgrade

cc_08_suggest

Reconciling the purchase, which can now support a newer product

Here again, in the lower right there’s a note that there is an upgraded product available. This time though, we can simply click the “Upgrade” button to make the appropriate change. After doing so, the window updates to reflect the new state.

cc_09_upgraded

Policies are now out of sync with Purchases

Now, the Purchase is out of sync with Policies. We have “upgraded” the Purchase to CC 2016, but the Policy still only controls CC 2015. So on the one hand we’re now managing 100 copies of CC 2015 with no corresponding Entitlements, and on the other hand we’re Entitled to 100 copies of CC 2016, with no corresponding Policy.

cc_10_policies

Recommendation for updating a Policy

Again though, with either Product selected, there is a Recommendation for how to Reconcile the current state. This time the the Recommendation is to upgrade the Policy (much like we upgraded the Purchase). If we select that option and Apply, we reach a state where everything is balanced and there’s no need to take any further action.

cc_11_balanced

Purchases and Policies are balanced again

Now we have 100 Entitlements to CC 2016 and we’re also managing 100 copies. Note that the policy will still allow use of CC 2015 – we are not forced to upgrade the software on all clients immediately! If we look in the Policy details at the Product pane, we see that sure enough, both Products are now associated with the Policy.

cc_12_products

Policy details now shows both products

 

Summary

With any luck you have experienced things much like the steps above in your own KeyServer. Or, maybe you have received the new definitions from PRS and you just need to follow similar steps to the ones above. In any case you can see how easy this is. Should you discover any errors with the new definitions, encounter anything you do not understand, or have any other questions, don’t hesitate to call or email Sassafras Support.

 

Final notes

Finally, here’s a sneak peek at new functionality in the upcoming 7.4 release.

cc_13_alert

Coming in 7.4 – alerts about new products from PRS

 

Generally we have added an Admin Alert feature – and here you see some specific examples as they relate the PRS discoveries. Alerts have been generated for each product imported by PRS. In addition there is an alert about an “upgraded product” – this corresponds to the report and widget we saw earlier. In this case, because Photoshop CC 2014 had a policy already, we get an alert about the discovery of Photoshop CC 2015.

Update (2016-07-14): We originally added some “smaller” suites, such as “Adobe Creative Cloud Video 2016.” We have since learned that while these were available in previous years, they are no longer available. We have now removed these definitions, leaving only point products, CC complete, and the Photography Program for the year 2016. If the other suites were already imported to your data, you could delete them, or just set them to Ignored (which will prevent them from appearing in Audit reports).

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