Adobe at SFUget help

Simon Fraser University has signed an agreement with Adobe Corporation for the use of two of Adobe's most popular products on the university's computers.  

These are Creative Suite and Acrobat.  Acrobat is the software that allows for the viewing, creation and editing of PDF documents.  Creative Suite is a collection of Adobe tools, which includes Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop and several more.

The agreement is for a large number of licenses, and runs until SFU fiscal year end in 2020.


Let's agree to some definitions. The software can be used by certain users and certain devices. The first entitlement is to full-time continuing staff and faculty. These users are entitled to the software, regardless of which device it is installed on. This is "named-user" licensing.

The agreement further allows for the software to be installed on university owned devices. This is how computer labs are licensed - with the exception that there is no license limit for permanent computer labs.

It must be noted that university owned in the context of this contract has a very specific meaning that may vary from what we usually think of when we read the phrase.

So what is eligible?

  • Computers purchased by a department or faculty with a purchase requisition.
  • Computers purchased (accidentally) using a departmental PCard.
  • Computers purchased with funds from a research grant.
  • Computers purchased with funds from a startup grant
  • Computers purchased by ASPA members with Professional Development funds (so long as the computer was purchased within three years).
  • Computers purchased by Faculty members with Professional Development funds (so long as the computer was purchased within three years).

Note that no distinction is placed upon location or usage (unlike other agreements); desktops in staff or faculty offices, desktops in labs, notebooks that come and go are all eligible so long as they meet the above criteria for university owned.

(If there is some other obscure acquisition mechanism not covered here that you think should be, send an email with all particulars to

How do I get it?

For licensing reasons, distribution of the two products, Acrobat and Creative Suite, is controlled and tracked.

Managed Macs and Windows computers at the University already have access. This will not change until Adobe forces us to stop installing it via these mechanisms.

One very new and important change coming Fall 2018 is the move to 100% named-user licenses for faculty and staff. Users are allowed to install the software, given that they agree to have some info added to a web portal hosted by Adobe. They gain access to the software by nature of an Enterprise ID. See here for more info.

Creative Suite

Creative Suite will initially be available to Managed Macs, NexGen computers and Windows computers connected to Active Directory.  These management systems have the ability to push the software out, and keep track of where they've pushed it to.

(Adobe is working on a licensing scheme that will allow for the tracking of installs to non-managed machines.  Once available, Creative Suite may be more widely available. There is currently no time frame for this. For more information on named-user licenses for full-time continuing staff or faculty, please email )

Nexgen admins and departmental Active Directory admins can click here for the technical install procedure.

Acrobat Pro

Acrobat will be more widely available, but installs must still be carefully tracked.  Therefore, only a single senior IT support person within a faculty or department will have access to the install media.

Individual users needing access to Acrobat Pro should be requesting an Enterprise ID. See here for more info.

What's Included

Acrobat Pro is of course just Acrobat Pro.  

Creative Suite is a collection of individual programs. Given the resources taken to administer the suite, IT Services will not be deploying combinations or permutations of the suite with managed installs. We install everything.

The best place to get info on the suite components is at Adobe's Site, but we will post a brief list here for brevity:

Image editing and compositing

Digital photo processing and editing

Vector graphics and illustration

Page design and layout for print and digital publishing

Adobe Premiere Pro
Video production and editing

After Effects
Cinematic visual effects and motion graphics

Project Felix
Easy 2D and 3D compositing for photo-realistic images

Design and develop modern, responsive websites

Adobe Muse
Design and publish websites without writing code

Flash Professional is now Adobe Animate CC. Interactive animations for multiple platforms.

Adobe Audition
Audio recording, mixing, and restoration

Centralize your creative assets

Media Encoder
Quickly output video files for virtually any screen

Flash Builder
IDE for coding Flash apps and mobile device packaging

Collaborate with copywriters and editors

Metadata ingest, logging, and rough cuts

Easily create and share impactful visual stories — in minutes

Profile Flash games on web and devices

Film finishing and color grading

Story Plus
Collaborative screenwriting, reporting, and scheduling tools

Extension Manager
Easily install and manage extensions

ExtendScript Toolkit
Add script to your creative apps

Acrobat Pro
Create, edit, and sign PDF documents and forms