Adobe has acquired Extensible Markup Language (XML) developer Yellow Dragon Software, in a move to strengthen its XML architecture.

Adobe said: "The acquisition will deliver technology that further strengthens Adobe's XML architecture, which enables businesses and governments to combine the powerful data and business logic capabilities of XML with the rich presentation and enhanced security capabilities of Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)."

Yellow Dragon provides an ebXML (Electronic Business eXtensible Markup Language) solution, used for the exchange of electronic business data across servers.

Adobe added: "By enabling native support for ebXML transactions within the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform and PDF, Adobe is making it faster and easier for organizations to automate their external business processes and protect their investments using open standards."

Adobe confirmed its plans to integrate this technology into its server products next year.

Adobe senior vice president Ivan Koon said: "The addition of Yellow Dragon is a powerful extension to the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform. We believe Yellow Dragon's technology will enable us to offer XML functionality which will be mandated by governments and businesses over the next few years. We also gain experienced engineers who are active in the XML standards arena, and who helped define the ebXML standard."

Yellow Dragon executive vice president and co-founder Duane Nickull said: "Joining the Adobe team will help ensure that our XML technologies enjoy broad adoption as the need for document services grows in the market. We look forward to continuing to deliver new XML technologies that will solve customers' document problems."

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. But Adobe claimed that this acquisition would not have a financial impact on the company.

The acquisition comes at a time when Adobe is competing with Microsoft to deliver new Web forms. Adobe plans to help companies automate their external business processes with ebXML technology, while Microsoft's InfoPath application converts user input into XML, which can then be fed into a back-end system.

ZapThink LLC analyst Ronald Schmelzer, told eweek: "Adobe is definitely looking to change the landscape for the emerging e-forms market, and will be increasingly stronger in the market. In fact, the only other strong contender for rich, XML-based electronic forms is Microsoft's new InfoPath product, and that product is barely out of the gate from an adoption perspective.

"Yellow Dragon has some significant assets in the B2B messaging and reliable document exchange areas, which could definitely benefit Adobe as it seeks to make Acrobat and the PDF a robust contender for the rich client-of-choice for things like forms and other user interaction with back-end systems."