German postal company Deutsche Post and software company Adobe Systems have teamed to develop a new Web-based postage service, Stampit Web, that allows users to prepay and receive mail postage online.
After purchasing stamps online, users receive the postage in the form of a PDF document, which they can print out using Adobe Reader versions 6.02 and 7.0 and affix to letters or parcels.
The service, to be available later this month, is built on Adobe's LiveCycle software for generating "intelligent documents." These documents have the same look and feel as static forms but can also include important enterprise data and business logic to allow for prefilled information such as customer names or account numbers and automatic calculations, according to Adobe's Web site. What makes these forms intelligent is the ability to define business logic within the form, it said.
Adobe developed the software on the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) architecture.
Deutsche Post will initially target the Stampit Web service at users of eBay's auction Web site in Germany. After completing a deal, eBay sellers can click the linked Stampit Web service and purchase postage for letters and small parcels.
Later, the German postal company plans to extend the service to the general public.
The Stampit Web service comes on top of two other services, Stampit Home and Stampit Business, with an installed base of more than 70,000 customers. The home and business services require users to install dedicated software provided by Deutsche Post.