Mac Admin

Adobe Announces Long Term Support (LTS) for Creative Cloud

Today started with an unusual email from Adobe (which can be viewed here). In this email, the Adobe Creative Cloud Team announced a new support option of Long Term Support or LTS. They also took this opportunity to clarify their support areas and where they will apply.

Unless otherwise noted, N refers to the current version of an Adobe product.

What?

So Adobe have announced that applications older than the current version can be supported under LTS for an additional version. For Example:

  • Photoshop 2021 is current and has full support for security and feature patches.
  • Photoshop 2020 is one behind current (N-1) and so is supported for security updates only, under LTS
  • Photoshop 2019 (and older) is more than one behind current (N-2[+]) and os is not supported for patches.

To be honest, I’d describe this more as “Extended Support” instead of LTS, as LTS has a different meaning for most people.

This is detailed further in the Adobe KB article – Creative Cloud Support Policy

Adobe Support?

So Adobe have also used that document to detail their various support levels and options. Highlights include:

  • Feature Updates – Updates to software to add new features and functionality. These will typically increment the second number in the version of an App (e.g. v2.2.2 becomes v2.3.0)
  • Bug Fixes – Updates to software to remove bugs and unwanted behaviour. These will typically increment the third number in the version of an App (e.g. v2.2.2 becomes v2.2.3)
  • Security Updates – Updates to software to address security vulnerabilities. These will also increment the third number in the version of an App (e.g. v2.2.2 becomes v2.2.3)
  • OS Compatibility – (For Apple devices) Adobe will support the latest macOS, and the two preceding versions (OS N-2 support). For iOS, this drops down to the latest and one preceding version (OS N-1 support).
  • Browser Support – Only the latest versions of Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox.
  • Assisted Support – Adobe customer support and assistance. Support for N-3 or older is at their discretion

Ok so what support applies where?

So for the current (N) version of Adobe software, all customers can expect:

  • Feature Updates
  • Bug fixes
  • Security Updates
  • OS Compatibility
  • Assisted Support

For anything else Adobe, all non-enterprise customers (including Individuals and Teams) can expect:

  • Assisted Support, only

For Enterprise customers, you get access to LTS for the previous version of software (N-1), for a maximum combined 24 months. This covers:

  • Security Updates
  • Assisted Support

For everyone, Support for N-2 and older is limited to:

  • Assisted Support, only

Exceptions!

As you can imagine, there are exceptions to the above support:

  • LTS for Photoshop is available to Teams and individual customers
  • LTS versions of “cloud-first” titles are not available due to the integrations with web services. These include: Lightroom, Fresco, Adobe XD and Premier Rush.
  • LTS versions of 3D apps and not available. These include: Dimension and Substance.
  • Acrobat has its own release system, covered more here – Continuous or Classic track.

Adobe have a complete list of titles currently in LTS in a table here. They’ve said this will be updated yearly in November. I’ve repeated the current table below but the source doesn’t include the press-release names (e.g. no Photoshop 2020). I’ve added these below to try and help out.

Software TitleLTS version (Up to Oct 2021)Comments
After Effects17.xPart of the 2020 suite. Also Feature updates until early 2021, and security updates only after
Animate20.5Part of the 2020 suite
Adobe Audition13.xPart of the 2020 suite. Also Feature updates until early 2021, and security updates only after
Adobe Bridge10.1Part of the 2020 suite
Character Animator3.xPart of the 2020 suite. Also Feature updates until early 2021, and security updates only after
Dreamweaver20.2Part of the 2020 suite
Illustrator24.3Part of the 2020 suite
InCopy15.1Part of the 2020 suite
InDesign15.1Part of the 2020 suite
Lightroom Classic9.4Part of the 2020 suite
Adobe Media Encoder14.xPart of the 2020 suite. Also Feature updates until early 2021, and security updates only after
Photoshop21.2Part of the 2020 suite
Premiere Pro14.xPart of the 2020 suite. Also Feature updates until early 2021, and security updates only after

Note: This table is only a snapshot in time. Please consult the source page for up to date information, linked here.

Changes to packaging and title avalibility

As you can imagine, with these changes (or I guess clarifications) on Adobe supported software, there will be some changes to what you see in your portals. Adobe have stated:

  • By default, only titles that receive security or feature updates (e.g. the latest, and LTS versions) are visible for enterprise admins
  • You can also include older packages in your list, but these require a setting change in your console (select Available application versions in package preferences (Admin Console > Packages > Preferences))
  • NOTE: Applications titles more than 3 versions behind latest are not supported and are not available for download! If you currently have access to these, you may download and retain these for future (unsupported) use.

Just to make this clear:

NOTE: Applications titles more than 3 versions behind latest are not supported and are not available for download! If you currently have access to these, you may download and retain these for future (unsupported) use.

It’s not yet clear how this will look for Self Service users in CCDA but it is expected these users simply will not be shown updates and installs for titles outside LTS (for Enterprise accounts) or outside current (for everyone else).

Important Dates

So it looks like most of the above changes have not yet been implemented. Adobe have provided some key dates on the KB that I have repeated below:

  • Nov 10, 2020: Support page updated, introducing the Long Term Supported versions for Enterprise customers.
  • Dec 1, 2020: Creative Cloud Enterprise IT Admins receive email notice of key updates.
  • Dec 1, 2020 – Feb 4, 2021: LTS notification banner appears on the Packages tab inside the Admin Console.
  • Feb 4, 2021: Download availability restricted to align with policy (Creative Cloud for enterprise customers restricted to N-2; Creative Cloud for teams customers restricted to N-1).  

Outro

Another Adobe post, this time covering some upcoming chnages with how Adobe support and offer their software.

As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let me know below (or @daz_wallace on Mac Admins Slack) and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can.

Standard