As far as I know there is no Photoshop Server. You could use a desktop version as a server for automating tasks but this is obviously not a real server. But honestly, I know more about IDS than Photoshop. There are a lot of other libraries and tools to do image manipulation (depending on the language you do your development).
InDesign Server can be used to crearte a preview in PDF or JPG based on an InDesign document. So do your image manipulation using any tool/lib and use IDS to create the preview.
You mentioned that you can use IDS to generate a preview JPG for a document? Is it possible to use IDS to generate a preview of a single picture frame or text frame (or even grouped frames) ?
Thanks in advance!
Please note that your EULA does not allow you to use Photoshop (or InDesign or Illustrator or Acrobat or...) on a machine that allows more than one user access to the program. That is to say, you can't write scripts for Photoshop and trigger those scripts from a hot folder if more than one user can have access to the hot folder.
That having been said, at the end of 2010, Adobe created licenses for programmatic use of both Photoshop and Illustrator. These special licenses allow you to deploy Photoshop or Illustrator on a server and make scripts available to anyone within the company. Let's say you have a graphics department that needs to convert large amounts of PSD files to jpeg and png, and you don't want to dedicate a person to that task. Or, let's say you regularly do profile to profile conversions. Or, that you have an image processing workflow that requires several steps for which you have created actions, and that you'd like everyone in the workgroup to do the same way. Programmatic Photoshop is a great solution for these and other regular image processing tasks.
Programmatic Photoshop and Illustrator are not Servers in the way that InDesign Server is a server. These are simply your desktop PS and AI, but licensed for programmatic use by a workgroup. For many companies, this license offers advantages in that it frees up one or more people to do money making tasks for the company rather than tedious image conversions. Also, it may allow companies to take capital deductions where they might not have before.
The user must build their own scripts and also their own interface to the scripts. Many companies use Apple Automator in conjunction with one or both of these programmatic licenses, since it is easy to build a hot folder that fires off AppleScript and then monitors the result. Since many companies already have Actions and scripts that they are using across the workgroup, this licensing option makes it easier for IT to manage the scripts by consolidating onto one or more central image processors running Programmatic Photoshop and/or Illustrator.
Talk to your local Adobe sales person to learn more about these new licensing options for Photoshop and Illustrator.
See my note above; that's about all there is to it. Currently, there isn't a SKU that you can order from CDW or SHI or any other reseller. We (Adobe) need to be engaged in order to generate that custom SKU for the reseller to fulfill. If you need help in locating the appropriate Adobe Account Executive, then please feel free to contact me at jlockman at adobe dot com.
I had read your note above, but it wasn't as clear to me as what you just said. I work for a big company and am working on a proposal for something... just needed a quick answer without having to track down answers for questions like "who knows who our rep is?" and all of that stuff. Now I'm sure we can get a SKU so I'll put that as an option in my proposal. Thanks.