We recently began working with
ABCpdf from Websupergoo. This library gives us the
ability to add extensive PDF file handling to our applications. This need has
been cropping up over and over again and we have been handling this in a variety
of ways, not always to our satisfaction. But with ABCpdf we have now have the
functionality we need built into our applications and no longer need to rely on
Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader or third party programs to read, create, and modify
A client recently approached us with the need to import PDF files
containing client documentation, identify individual pages in those files, link
them to his client records and then create new PDF's from the individual pages.
This would have been impossible with our existing tools. But with ABCpdf we had
the functionality operational in a few hours.
When we first researched available PDF libraries we found a few
that would seemingly fit the bill. After all, our need in this particular
project was relatively simple – open a PDF document, display pages, create new
PDF documents using contents of existing files and rotate as required. You would
expect this from any product. But on further inspection
how you accomplish that can be
critical. Some products rely on print drivers or external libraries which serve
to slow down processing and complicate the distribution of the application. We
also found the approach taken by some vendors to be unnecessarily obtuse. PDF
documents are complex enough without having to fight with unnecessarily
complicated software. ABCpdf takes a straight forward approach to the problem
with clearly defined, well documented methods. We were able to further simplify
our development by creating a handful of page oriented classes with the basic
functionality we needed.
Our needs on this project, as stated, were relatively simple. And
it was nice not having to swim through layers of complex jargon and concepts to
get the job done. But it’s also nice to know that the advanced functionality
exists. A quick read through the library’s features show that it has pretty much
any facility we might conceivably need on future projects. We also appreciated
that not only is the documentation clearly written with copious examples but
that it’s available online for easy reference. Of the products we reviewed,
ABCpdf was certainly the most professional in both design and presentation.
Beyond the basic functionality we needed for our project, and the
enhanced functionality that we can foresee using on future projects, we
appreciated that WebSuperGoo (great name by the way) seems to be aggressively
committed to keeping the library up to date with the latest updates to the PDF
document format and advances in Microsoft Technology. It can be a full time job
just trying to keep up with changes in .Net and Microsoft language products
without having to worry about whether or not the various libraries we depend on
are staying up to date. This is even more of an issue with open source products
that sometimes just “die on the vine. It’s comforting to think that ABCpdf will
stay current so that we don’t have to scramble on future projects to replace it.
For anyone needing to add PDF functionality to their applications
we recommend this product. Of the PDF libraries we tested this was the most
powerful, most professional, best documented and as a bonus, the fastest. The
library has extensive capabilities that give complete access to the intricacies
of the PDF format that we look forward to utilizing in future projects.