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Server-side PDF Moving beyond one at a time. Tim Sullivan activePDF, Inc. So why are you here today?. You have nothing better to do at 8:30am You have to go back with something interesting to your boss. You’re kind of interested in server PDF technology

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Server-side PDF Moving beyond one at a time

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Server-side PDF Moving beyond one at a time

Tim Sullivan

activePDF, Inc.

So why are you here today?

  • You have nothing better to do at 8:30am

  • You have to go back with something interesting to your boss.

  • You’re kind of interested in server PDF technology

  • You have a real need that you think server PDF technology will fix

What’s going to be covered?

  • This is not a product “shoot out”

  • The how’s and why’s of going to server-based PDF

  • Server products for creating & re-using PDF

  • Discovery of new and different ways to do things

  • Some things to watch out for when going to a server-based solution

So…why server-based PDF?

  • “I can do that with Acrobat”

  • “That’s cool and all, but out of my price range.”

  • “I don’t own a server”

  • “I have to do what to get it to run?

  • “I hate Windows/Microsoft”

  • “I just don’t get it”

Desktopaholics Anonymous

  • Have a real need, know it, but insist on using a desktop application anyways

  • Afraid of “server technology”

  • “Forest for the Trees”

  • activePDF Marketing “Personas”

Desktopaholic #1“George”


Too Much Damn Paper Syndrome

George’s Obstacles

  • Disparate input document sources

  • Statutory requirements for document retention

  • Legislative requirements for document availability

  • Current workflow is entirely paper-based

George’s Solution

  • Redesign workflow to be paperless

  • Require known input document sources

  • Retain documents electronically

  • Make documents available online for retrieval purposes

How it will work

Procedural Changes

  • Require attorneys to file with “standard” formats (e.g. Word, RTF, WordPerfect)

  • New case “cover sheet” for judges decision and signature

PDF Technologies Used

  • Conversion Server

    • activePDF DocConverter

    • Adlib eXpress Server

  • Document Markup

    • Adobe Acrobat

  • Stamping & Signing

    • Appligent FDFMerge, StampPDF Pro & SecureSign

    • activePDF Toolkit

Desktopaholic #2“Judy”


Data Storage Disorder

Judy’s Obstacles

  • Data is retrieved offsite

  • Manual re-entry is the rule

  • Cannot be 100% paperless

  • Data needs to be shared with lenders

  • No technology in-house to manage information

Judy’s Solution

  • Design PDF version of loan application

  • Store data offsite using 3rd party

  • Repurpose data into appropriate lender forms

  • Take advantage of technologies for date/time non-repudiation

How it will work

PDF Technologies Used

  • Form Design

    • Adobe Acrobat

    • Amgraf OneForm Designer

  • Form Entry

    • Adobe Reader

  • 3rd Party Data Storage

    • FormRouter.Net

  • Repurposing Data via Form Fill

    • activePDF Toolkit

    • Appligent FDFMerge

    • PDFLib Personalization Server

Desktopaholic #3“Lisa”


Document Assembly Hysteria

Lisa’s Obstacles

  • Multiple types of input documents

  • PDF output required for different media

  • “Intelligent” PDF

  • Dependence on her for conversion

  • Order placement specific

  • Distribution (& re-distribution)

Lisa’s Solution

  • Centralized automated conversion with bookmark, hyperlink, etc. support

  • Automated document assembly

  • Repurpose PDF documents automatically

  • Send via email distribution list

How it will work

PDF Technologies Used

  • Form Design & Entry

    • Adobe Acrobat

  • Conversion Server

    • activePDF DocConverter

    • Adlib eXpress Server

    • Adobe Elements Server

  • Document Assembly

    • activePDF Toolkit

    • Appligent AppendPDF Pro

  • Automated Repurposing

    • PDF Sages/Apago PDF Enhancer

    • Enfocus PitStop Server

Desktopaholic #4“Paul”


Form God Complex

Paul’s Obstacles

  • Too many to mention?

  • Local Save for intermediate storage

  • Obvious solution is Reader Extensions

  • Or is it?

  • No budget

  • OK, he can have $2,000

Paul’s Solution

“Round Tripping”

How it works

PDF Technologies Used

  • Form Design

    • Adobe Acrobat

  • Form Entry

    • Adobe Reader

  • Form Fill for Round Tripping

    • activePDF Toolkit

    • Appligent FDFMerge

Getting it to work

  • Create a hidden form field called “Template” and set the value to the name of the PDF

  • Set the click action for the Submit button to do an HTTP POST.

  • For activePDF Toolkit create the following script:

Set TK = Server.CreateObject(“APToolkit.Object”)

R = TK.OpenOutputFile(“MEMORY”)

R = TK.OpenInputFile(Request.Form(“Template”)

For each FieldName in Request.Form

TK.SetFormFieldData FieldName, Request(FieldName), 1




Desktopaholic #5“Peter”


Acrobat Distribution Phobia

Peter’s Obstacles

  • Creation from the Desktop mandated

  • Standardized settings

  • “Intelligent” PDF

  • Ease of installation

Peter’s Solution

  • Centralized PDF Creation

  • Acts as a Printer Driver

  • Seamless to the user

How it works

PDF Technologies Used

  • Centralized PDF Server

    • Adobe Distiller Server

    • Global Graphics Jaws PDF Server

Desktopaholic #6“Ted”


PDF Creation Hostility Syndrome

Ted’s Solution

  • Talk to Peter



Common Underlying Threads

  • One “go to” person

  • Cost reduction

  • Standardization

  • Repetitive tasks

  • Data collection and repurposing

What about those $39 programs that run on a server

  • You get what you pay for

  • Is the vendor dedicated to PDF or are they looking for a quick buck?

  • Is it really designed to run on a server

5 Ways to tell that a program is really just a desktop application running on a server.

  • Requires that someone always be logged in.

  • Runs as a tray icon.

  • Benchmarks are based on 10 documents

  • Price list includes desktop and server (excludes programming API’s )

  • Last week they only had a desktop version…this week viola!

5 Ways to tell that it’s really a server program.

  • It doesn’t care who’s logged in because it installs as a service.

  • Benchmarks include thousands, if not tens of or hundreds of thousands of documents.

  • The company’s webpage actually lists a phone number.

  • Last year they only had a server version…now they are just starting to thinking about desktop.

  • It costs more than lunch (Open Source excluded )

Desktop or ServerHow do you choose?

  • Decide if it’s what you really need or want. With power comes headaches.

  • If you don’t have the people resources to implement a server solution, hire them, learn it yourself or stick with the desktop.

  • You can always use our method…

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