Do you ever find yourself struggling with any of these common PDF form challenges?
- Trouble opening, editing, accessing, or printing PDF form documents.
- Struggling to import and export information from your PDF form.
- PDF viewer software causing PDF form incompatibility issues & loss of features.
- Inefficient paper-forms processing slowing down important workflows.
If so, we hear you and we understand. PDF forms are not always the easiest to work with, but fortunately we’re here to help solve these problems.
Datalogics is very proud to announce the newest major release of Forms Extension for the Adobe PDF Library on Windows, available for C++, .NET, or Java. Why is this important? Because this update delivers some major improvements:
- Improved stability means developers can rely on a solid application experience.
- Reduced memory usage is the ideal scenario for a server environment with a long running process.
- Better Flattened PDF output that’s more consistent with Adobe Acrobat.
- New features!
First, why is stability important in an SDK library?
Many end-users’ programs are short-lived programs, meaning you ‘call’ it or ‘invoke’ it once, it takes an action, it finishes, and the program exits and ceases to be ‘alive’. In custom applications that use 3rd party SDKs, however, the program may always be running or running for many hours at a time. Due to this, you may need to start to use your SDK, perform some actions with it, perform some more actions with it, then rest for X many minutes or hours, then perform more actions with it, etc. The point is you may need to use that SDK, on demand, say thousands or even millions of times while the application is running!
If there’s an instability in a short-lived application it can often go unnoticed, but for a long-lived program, instabilities will quickly cause problems, often leading to a catastrophic situation or a ‘crash’. In this release, we’ve focused on making our Forms Extension SDK more stable and dependable to prevent such bad scenarios.
Why is reduced memory usage important?
Many people like to talk about the advances in computer technology and will reference, for example, how inexpensive memory is now than it was 10 years ago. This is most certainly true, but memory isn’t infinite. Actually, as your application uses more and more memory, it’s a much more taxing expense on the operating system. E.g., if your application uses 400MB of memory that’s quite a bit different than if it uses 12GB of memory which is 30 times more!
In this release, we’ve focused on reducing the memory footprint of our Forms Extension SDK to ensure a more stable, better performing application experience.
What do we mean by ‘better’ Flattened output?
In case you didn’t know, Dynamic PDF XFA documents are masquerading as PDFs but they’re not really PDFs. What do we mean by ‘they’re not really PDFs’? That means they don’t contain meaningful PDF content; on the contrary, they contain a ‘shell’ of a PDF that’s merely a fallback for PDF viewers that aren’t XFA-aware to display. So instead of seeing the expected content, you see some placeholder image or text. See our previous blog article: https://www.datalogics.com/blog/apdfl/forms-extension-launched-on-windows-64-bit/ for more details on how this works.
This means converting Dynamic XFA documents to a Flat PDF is a dizzyingly complex problem with many layers of complexity to it. In view of this, in this release we’ve concentrated on ensuring we preserve fidelity of your XFA documents. Fidelity in this case means that you don’t lose anything visually when you compare the XFA input to the Flattened output.
The ability to determine if an XFA document is a Dynamic or Static XFA PDF can be important, and with the new APIs we’ve added, you can easily and confidently determine this type. Not only can we acknowledge if XFA content is static or dynamic, users can drive automation based on that confirmation as well. For more information on the benefits of each type of XFA form, see this past blog which highlights more details: https://www.datalogics.com/blog/apdfl/introducing-the-forms-extension-for-adobe-pdf-library/.
The ability to Flatten an XFA document as if it were printed is a new, powerful feature we’ve also added. But why would you need a different way to Flatten an XFA document? This is a natural question if you’re already familiar with the ability to Flatten a document in Forms Extension. The answer: an XFA Forms document can appear differently when printed than when viewed. This is because some fields can be designated as only being visible when they are printed. Similarly, fields can be designated as never being visible when printed. Because of this you can see why being able to Flatten as if you were printing the document is an important scenario to support.
We’ve also simultaneously updated our PDF Forms Flattener command line utility for an off-the-shelf solution for your Forms needs. The PDF Forms Flattener command line utility has been updated to take advantage of this new major update to the Forms Extension SDK. It features a new command line option, asPrinted that allows the user to Flatten their XFA document as if it were printed.
Datalogics is committed to solving your PDF Forms problems and we’ve taken yet another leap forward in this new release to meet your needs. We’ve love to hear from you how we can solve your PDF Forms and PDF XFA Forms problems, please contact us so we can help you today.
Forms Extension is now available for a free evaluation period – download it today to get started!
The PDF Forms Flattener is now available with a free evaluation – download it today to get started!