As an Adobe partner, we get periodic updates from Adobe for the code base that our PDF Java Toolkit is built from. Sometimes these updates are small, sometimes they are rather large and take our developers more time to integrate all the changes (either because of the number of changes or because of the complexity of the changes mixed with the changes we have made). This time around it was no different and it has been a long 5 months! Since we started merging in updates from Adobe, we have also done a number of other things as well, we couldn’t just let our customers’ issues wait. Let’s talk about what these changes mean to you.
When we first started with PDF Java Toolkit 5+ years ago, it had a minimum requirement of Java 5 and we moved to requiring Java 6 a few years ago. With PDF Java Toolkit 8 (the version that is currently available is 8.1.0) and later, we will now be requiring Java 7 as a minimum. We purposefully move the Java requirement slowly as we know not all of our customers can be on the bleeding edge, our customers require stability in their environments because there are real financial impacts to them and their businesses if we provide software that is not stable.
We have found and fixed a number of issues, now we need your help to find the bugs that have alluded us so far. No matter how long we test our products, customers always turn up new issues either by using new APIs we have added or by using APIs slightly differently than we have, so if you run into a bug please report it to us so we can fix it and get you on your way!
Here are some of the features that have been added that we have not had an opportunity to test in real world scenarios so far
- Added support for PDF/A3 conversion and validation
- Added support for PDF/A2u conversion and validation (usability issues)
- Added support for creating Stamp Annotations (known issue where appearances are not generated, results in Acrobat generating appearances or annotations not being displayed in other PDF viewing applications)
- Embedded font optimizer
- Start of support for the latest draft of PDF 2.0
- General improvements to handle documents that do not conform to the PDF specification
I don’t want to go into too much detail in this post about each of these features so we will cover these in more detail as follow up posts. You can browse the updated API documentation on our developer site as well! What I do want to discuss in some detail is how these changes impact you as a developer or integrator of PDF Java Toolkit. Some time ago, I wrote a blog post that explained that we use Semantic Versioning to version PDF Java Toolkit (and the different components that make up the full product) and this release changes the major version number.
Impact of a major version number change
We take version number changes pretty seriously as it impacts not only our testing and QA, it impacts our customers as well. With this release of Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit, we suggest that when you update your projects to use it, you plan a little extra time to do more testing than you normally would. A major version number change typically indicates that there are breaking changes in the APIs, either in the signature of the API (your application won’t compile until these are resolved) or in the contract the API defines (behavior/responses of APIs have changed).
When accepting changes from Adobe, we do our best to make sure that the changes to existing APIs are as minimal as possible so that the contract of an API from one version to the next is consistent. We are human after all though, and we can’t always keep that promise and that is what this major version number change reflects.
Here are the change(s) to existing APIs that we have found that may impact users
- In some cases the calculation of field values in a PDF form use string concatenation instead of addition when running the calculation scripts of a PDF form
If you are a current customer, Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit 8.1.0 is now available to you, if you need help accessing it, contact your support representative and they will help you out. If you are a current evaluator, feel free to reach out to us and ask for the latest version so that you too can make use of the new features.