Preview and Convert Office files to PDF within a web-based document management application

DynaFile is a web based document management application offered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution to its users. Providing a robust set of features and tools, DynaFile offers the capability for users to easily archive, retrieve and manage documents stored within the system.

DynaFile allows employees and business associates to access, view, retrieve and share documents effortlessly without the need to install any proprietary software. With the capabilities to completely customize the application, from the color scheme, layout, index (search) fields and document types, DynaFile will accommodate the way in which companies and departments work, instead of forcing them to conform to its requirements.

Whether companies deal with massive amounts of paper files, or have a large number of electronic documents (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, AutoCad, PDF, images, etc.), DynaFile provides a simple, yet effective interface for companies to manage these documents, and ensure that the proper individuals that need to have access them, do so securely.

Requirement

Prior to choosing Aspose, the access and retrieval of both TIFF and PDF documents was elegant and simple by presenting the user with thumbnails of the document pages and displaying the document in a user friendly Acrobat window when requested. Unfortunately, the retrieval of Microsoft Office documents was not nearly as simple. Word and Excel documents would be presented to the user in a multitude of different methods depending upon the client’s configuration, either within the browser window or in the full application. Also, numerous security warnings were presented when opening these types of documents and no thumbnail capability existed to allow the user to preview these types of documents. Therefore, prior to implementing Aspose’s tools, the user was discouraged from storing Microsoft Office documents.

Solution

Prior to implementing the Aspose solution, numerous other products were tried in hopes of remedying the issue of opening up Office documents. These included tools available by current component providers that were already integrated into DynaFile. Neither tool, though, offered the breadth and performance capabilities that Aspose provided. Because of the modular design of DynaFile when dealing with document presentation and retrieval, and because of clearly defined and conceptualized way that Aspose has designed their components, integrating the Aspose components into the DynaFile application was a seamless process, taking less than 100 hours to design, implement and integrate into the unit testing process.

This screenshot shows DynaFile providing thumbnail images of a sample Microsoft Word document.

This screenshot shows the same Microsoft Word document which has been dynamically converted to a PDF file (with embedded hyperlinks intact).

Experience

Once the Aspose tools were integrated into DynaFile, the user’s experience when dealing with native Microsoft Office documents was significantly improved. Now, when the user requests to view Word or Excel documents, the user is presented with a preview of the document as well as the option to thumbnail the document before opening it. This is the same feature that was previously only available to PDF and TIFF documents. Also, when the full document is requested, the Office Documents are automatically converted to PDF files “on the fly” so that the user receives a consistent interface regardless of document type. Another huge benefit is that embedded hyperlinks that exist with the Word documents are retained during the PDF conversion process.

Next Steps

Currently, DynaFile is only utilizing the Word and Excel conversion features of the Aspose suite. Future releases plan to include additional conversions such as PowerPoint, HTML and email messages. Also, features to allow page/worksheet level manipulation such as rotating and deleting are expected to be tested and implemented. The additional benefits of going with the Aspose.Total package will also allow us to migrate some of our current barcode processing needs away from other third party components and rely solely upon the Aspose toolkit for barcode generation and processing. Finally, one additional feature that we have been looking to implement with DynaFile is an inbound email capability which the Aspose.Email1 package will be able to provide.

Summary

We have been extremely pleased not just with the features and performance of the Aspose tools, but also with the support received from the company during our testing and implementation process. The API is very easy to learn and to implement and the consistency between the different products within the toolkit allow for simple integration into our application. Also, the pricing model is structured in such a way as to easily fit within our budget needs. We would highly recommend Aspose to any company looking to increase the functionality of document manipulation or presentation.

Note: When this case study was written, Aspose.Email was known as Aspose.Network.

Brian McCleary,
Director of Operations
Blue Ribbon Technologies, 8400 E. Crescent Parkway, Suite 600 Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Download this success story in PDF format.