Transforming various formats to PDF through code using APIs

Sertifi is a Software as a Service provider of electronic signature solutions. Part of our business is dealing with different potential formats of electronic documents submitted by our clients. We performed a competitive analysis on the best options for this part of our business.

Requirements Scenario

Sertifi uses PDF as the format for documents within our system. This means that any documents uploaded by clients, not in this format must be transformed. Sertifi requires a fast and scalable solution that integrates with our existing codebase with a minimum of development.

Solution Implementation

Currently, documents must be passed to Adlib (a separate file-based server) for transformation. This complicates the document transformation process as documents must be passed to and picked up from the service, resulting in a loss of control over the complete execution flow during the process. The proposed plan is to replace this process with a transformation directly in code using the Aspose libraries.

Benefits gained by switching to Aspose

The benefits of switching to Aspose include increased reliability, increased performance, increased scalability, and reduced cost.

The requirement of passing documents to Adlib created two potential points of failure, during document pass and document retrieval. Using Aspose for document transformation enables Sertifi’s code to keep control of the entire process of transformation. This removes the Adlib points of failure and increases Sertifi’s overall reliability.

Adlib is also a stand-alone server, and currently processes all documents sequentially as they are passed in. Some of Sertifi’s clients integrate using web service and upload documents in batch. Between this occurrence and the possibility of heavy usage of Sertifi’s site by clients, speed of document transformation is a definite concern. Since Aspose is used as a library, and Sertifi’s solution is inherently multi-threaded, integration of the Aspose libraries enables Sertifi to process multiple documents at once. This greatly improves document transformation performance and scalability vs. Adlib.

Lastly, Aspose’s licensing model is superior to Adlib’s. Adlib is licensed per server while Aspose is licensed per developer. Sertifi maintains a large web server farm, and Adlib’s pricing model does not work well in this case. A second problem is that Sertifi maintains a hot backup system, and under Adlib licensing terms would be required to pay for more Adlib licenses that would almost never be used. Under Aspose’s licensing terms hot backup server installations do not require additional licenses.

Conclusion

Sertifi’s conclusion after careful study of the competing products was that integrating Aspose libraries for document format transformation would result in reduced costs and increased reliability, scalability, and performance.

Sertifi provides the ability for its customers to quickly and easily send documents to their customers for electronic signature. Using Sertifi customer simply log into the Sertifi web portal, upload the contract they want to send and submit. Sertifi converts formats like word, HTML, and etc to PDF and displays within the Sertifi E-Sign page for signature.

Sertifi converts formats like word, HTML, and etc to PDF and displays within the Sertifi E-Sign page for signature.

User can indicate where the customer needs to sign by dragging and dropping signature locations.

Customers are emailed a link to a signing page to sign and complete documents.

Sertifi provides a complete audit trail on all transactions and provides detailed analytics on contracts sent, signed, average time to close and others.

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