Convert various document formats to Portable Document Format PDF using APIs

TrialGraphix is a litigation consulting firm specializing in jury consulting, graphic design, presentation technologies, and trial preparation solutions. Since 1991, our dynamic team of professionals has worked and consulted with trial attorneys, law firms, and corporate counsel at Fortune 500 companies to prepare for and present at trial.

Problem

TrialGraphix was looking for a way to convert various document formats to Portable Document Format (PDF). We were looking for a product that would be efficient and reliable while maintaining a high quality in reproduction from the native type to PDF.

Solution

The majority of products that provided a solution to our document conversion problem required virtual printers, or an API with a less flexible licensing than Aspose provides such as Microsoft Office APIs. We chose Aspose because of its ease of use, support for multiple formats, and physical location licensing. We will use Aspose on several document processing machines to convert documents to PDF for inclusion in review and presentation tools. In our testing Aspose has proved to be much more efficient and much less prone to error than the PDF print drivers that we tested.

Figure 1: The file conversion process

Figure 2: Implementing the file conversion processor.

Figure 3: Running the file conversion processor.

Experience

Finding a solution: Most of the solutions Trialgraphix had explored relied on virtual print drivers including our current solution for PDF editing. It is well known that virtual print drivers can be hard to repair or recover when an error is encountered but we experienced no such problems with the Aspose API. The documentation Aspose provided online is very thorough, and it was very easy to find API references and code samples to aid in the development process. What also made Aspose stand out was how quick and flexible they were when responding to inquiries regarding the product and pricing.

Implementation: Implementation was extremely simple as the API for each Office document type is stored in separate libraries. It was a simple task to determine the file extension and check file signatures. Aspose Total for .NET made it simple to then open, process, and save the document as a PDF. The Aspose portion of our code averaged four lines for each document type and has proved to be very easy to maintain and extend.

Outcome: Our test implementation comfortably met our reliability and processing speed requirements, and the extensibility functionality allowed us to pre-process document content with the API before converting to PDF.

Next Steps

The possibility to automate the addition of annotations or redacting data from documents to clients in bulk is a feature we will be exploring.

Summary

Aspose.Total for .NET provided all the features and functionality we required for our document conversion processing. The Aspose Physical Site Licensing model made it much more appealing to us than the CPU based licensing that other document processing software utilizes. The Aspose .NET API required much less code than manually parsing documents for reconstruction and it was also very simple to test the product as Aspose provides easy access to download demo versions of the product for testing.

Brian McDonald
Vice President of Technology
TrialGraphix, Inc.

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