Develop automated online document system using APIs

SWpro is a software development company situated in Curitiba, Brazil, currently working exclusively in the Brazilian market, and its focus is to produce and to deploy solutions based on clients’ innovative needs.

The company was founded in 2012, as a spin-off of eSysTech Embedded Systems Technologies, and our focus is to develop complete embedded systems solutions.

Problem

Create a web automated document system with the aim of storing thousand of engineering documents (mainly contracts and projects) in order to diminish the need of having tons of printed documents was the first challenge. It was easily achieved, and we created a system that could maintain the security of the documents, provide access by password, and keep control of the life cycle, with mechanisms to identify each document, both logic and printed.

But we face some new requirements – document automation. In this new phase, we needed:

  • Convert documents to PDF, automatically adding pages with some metadata as remarks and access logs;
  • Create document covers automatically, with unique identifiers, author, dates, etc;
  • Add electronic sign in documents;
  • Add stamps to show revisions and approvals;
  • Show thumbnails of all a document’s pages in browser;
  • Get some data from third database and automatically create Microsoft Excel files

Solution

Our project started in 2013 and we faced some choices:

  • Develop our own component to work with PDF; or
  • Install Office on server and use OLE automation; or
  • Use free tools hosted on others’ servers; or
  • Buy and use a ready-to-go component

Looking at these possibilities, we excluded developing our own component because it was too risky and costly. Installing Microsoft Office is not recommended and has no scalability, and using free tools to create a technologic dependency was not attractive to us. So the last option was the chosen one, and we started to search for suppliers and make some proofs of concept.

After looking at internet testimonials and reviews, and with our concern about the project complexity and time to market, and the good support, we opted for Aspose as the best alternative. It was easy to prove why Aspose was the best solution and therefore it was approved very quickly by the managers.

Experience

Our first contact with Aspose was the very well designed site, which transmitted all confidence to the client and has absolutely all information about choosing a product, how to purchase, how to use, and about technical issues. It’s a very good site and much better than the alternatives.

After that, we have some doubts about how to purchase, and look for a channel to resolve that. Quickly we got a chat with Australia (in despite of time zone they were online) and USA. All our questions were answered quickly, firmly and kindly. We became very happy with this contact and were confident to make the purchase.

Using the Aspose component was so easy that it surprised us. Installing the component in Visual Studio and creating the first test (convert DOC to PDF) was done in minutes. Creating the production environment was equally simple.

We haven’t needed to use the technical support so far as the internet documentation was enough to resolve all our problems.

Next Steps

We are going to create new functionalities in SWdocs, for example:

  • Show document thumbnails on the fly;
  • Get data from spreadsheets and generate some reports;
  • Create spreadsheets from third party database data.

Summary

We have had a good experience with Aspose. One crucial point in software development is the supplier’s dependency. We based our solutions on companies like Microsoft and Oracle, and we couldn´t choose a supplier with less credentials. Aspose is the solution at the same level of the biggest. We recommend Aspose!

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