About Agatha Inc.
Agatha Inc. (Agatha) is the leading provider of document and quality management systems for Hospitals, Pharmaceutical companies, and life-science companies. Agatha is headquartered in Tokyo Japan.
Agatha provides an easy-to-use, best-of-bread, cloud product to help life-science companies to manage their quality documentation effectively and in compliance with the applicable regulations (like FDA).
Agatha clients typically manage clinical documents (so-called “Electronic Master Files”), standard operating procedures or regulatory / submission documents within Agatha Cloud Service.
During the project initiation, Agatha was looking for the best solution to manage renditions of Microsoft Word documents to PDF so that Agatha clients could review or finalize their documentation as PDF. Since the Asia market represents an important part of Agatha’s business, it was critical that the solution supports accurate PDF conversion of documents written not only in English but also in Japanese and Chinese.
In addition, Agatha was looking to offer the following advanced capabilities to its clients to improve their productivity:
- The ability to view documents online (without having to download the documents),
- The ability to review documents online with annotations.
We needed the solution to support multiple file formats, and to render documents very accurately in multiple languages online (as an image but also as HTML).
Agatha’s users can now convert documents to PDF easily as part of the review cycle of their documents, approve documents as PDF and view documents online.
Finding a Solution
During the design phase of our product development, it became obvious during the design phase of the product that it was needed to go through a third-party solution to cover the above-mentioned requirements. The main reason was that we needed to focus on the core business-specific features rather than horizontals functions. In addition, we quickly realized that PDF conversion requires a lot of engineering effort to ensure accurate and high performing rendition in multiple scenarios.
Therefore, we investigated the market and compared different products (commercial software as well as free software). Free software did not provide the level of accuracy that we were looking for (especially with Japanese characters). Also, we were concerned not to have the appropriate support in case of defects.
We evaluated various commercial software. Many products are relying on Word automation to perform PDF conversion and we wanted to avoid this for obvious reliability (documents hanging in MS Word) and performance reasons.
During our testing, we were very impressed with Aspose. The performance of the PDF conversion is amazing (mainly because of Aspose is directly manipulating the files instead of using Word automation to do so).
Also, Aspose was the best in terms of reliability of the rendition with Japanese characters.
Finally, the API was clearly documented and it was very straightforward to integrate Aspose as part of our product.
We have been running Aspose for 6 months as part of our product successfully.
The integration of Aspose has been straightforward. It took us a couple of weeks to integrate the PDF conversion components. The viewer part took longer (around 2 months) because of the specific business requirements that we wanted to integrate as part of the user interface.
We encounter a challenge with the conversion of Japanese Word files in a very specific context that Aspose was able to resolve within 2 months in a new version of the product.
Our users are fully satisfied with the additional functionalities that are delivered through Aspose.
We initially purchase Aspose.Words and are in the process of purchasing GroupDocs.Total to provide additional capabilities like document annotations and comparison of different word version.
We are fully successfully with the Aspose product. We appreciate not only the product reliability and performance but also the quality of the back-end functions of the company (like the Support organization). We feel that we are fully supported by Aspose to provide those key capabilities to our clients.