“In many cases, PDFs are generated off servers. If it takes one second or five seconds to generate the PDF, driver performance can make a huge difference on a server that is generating thousands and thousands of PDFs every day. It’s about comparing the output, but also the performance: In how many seconds or milliseconds am I able to generate a PDF file? If you’re generating two PDFs a day, it doesn’t matter. If I’m building an application that’s going through servers or multiple users at the same time, it’s important to compare the performance of the libraries. Before really engaging and trying to find the right driver, developers need to understand the product itself.”

Elodie Tellier, sales manager and COO of ORPALIS: “As developers ourselves, we build the kind of PDF tools we’re looking for. They need to work fast on large documents, on any CPU and to work in multi-thread applications. The idea is to gain time without losing in quality and precision. The code writing based on the API should also be intuitive.”

Catherine Andersz, director of business development at PDFTron: “When looking at toolkits, it’s very important to do a thorough evaluation, making sure it works across the whole test suite of files that end users might be working with. For example, engineering documents can be very, very complex. If you just stick to a test on some basic files, it may work but if you do a proper test with lots of heavy, intensive documents, you’ll see what the true performance of the toolkit is. So evaluation with a full test suite is always very important. If they don’t have such a test suite, ask the vendor to provide you with some sample files and how it performs on different complex documents.”

Ivan Nincic, CTO of PDFTron: “In connection to that, I would say that inevitably there will be PDF-specific issues encountered that are so complex that there will be questions about files not rendering or problems with crashes. It is essential that developers investigate the support offered by a company, perhaps looking at forums and so forth to see what the scope of the support offered for the solution is.”

Gerald Holmann, president of Qoppa Software: “Above all else, developers should be looking for stability and robustness. Additionally, the PDF format is very complex and supports hundreds of different features, so developers should be looking for wide “feature coverage” in the products they select, to make sure that they will be able to handle PDFs from all sources. Most, if not all, document interchange in [business-to-business], [business-to-consumer] and [consumer-to-business] uses PDF, so PDF handling and processing is an absolute necessity for doing business. PDF components provide the flexibility to implement any PDF workflow according to specific needs.”

A guide to PDF component offerings
Accusoft:
Accusoft’s PDF Xpress empowers developers to boost application functionality with easy PDF creation, editing, and the highest level of PDF compression available on the market—as much as 90%. Quickly compress one PDF (or an entire library) with just one parameter change to boost display and transmission speed while dramatically reducing archival footprint. Leverage PDF Xpress to build a PDF portfolio of multiple documents and document types.

ActivePDF: Over 14 years, ActivePDF has developed and refined a comprehensive collection of PDF automation tools that make development easy. ActivePDF helps avoid delays, downtime and headaches. More than 23,000 satisfied customers have chosen ActivePDF, from startups to Fortune 100 companies.

Adobe: A company defined by its market-leading PDF technology, Adobe offers a complete PDF component offering around its Acrobat PDF reader, including Adobe ExportPDF and the Adobe PDF Pack for converting and combining PDF files, and moving its entire PDF management suite to the cloud with Acrobat XI Pro for the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Amyuni: Amyuni provides developers and system administrators with high-performance PDF conversion and processing tools. Certified for Windows desktops and servers, Amyuni PDF Converter enables developers to easily integrate powerful PDF and PDF/A functionality into their applications with just a few lines of code. Amyuni PDF Creator produces optimized PDF documents and seamlessly integrates with COM, .NET, WinRT and Windows Phone applications.