PDF Viewer Java web based integration

Q: I have a few questions for you regarding integration of the PDFTron
toolkit and viewer with a Java web based application. I am familiar
with the NET solution from a WPF application as I worked on one last
year. I am speaking very highly about your product and now am
gathering pre evaluation information for the new product.

Do you have some samples or a description of a Java web based

A: PDFNet is also available a Java library, however unlike .NET
component the Java library has a native dependency on a platform
specific shared library (which is accessed via JNI). As a result a
browser based applet would need to download client specific library
checking what is the OS it runs on (we currently support Windows,
Linux, and Mac) and install it before executing the viewer.

You could use PDFNet in the browser as part of an 'Java Web Start'
application (http://java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/guides/javaws/
developersguide/contents.html). When a user clicks on a link 'Java Web
Start' would request 'all-permissions' security option which would
present a dialog displaying the application's origin (based on the
signer's certificate) before the application is launched. This would
allow the user to decide whether or not to grant additional privileges
to the downloaded code. During the installation the application would
copy the platform-specific PDFNet shared library (PDFNetC.dll on
Windows, libpdfnet.so on Linux, or libpdfnet.jni on Mac OS X) and use
it during the application launch (i.e. before calling
PDFNet.initialize()). You would also need to specify the location on
the shared library folder (in case on PDFNet JAVA samples this is done
using -Djava.library.path switch but there may be other options).

If you are looking for a truly web friendly solution, you may also
want to take a look at PDFTron SilverDox SDK (http://www.pdftron.com/
silverdox). SilverDox can run on most browsers with Silverlight on
Windows and Mac. Unlike Java or ActiveX controls running SilverDox
does not require high security permissions and you can leverage your
existing .NET skills.

Q: Your response is perfect in that we need to have a discussion about
the end user experience (what to introduce on the client computer

Do you have any recommendations?

A: These days ActiveX, .NET, or JAVA browser based solutions are not
as popular as Silverlight or Flash based apps. I recommend that you
take another a look at SilverDox SDK (http://www.pdftron.com/
silverdox) which is more elegant than ActiveX/.NET/JAVA and it much
more functional and powerful than any AJAX (HTML+JS) solution.

In case you still want/need to run a JAVA application in a browser you
can use the approach described above.

client could vary quite a bit and may not be very well controlled as
far as what is installed, what can be installed and rights.

A nice thing about Silverlight and SilverDox is that it is available
on both Mac and Windows and for multiple browsers. Also unlike Java
(which requires a huge download) Silverlight is less than 5MB. Most
machines will not need a download because Silverlight would be already

Using PDFNet you can also implement a pure AJAX solution where PDFNet
is used on the server side to render images on-demand. Compared to
SilverDox, HTML+JS solution would have many limitations. However it
may be the best option if portability (universal browser access
without any plug-ins) is of primary concern. PDFTron also offers
server extensions for AJAX PDF viewer. Please contact in…@pdftron.com
for more information and a demo.