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Adding a Document Viewer to Your .NET Applications

.net document viewer

Adding document viewing features to an application can be a challenge. Although there are many open source options available, finding a suitable ASP.NET document viewer or .NET image viewer that provides the right level of flexibility and functionality often requires a more specialized solution. Fortunately, .NET developers have good options when the time comes to integrate document viewing into their software, which helps them to focus on other application features.

The API Document Solution

Rather than building a dedicated viewer within their .NET application, many developers instead turn to an HTML5 viewer integration that uses REST APIs for their document needs. Since these viewers work within the web browser and can support any programming language, they provide the right balance of versatility and performance for most software applications. An HTML5 document viewer ensures a consistent viewing experience across multiple software platforms and browsers used within an enterprise environment.

Of course, if all an application needed to do was view files, it could simply use one of many open-source solutions. The problem is that these viewers typically only view one type of file, which means that the application also needs the ability to convert files into different formats. Depending upon the library in question, this could quickly escalate into a code-heavy solution that bogs down application performance and introduces multiple security vulnerabilities. If poor conversion tools are put in place, there’s also a strong likelihood that documents will not render accurately.

An HTML5 viewer with the right APIs can easily overcome these document management challenges for a .NET application. Conversion, annotation, comparison, and redaction features can all be integrated as part of a comprehensive viewing framework that doesn’t require developers to build anything from scratch or rely upon intrusive plugins that create risky dependencies.

How Accusoft APIs Enhance Your .NET Application

Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer was designed to provide a broad range of document processing capabilities in addition to its core HTML5 viewing features. Once integrated into a .NET application, it allows developers to deploy REST API calls to convert files into new formats, split and merge documents, create page thumbnails, markup documents, and perform high-volume text searches. As an HTML5 viewer, PrizmDoc Viewer can deliver all of that functionality right within the browser rather than resorting to external applications.

The primary advantage of REST APIs is that they can be used from any programming language, so they don’t have to be custom-built to serve as an ASP.NET document viewer. That versatility does come with a tradeoff, however. Processes like uploading files, converting them, and then downloading outputs all require a series of HTTP requests. While this isn’t a particularly difficult process, it is slightly more resource-intensive than a solution built using the same programming language as the application. 

That’s why we developed a .NET SDK library that wraps around the server-related functions of PrizmDoc Viewer. Available for both .NET Core and .NET Framework, this SDK library wraps around the server’s REST APIs to make it easier to utilize server functionality in .NET applications.

For .NET developers looking for a better way to view and process documents, the PrizmDoc .NET SDK can help them access conversion, redaction, and annotation features without compromising the performance of their .NET applications.

Getting Started with PrizmDoc .NET SDK

In order to implement the .NET wrapper, developers just need to follow a few simple steps. 

1. Gain Access to a PrizmDoc Server Deployment

There are two ways to access PrizmDoc Server, which will allow you to carry out a variety of document processing functions. You can host a server on-premises as part of a PrizmDoc Viewer integration or sign up for a PrizmDoc Cloud account to use Accusoft’s cloud-hosted deployment.

2. Add the PrizmDoc Server .NET SDK Package

Next, download the free, open source .NET SDK library from NuGet or GitHub and add it to your application project.

dotnet add package Accusoft.PrizmDocServerSDK


3. Create a new PrizmDocServerClient

Once the .NET wrapper is in place, it’s time to construct a new PrizmDocServerClient and connect it to the server.

For a self-hosted PrizmDoc Server that’s part of a PrizmDoc Viewer deployment, the base URL is all that’s needed:

var prizmDocServer = new PrizmDocServerClient("http://localhost:18681");


If the you’re using PrizmDoc Cloud, you’ll need to provide the base URL along with your API key:  

var prizmDocServer = new PrizmDocServerClient("", "YOUR_API_KEY");


4. Begin Document Processing

Now that everything is in place, you can start processing and viewing documents within your .NET application. Our How To Guides provide some examples of common use cases, and you can also turn to the API Reference for additional guidance and information.

Get the Document Viewing Features Your .NET Application Needs

Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer delivers the versatile HTML5 viewing capabilities that can set your .NET application apart from the competition. Thanks to the PrizmDoc Server .NET SDK wrapper, you can leverage the power of our REST APIs without needing to build out a customized viewing solution from the ground up.

Find out how easily you can manage your document needs with PrizmDoc Viewer’s browser-based functionality today. Sign up for a free trial to test our HTML5-powered viewer in your .NET environment.