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PDF Functionality: Do You Need SDK Support or API Assistance?

pdf sdk


Digital transformation is now essential for enterprise success, but it’s not always easy. Forrester describes it as “a disruptive course of innovation that includes a portfolio approach from moonshots to incremental innovation.”

Companies continue to look for ways to deliver on digital transformation initiatives that offer both specific solutions and broadly-applicable outcomes. As noted by Forbes, this can cause confusion on whether to use existing assets or purchase evolving tools. For example, take PDF functionality. 

Despite the emergence of cloud-based document formats that deliver editing and collaboration functionality without the need for file conversion, PDFs remain popular among enterprise users for their versatility and familiarity. Organizations need solutions capable of managing PDF compression, collaboration, and conversion on a larger scale. 

Application programming interfaces (APIs) enable on-demand functionality without the need for software-specific integration, or a more robust software development kit (SDK) can deliver complete functionality from within existing applications. Let’s explore the benefits of each.

Exploring API Advantages

Increased complexity is a common complaint across digital transformation initiatives; more than half of survey respondents said they find new software solutions hard to both manage and monitor on a large scale. 

APIs offer a way to meet this challenge head-on as they are purpose-built for an express use — to allow communication between disparate applications. Other benefits include:

  • Flexibility: APIs exposed via HTTP have no restriction on what programming language a developer uses.
  • Consistency: APIs allow for replicable functions to be delivered rapidly with reliability and predictability.
  • Simplicity: APIs let your product or service communicate with other products and services without having to know how they’re implemented.

Accusoft’s collection of PrizmDoc Viewer APIs makes it easy to incorporate new functionality into existing applications. For example, they require only a REST-compatible language to deliver a variety of PDF web services from high-fidelity Office conversion and form detection to adding annotations and burning in redactions. 

Evaluating SDK Solutions

SDKs take a full-featured approach to PDF functionality through complete integration with existing applications. Rather than deploying the piece-by-piece approach of APIs, SDKs are downloaded and installed directly into existing app libraries. 

Accusoft has streamlined this process with our ImageGear PDF and PDF Xpress offerings. Simply download the relevant SDK, deploy a self-hosted install, and make simple software changes to get up and running ASAP.

Selecting an SDK model comes with critical benefits, such as:

  • Increased SpeedSDKs are integrated directly into your application, so both response and output times are typically improved. 
  • Streamlined Integration ImageGear PDF and PDF Xpress require only minimal application modifications to deliver complete integration. This creates a self-contained PDF conversion, compression, and collaboration environment. 
  • Developer-Based LicencingWith developer-based licencing, companies can redistribute SDKs to integrate across multiple apps to ensure consistent branding. 
  • Enhanced ControlSDKs ensure that all PDF processing and conversion happen in-house, meaning you have complete control over what leaves your network, what stays, and how PDF data is handled.

As noted above, Accusoft offers two SDK solutions: ImageGear PDF and PDF Xpress. Both let users convert to PDF, add annotations, password-protect documents, and extract file metadata. However, PDF Xpress specifically offers portfolio-based multi-file storage within PDF documents.

ImageGear PDF, meanwhile, includes more robust document management options including PDF to SVG rendering, multi-page viewing, digital signature integration, and the ability to add-on optical character recognition (OCR).

Eliminating the Document Divide

Users have high expectations for digital transformation. They expect new tools and technologies to simply work, without negatively impacting performance or increasing overall complexity. These expectations are no different when it comes to bridging the document divide. Staff want the ability to use familiar formats such as PDF, but layer on cutting-edge functionality such as conversion, compression, annotation, and redaction. 

Flexible APIs and integrated SDKs offer two approaches to perfecting PDF potential and eliminating the gap between existing forms and emerging functions. Need on-demand options backed by ease of integration? Opt for the advantages of PrizmDoc Viewer APIs. Need more robust solutions that deliver full integration? Solve key challenges with ImageGear PDF and PDF Xpress SDKs.