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To Buy or to Build? That Is the Question

buy or build

Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Here’s a scenario which will undoubtedly resonate with you if you are like several of our clients. You’re a senior app developer for a provider of data management solutions for the insurance industry.

There are two weeks left before you head off for vacation. Your team is working on UI and code fixes which arose out of UAT on your company’s latest major upgrade cycle. Everything was wrapping up nicely, until the product manager (PM) approached your desk with a peace offering of a double shot latte and a Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

You quickly discover that the peace offering is due to the fact that the upgrade was supposed to include a document and file management functionality, but it had been left off the project EPIC.
The PM hands you a list of functional specs, including a mobile-friendly document viewer, markup, document capture, image compression, eSignature functionality, and PDF OCR for document discoverability.

She has that “deer in the headlights” look as if you are about to go to Defcon 5. Instead, you smile, thank her for breakfast, and gather the troops for a quick scrum. Your application was built for extensibility requirements like this, and RESTful APIs are your jam.

You and your team don’t have to write the base code to meet these requirements. You and your colleagues just have to buy the API licenses, download some code, access some cloud-based functionality, and work your magic on the APIs to wrap it into your platform.


Why Labor with Lumber When You Build with Lego?

Even if you had these requirements out of the gate, you probably would have sought out some APIs to help you build, right?

At the end of the day, the goal is to increase information worker productivity and effectiveness within your client base and delivering the kind of value which ensures lasting relationships. You never want to reinvent the wheel and add more project scope than necessary.

Should your team rush to build custom functionality into their native application, and risk non-compliance with regulatory standards like HIPAA, ISO 27001 or SOC 2 or 3?

Not likely, especially when there are probably additional requirements for viewing and marking up raster and vector files. There might even be extra requirements for integration with SharePoint or CRMs.


Buying vs. Building Applications

API code can always be skinned with a custom user interface to provide a seamless user experience. Developers shouldn’t be discouraged from hacking the development process by leveraging existing code to accelerate deployments.

It’s the premise platforms like GitHub were built on. Instead of months of development work, an API/SDK package can exponentially accelerate time to market. If an application development team has adopted DevOps or Agile methods, strategies to ensure continuous development and continuous integration are key.

An article in says it best: “By using APIs, you extend the capability of your development team. The key is to ensure the vendor, application, and the APIs all exceed your expectations.”


ImageGear and PrizmDoc

Organizations in regulated industries like government, healthcare, and financial services create, manipulate, and store a lot of electronic and physical documents. They often need functionalities like viewing, converting, and redacting that help them stay productive but also compliant.

The combined API packages support more file types, compress files for faster loading, and offer customers a mature, secure, and proven document viewer for sensitive files. Healthcare facilities often have devices which don’t have the capacity to manage native document viewers, so browser-based viewers offer better viewing and editing capability.

Documents are often scanned in large batches and require post-capture enhancement, such as despeckling, deskewing, and OCR to enable keyword/phrase searching within individual files and images. Need to enable your customers to remain within your application, yet complete multiple tasks? Why not enable some functionalities like:

  • Converting multiple file formats into one document
  • Building and capturing forms
  • Watermarking
  • Signing a document without importing another third-party service
  • Gaining quality control on a scanned image
  • Comparing two similar documents such as contracts by redlining them for legal review

Building all of this functionality is a lot of heavy lifting. Our APIs are mature, QA-vetted, and ready to integrate with apps which are coded in C, C++, Java, or .NET.
For those applications which already use PrizmDoc or ImageGear, integrating the other API into production alongside it is a seamless process. Those developers who have worked with your support team will be familiar with getting any assistance they may require.


Start with Core APIs and Extend as Business Evolves

In fact, when PrizmDoc Viewer and ImageGear work together, they provide the ability to recognize more file types, search within PDFs and images, create new documents from different file types, and reorganize content to create a brand new document.

Especially useful for businesses that process a variety of different file types, these SDK and API integrations revamp your application, making your application’s end-users more productive and efficient.

Ready to enhance your document and imaging functionality in your applications, without complex coding? Create an Accusoft account, or use your login to get started.