Welcome to 2015 – GroupDocs customer newsletter, February

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February, 2015


Collaborative Document Annotation in your SharePoint Environment

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET is a lightweight library that can add document annotation functionality to any Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, Content Management System (CMS), or web based application. It allows end users to view, comment on, redact and securely share documents of more than 50 different file formats.

In this month’s newsletter we are pleased to announce the release of our latest add-on that allows SharePoint users to easily integrate GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET into their SharePoint sites and applications.

Find out more.

Product News
Advanced options for converting multipage documents to HTML Files in GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET

In the latest GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET release, we’ve implemented several enhancements that allow developers to have more control over document conversions when the output file is in the HTML format. In particular, we added the option of converting multi-page documents into a single HTML file with all the content (image, texts, etc.) encoded within it. Also, documents can now be obtained directly from streams when converting them to HTML files. For more detail please read release notes and download the latest version on this page.

Display Icons and right-to-left language based documents using GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET

The GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library can now display the Icon file-type and we have added improved support for the display of documents where text is right-to-left based. We also added the page rotation control in the image-based rendering mode. This can also be triggered via a new Javascript API method. Other improvements include an accent-insensitive search option and a Javascript API method for displaying the “loading document” overlay. Please download the latest library from this page.

From The Library
A new GroupDocs.Comparsion for .NET Sample Project

GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET allows comparing two versions of a PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, ODT, HTML or TXT files without using any third party software. Recently, we’ve published a new comprehensive sample in the code.msdn.microsoft.com sample gallery , so you are welcome to download and review this to help get up and running quickly. Download the sample project files.

How to Fix a VirtualPath Issue in SharePoint 2013

During development of our plugin, integrating GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET with SharePoint, we encountered a difficult to resolve VirtualPath issue. This article provides details on how we fixed it and can save other developers a large amount of time when building custom SharePoint integrations based on GroupDocs or other 3rd party libraries. Read the article.

How Can We Help You?
Do you have ideas for what you'd like to see us do in 2015? Take a minute to tell us.
Product Releases And Updates
GroupDocs.Total for .NET – The latest versions of our .NET products packaged into one product suite.   GroupDocs.Total for Java – The latest versions of our Java products packaged into one product suite.
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET 2.7.0 - ICO and RTL formats support, a JS method for page rotation, accent-insensitive search and 15 more improvements.   GroupDocs.Viewer for Java 2.7.0 - Rotate pages in the image-based rendering mode; plus a number of code improvements and optimizations.
GroupDocs.Signature for .NET 1.7.0 - Added support for pre-define/configure date formats, signature pen colors, watermark properties and field types.   GroupDocs.Annotation for Java 1.8.0 - Additional language support, access to custom DAO’s and a document collaborator permission overriding API.
GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET 2.3.0 - Improved comparison accuracy for Word, Excel and PDF files; custom locales can now be added easily.    
GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET 1.7.0 - Added the ability to convert multi-page documents into a single HTML file.
GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET 1.3.0 - Now supports PowerPoint as an output format and implemented a new simplified API.    

Display and Securely Share Documents of More than 50 File Formats from within Your ExpressionEngine Website

GroupDocs.Viewer for .NETGreat news for ExpressionEngine site owners and developers. Not a long time ago we’ve published a new plugin that allows you to integrate the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library into your ExpressionEngine website. The plugin is now available for download from the EE marketplace.

This integration adds an ability to display 50+ types of documents right on your ExpressionEngine website. Among supported file formats are: PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visio, RTF, CSV, CAD, multipage TIFF and a lot more.

One of the key features of the viewer is a capability to display documents in a “read-only” mode. Documents displayed within your website are not downloaded to user machines, but rendered in a browser just like a regular web-page. Thanks to the DRM (digital rights management), all document copying options (printing, downloading, text copy/pasting) can be easily disabled. This allows you to protect you content from unauthorized copying, while still sharing it with others.

This latest integration is the third GroupDocs.Viewer plugin released for ExpressionEngine. It allows you to integrate the downloadable .NET version of the viewer, which can be deployed on-premises. Earlier we also released plugins for the downloadable Java and cloud-based versions of the viewer.

If you already own a GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET license, you can use the plugin for free. In case you don’t have a license yet, you can still download the plugin for free and test it with an evaluation copy of the library.

For more details on the plugin and installation instructions, please visit its page on the official ExpressionEngine marketplace.

GroupDocs.Comparsion for .NET Sample – Compare Two Documents in C#/VB.NET and Display Diffs on APS.NET Sites

GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET LogoGroupDocs.Comparison for .NET is a diff/merge library that allows you to compare two versions of a document and generate a resulting file by applying or rejecting the differences found. Using the library, you can compare two Word documents, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, TXT, ODT or HTML files.

The library is designed as a middleware which makes it easy for developers to integrate it into any document management/collaboration workflow. It is written in a 100% managed code and can be used in any .NET application with C#/ VB.NET or any other CLR-compatible languages.

The core engine of the GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET can be used in any type of applications with or without a GUI. For example, you can use the library to compare documents, generate a list of differences and even merge the compared documents programmatically in a console application.

In addition to that, the library comes with an out-of-the box diff view web interface. The UI along with specifically designed API methods for ASP.NET apps, allow you to seamlessly provide your end users with the capability to compare documents right in a web-browser, without having to install any office software.

To demonstrate its key features and different use cases live, we’ve created a sample project that is easy to explore and comes with a detailed description. The sample is now published on the code.msdn.microsoft.com sample gallery, so you are welcome to download and explore it.

For more details on GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET, its key features and support resources, please visit the products page.

How to Fix a virtualPath Issue in the SharePoint 2013

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library logoThis article will guide you how to resolve a virtualPath issue that may appear in SharePoint 2013 when trying to add a 3rd party library (for example SignalR), or when you use the "~" symbol in the path. We encountered this issue while developing a plugin that allows you to integrate the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library into SharePoint.

Overall, the issue is quite strange, as it is not reported in the stack trace or logs. Googling it didn’t give us any valuable details either. After several hours of investigation, we found out that the issue appeared due to the SharePoint server got "frightened and faints" just because it saw the "~" symbol in the path (for example: Server.Mappath("~/testFolder/page.aspx")).

To resolve the issue, we should teach SharePoint how to work with this symbol. For doing so, we’ll create a custom handler that will override SharePoint’s common path handler. First, we need to create a custom http module that can be deployed to SharePoint:

1. Open your VisualStudio 2012 as administrator.
2. Create an empty SharePoint project.
3. Create a new class with the following code:

4. Register this GDPathProvider in the HostingEnvironment via the custom HttpModule:

5. In order to add the GdHttpModule to the application pipeline, we used the PreApplicationStartMethod assembly attribute that allows us to register the module via DynamicModuleUtility.RegisterModule when the application starts:

6. Finally, add this assembly to the web.config assemblies:

Done! Hope this will help you to deal with the issue when integrating any 3rd party libraries to your SharePoint environment.

Welcome to 2015 – GroupDocs customer newsletter, January

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GroupDocs logo Monthly Newsletter
January, 2015
Ending soon: great savings on GroupDocs.Total

With GroupDocs.Total, developers can create applications for viewing, annotating, signing, comparing, converting and assembling documents. It brings together all the libraries, apps and APIs that we have for a platform into one package at a reduced price. We're offering even better prices in January. But hurry: the offer ends January 31, 2015.

  • GroupDocs.Total for .NET and Java libraries: 25% off all license types.
  • GroupDocs.Total for Cloud apps: 25% off monthly plans.
  • GroupDocs.Total for Cloud APIs: 10% off annual Business and Enterprise plans.

Simply enter XMAS2014NWL when checking out to apply the discount.
The 25% off offer is only available on new GroupDocs.Total for .NET, Java and Cloud App purchases. The GroupDocs.Total for Cloud API offer is available to customers who sign up to, or upgrade to, annual Business or Enterprise Cloud API plans. Only available directly from GroupDocs.com.

Product News
Converting Documents with Java?
Last month, we introduced GroupDocs.Conversion for Java. The initial release converts Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files to images, and more. Find out more.
GroupDocs.Signature for .NET updates
The most recent release of GroupDocs.Signature for .NET adds flexible watermark features, and allows users to configure different pen colors for the signature field. In the next release of GroupDocs.Signature for .NET, we're adding methods that let you add, update or delete fields in document preparation mode. JavaScript widgets that support these features will also be added. These features will give end users greater flexibility to prepare documents for signature.
New and Coming Soon to GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET
We strive to make our applications and libraries easy to use and feature rich. We've recently added support for different annotation print modes to GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET. In the next couple of releases, we'll look at features that improve the end users' experience, such as the ability to resize annotations and the toolbar, as well as support for layers.
From The Library
Working with GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET
GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET lets you build ASP.NET, C# and VB.NET applications that simplify document assembly and automation. We've written an article that explains how the library's three components - the Template Editor, Questionnaire Builder and Questionnaire Executor - work and interact. Read the article.
Integrating GroupDocs.Conversion for Java with Maven
Working with Maven? We've created a worked example that shows how to integrate GroupDocs.Conversion for Java with Maven. The sample code helps you get up and going. Read the article.
How Can We Help You?
Do you have ideas for what you'd like to see us do in 2015? Take a minute to tell us.
Product Releases And Updates
GroupDocs.Total for .NET – The latest versions of our .NET products packaged into one product suite. GroupDocs.Total for Java – The latest versions of our Java products packaged into one product suite.
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET 2.6.0 – Error messages that are more user-friendly and a range of other improvements. GroupDocs.Viewer for Java 1.7.0 – Support for DWG, EPUB, MPP and PPT, as well as Amazon S3 storage.
GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET 1.8.0 – Set pre-defined watermarks, change the color of underlines. GroupDocs.Annotation for Java 1.7.0 – Improved HTML and CSS creation and other fixes.
GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET 2.2.1 – Maintenance release with a number of fixes.
GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET 1.6.0 – Improved merge features and other fixes.

Add Document Annotation Functionality to Your DNN Website with the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Module

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library logoWe’re pleased to announce the release of the DNN module that allows developers to easily integrate the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library into DNN websites. This is a “full-integration” module that doesn’t require the library to be installed separately. The module has been approved by the DNN admins and is now available for download from the official DNN store.

A few words about the library itself. GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET is an HTML5-based document annotator designed specifically for integration into third-party apps and websites. It is a client-server middleware that converts documents to a web-compatible form (HTML, CSS, images, JS) and then renders these on client machines through a web widget along with a comprehensive set of annotation tools. The library allows end users to view, securely share and annotate over 50 document and image types using any HTML5-compatible web-browser. Supported file formats include, but not limited to: PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, OpenDocument, CAD and raster images.

Unlike the cloud-based module which we released earlier, this one integrates the downloadable .NET library, meaning you can deploy it on-premises. This allows you to host and store your documents locally.

Users who already own a GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET license can use the module for free. In case you don’t have a license yet, please contact GroupDocs sales for a free 30-day fully-functional license to be able to test the module without any evaluation restrictions.

For more details on the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET module, please visit the official DNN store.

GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET – Generate Word & PDF Documents from Templates in Your C#/VB.NET/ASP.NET Apps

GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET LogoGroupDocs.Assembly for .NET is a comprehensive library for generating documents and reports by merging your templates and data. With GroupDocs.Assembly, you can generate any type of document that requires custom data input. These could be invoices, NDAs, sales quotes, employment letters, reports, etc. The library supports Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF templates, and allows you to save the final, assembled documents in either of these formats.

Just like all GroupDocs libraries, GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET is designed as a middleware that can be seamlessly integrated into any application, ECM, CMS and document management workflow. Thanks to the open API for all its operations, you can easily implement custom workflows tailored to your specific needs.

From the end-user POV, the process of generating custom documents or reports consists of the following steps:

1. Create a template. Users can use existing templates in a PDF, Word (DOC/DOCX) or Excel (XLS/XLSX) format; create new templates with merge fields using any available office software, like Microsoft Word; or create templates using the GroupDocs.Assembly’s in-built template builder.

2. Connect the template to a data source. A data source can be either a DB, or an online questionnaire (a web-form).

3. Choose an output format and get completed documents that look like the initial templates, but incorporate custom data obtained from the adjusted source. For each completed questionnaire GroupDocs.Assembly generates a new unique document. As a result, your users save tons of time that they would otherwise spend on manual template filling.

Reflecting the steps required to generate documents, the GroupDocs.Assemly for .NET library consists of three components: the Template Editor, Questionnaire Builder and Questionnaire Executor.

Template Editor

This component comes in handy for turning a document into a template or editing an existing template. The template builder allows users to add or edit different types of input fields (such as text boxes, check boxes, radio buttons and list boxes) within Word and PDF documents. Once the template is ready, it can be connected to a DB or an online questionnaire, as well as saved for reuse.

The Template Editor eliminates the need for use of any 3rd party office software, such as Microsoft Office, in the document assembly process. Still it supports native Word and PDF fields, allowing users to prepare document templates using whatever software they prefer.

GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET – Template builder for Word & PDF documents

Questionnaire Builder

The questionnaire builder allows you to set default values, response length, hints, conditional logic and other metadata for each input field (merge field) within the corresponding template. The rules and values for template fields can be set via the API, or the UI that comes with the library.

The questionnaire builder also allows you, or your end-users, to build online questionnaires (web-forms) associated with the templates. The questionnaires can be easily published on a stand-alone HTML page or integrated into an existing page. Basically, a questionnaire is an online form implemented as a wizard that guides respondents though the form filling process by using the rules you’ve set in the builder (field order, response length, etc.).

GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET – Questionnaire builder

Questionnaire Executor

This is the core part of the library. It merges data with templates and generates the final completed documents. You can use GroupDocs.Assembly’s API to fill templates with data obtained from a DB, file, remote storage, or user input through the online questionnaires.

GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET - Questionnaire executor for merging templates and data

Web UI

As already mentioned, the library also comes with an out-of-the-box web UI that can be integrated into any ASP.NET app. The wizard-like UI guides end-users through the entire document generation process and provides all the necessary tools for building templates and online questionnaires, publishing questionnaires on the web and managing completed documents. When integrated and configured, the UI provides hands-off document generation functionality, allowing your users to assemble documents without any help from admins or developers.

The GroupDocs.Assembly’s flexible API allows you to build custom document generation workflows without any hassle. You can use both the API and UI wizards on every document generation stage.

If you’re interested in GroupDocs.Assembly, please visit its homepage to download the library along with a sample project. We provide free tech support for custom integrations, so please feel free to contact our support team for any help.

Convert Common Document Types to PDF and Image Files in Your Java Apps: Word to PDF, PDF to Image and a Lot More

GroupDocs.Conversion for Java Library - LogoMeet the all new GroupDocs.Conversion for Java library – a multi-format document converter with support for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, PDF & image files. Just like all GroupDocs Java libraries, GroupDocs.Conversion is designed as a middleware to make it easy to integrate the converter into any ECM, CMS, or Java app.

In this first release, the library already supports over 50 file formats and allows you to convert literally all common business documents to PDF and raster images. To name just a few, GroupDocs.Conversion for Java allows you to convert:

  • Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX) to PDF
  • Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX) to image formats (TIFF, PNG, JPEG, BMP)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX) to PDF
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX) to image formats (TIFF, PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX) to PDF
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX) to image formats (TIFF, PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP)
  • PDF to image formats (TIFF, PNG, JPEG, BMP)
  • And a lot more.

The library doesn’t rely on any 3rd party dependencies and can be seamlessly integrated into your own app hosted on any Java servlet container. The input documents can be obtained from a URL or a file path. Converted documents can be saved in a file or sent straight to streams. The library automatically provides you with paths to each converted document (output file).

The list of supported file formats will be growing with each new release. Please feel free to contact support to request a feature or file formats you’d like to convert using the library. For more detail on GroupDocs.Conversion for Java and to download a free evaluation copy of the library, please visit product’s page.

GroupDocs customer newsletter December 2014

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GroupDocs logo Monthly Newsletter
December, 2014
Save up to 25% on GroupDocs.Total 

With GroupDocs.Total, developers can create applications for viewing, annotating, signing, comparing, converting and assembling documents. It brings together all our products for one platform into a convenient package at a reduced price. In December 2014 and January 2015, we're offering even better value:

  • GroupDocs.Total for .NET and GroupDocs.Total for Java libraries: 25% off all license types.
  • GroupDocs.Total for Cloud apps: 25% off monthly plans.
  • GroupDocs.Total for Cloud APIs: 10% off annual Business and Enterprise plans.

Simply enter XMAS2014NWL when checking out to apply the discount.

The 25% off offer is only available on new GroupDocs.Total for .NET, Java and Cloud App purchases. The GroupDocs.Total for Cloud API offer is available to customers who sign up to, or upgrade to, annual Business or Enterprise Cloud API plans. Only available directly from GroupDocs.com.

Introducing GroupDocs.Conversion for Java
GroupDocs.Conversion for Java is a powerful library that adds conversion features to Java applications. Convert back and forth between over 50 formats, including Microsoft Office documents, PDF, HTML and images, keeping the original layout. Flexible and easy to implement, the library can convert documents on the fly, or work with a queue. Check it out for yourself: download a free trial.
Product News
GroupDocs.Signature for .NET updates
We've added an interface for preparing document fields to the latest version of GroupDocs.Signature for .NET. We have also added configurable summary page templates, and configurable date formats, to give developers more freedom in how they share progress information. It is now also possible to add a stamp to documents.
GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET updates
The latest version of the GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET library introduces the first release of a native PDF comparison module. This means that two PDF files can be compared directly, without interim steps. We've also improved both the performance and stability of the Word comparison module. Try it.
Coming soon to GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET
In upcoming releases, we'll add support for a wider range of annotation print modes. To improve the interface, we'll also add support for resizing annotations.
From The Library
Sample application: building an ASP.NET document viewer with GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET helps you create document viewers that work independently of client-side plugins and apps. As long as the client has an HTML5 compliant web browser, they can access and view documents. We've created a code sample that shows how it works. Download the sample.
How Can We Help You?
Do you have ideas for what you'd like to see us do in the coming months? Take a minute to tell us.
Product Releases And Updates
GroupDocs.Total for .NET – The latest release of our .NET libraries. GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET 2.2.0 – A range of enhancements and fixes that improves the library's functionality and stability.
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET 2.5.0 – Create thumbnails client-side, rotate pages in image mode and other enhancements. GroupDocs.Annotation for Java 1.7.0 – Updated user interface and added support for various types of storage logic for JSON and XML.
GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET 1.0.7 – Adjust font, color and other characteristics in the Template Editor. GroupDocs.Conversion for Java 1.0.0 – Convert Microsoft Office files to PDF or image, image to PDF, or PDF to image.
GroupDocs.Signature for .NET 1.6.0 – User interface for configuring stamp, date and summary page templates, and other enhancements.
Integrations and New Cloud API Examples

Control Meta-Data and Build a Custom UI with the New GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library Version 1.7.0

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java icon

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java is a lightweight library that allows end users to annotate PDF and Microsoft Office documents, raster images, AutoCAD drawings and 50+ types of files without the need to install the software that the documents or images were created in. A convenient web UI allows users to view, annotate, redact, comment on and share documents from any web-enabled device.

Recently we’ve released a new GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library – version 1.7.0. We’ve greatly enhanced the metadata storage APIs, revealed the public document manipulation API and made a couple of other useful tweaks. In this post I’d like to discuss these updates in more detail.You can seamlessly integrate GroupDocs.Annotation for Java into your own web, desktop or mobile application to enhance your users’ document collaboration experience. The underlying APIs allow you to customize the web UI that comes with the library, or build your own desktop or mobile interface from scratch.

Store Metadata in any DB or File Format

In the previous version of the library we introduced support for databases. We quickly realized that this was not enough and completely redesigned the library to provide developers with a more flexible and manageable solution. To this end, we’ve re-implemented the existing functionality in an OOP manner. Now, you can store annotations, user comments, profile details, etc. in JSON and XML formats. Also, the list of supported databases now includes the following: MSSQL, MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL. Please find more details on how to work with DBs and store files meta-data in the documentation.

Build Mobile, Desktop or Server Applications

Following the GroupDocs.Viewer for Java library, the AnnotationHandler API is now also extended with pure methods that do not require HTTP requests and response objects. The methods allow developers to build any kind of user interaction, be it a web, desktop or mobile UI. Now you can even process documents in the background as part of your Java server application. Similarly to the HTTP handler methods, here is a list of new, context-independent ones that are available in the AnnotationHandler class:

For the full signatures and detailed info on these methods, please refer to the JavaDoc that comes with the library in a JAR package.

Other Improvements

Along with new features, we also improved the existing functionality a bit. For example, you can now configure the underline and strikeout tools’ color by overloading new configuration methods:

Other fixes and improvements have been made to the front-end and exporting functionality. Please check the full list of updates on the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library download page. For more information on the library, please visit its homepage.

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