Collaboratively Annotate 50+ Document Types on Your ExprressionEngine Site

Here at GroupDocs, we constantly develop new integrations that help developers on different platforms seamlessly add comprehensive document collaboration functionality to 3rd party applications, cloud services and content management systems. Today we have good news for ExpressionEngine developers and site owners. Recently we’ve released a new plugin that makes it easy to integrate GroupDocs.Annotation for Java into ExpressionEngine sites. The plugin has been approved by ExpressionEngine admins and is now available for download on the official ExpressionEngine marketplace.

When deployed, GroupDocs.Annotation for Java allows you to embed a convenient annotation widget on any page within your website. End users can then review and annotate essential business documents and image files online, directly on your website. Supported file formats include: PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Visio, OpenDocument, CAD, TIFF, PNG, JPEG and many more.

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java is platform and browser independent. It allows end users to annotate documents using any standard web-browser. There is no need to install any office suites or browser plugins. And thanks to the real-time annotation mode, several users located in different places can collaboratively annotate the same document simultaneously. During such multi-user annotation sessions, reviewers can place annotations, see each other’s comments and reply to them instantly. There is no more need of emailing back and forth documents between involved parties until they are finally approved. Getting documents reviewed has never been easier before!

This new Java plugin is the third in a series we’ve released for GroupDocs.Annotation. Earlier we’ve already published plugins that allow you to integrate GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET and GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud. Now you have a choice to integrate any of the available GroupDocs.Annotation versions, depending on your deployment preferences. For more details on the plugins and installation instructions, please visit the ExpressionEngine marketplace at:

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET
GroupDocs.Annotation for Java
GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud

Enhance Your eZ Publish Site with Comprehensive Document Annotation Capabilities

GroupDocs.Annotation - LogoGetting documents approved in a busy workflow can be cumbersome. Multiple review iterations and the need to distribute documents between all involved parties may hamper productivity and stop employees from focusing on what matters. GroupDocs.Annotation is the solution that can bring the document review process to a completely different dimension. It allows multiple parties to review and annotate a document online during conference review sessions. GroupDocs.Annotation works in such a way that users can upload a document on a web-page, invite colleagues, partners and customers to review it, add annotations and reply to others’ comments in real time. This eliminates the need of emailing documents back and forth between the involved parties, allows users to avoid excessive paperwork and get documents approved faster.

Specifically for the eZ Publish CMS, GroupDocs released 3 add-ons that allow eZ Publish developers to seamlessly integrate GroupDocs.Annotation into their sites: you can choose between a cloud-based SaaS deployment, or use the downloadable .NET or Java libraries for on-premises deployment. Regardless of the deployment option you prefer, with these add-ons integration is easy, so that you can setup everything and get started in minutes.

Once installed, your website users will be able to view and collaboratively annotate over 50 common document and image types directly within your eZ Publish site. To name just a few, supported file formats include: Microsoft Word and PDF documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Outlook messages, Visio diagrams, CAD drawings and raster images.

What is important, documents embedded to your site can be viewed and annotated using any modern web-browser, such as Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari5+. End users don’t have to download and install any office suites or browser plugins, while you don’t have to worry about whether users have the software required to open a particular document. Combined with a comprehensive set of annotation tools, support for native PDF and Microsoft Word annotations, ability to export any annotated document to a PDF file with annotations burned in, GroupDocs.Annotation ensures a faster and more convenient document review process in workflows of any complexity.

For more details on GroupDocs.Annotation features and deployment options, please see this page. All GroupDocs.Annotation add-ons have been approved and published on the official eZ Publish marketplace:

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java
GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Add-on for Concrete5 Is Now Available for Download

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of an add-on that allows Concrete5 developers to seamlessly integrate the Java version of the GroupDocs.Annotation library into their sites. GroupDocs.Annotation lets your users annotate over 50 common document and image types straight from within your Concrete5 site and without having to install any office software or browser plugins. Among supported file formats are: PDF and Microsoft documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, raster images (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG) and many more.

Key features at a glance:

  1. Browser-agnostic – documents can be viewed and annotated using any modern web-browser, including Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari 5+.
  2. Easy deployment – there is no need to download or install anything on the client side.
  3. A comprehensive set of annotation tools: sticky notes, rectangle, polyline, arrow, text underline/strikethrough, redaction, watermarks, etc.
  4. Support for native PDF and Microsoft Word annotations.
  5. Multi-user annotation sessions allow several users collaboratively review and annotate the same document simultaneously.

This new add-on is the third in a series – Concrete5 developers now have a choice to integrate any of the available GroupDocs.Annotation versions: an on-demand cloud service or .NET and Java libraries that can be deployed on-premises. For more feature details and installation guides, please visit corresponding add-on pages in the official Concrete5 marketplace:

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET
GroupDocs.Annotation for Java
GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Can Now Be Easily Integrated into Orchard Sites

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library logoGood news for Orchard developers and site owners – after a successful release of the module that integrates GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET into Orchard CMS, we’re pleased to inform you that we’ve recently released yet another module - this time for integrating the .NET version of the GroupDocs.Annotation library.

Like GroupDocs.Viewer, the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library supports all common business document formats, provides cross-platform compatibility and doesn’t require any installations on the client side. In addition to that, the library provides comprehensive document annotation functionality that allows your users collaboratively review and annotate documents on your Orchard site.

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET features 14+ annotation tools (including sticky notes, polyline, rectangle, arrow, text underline and strikethrough, redaction, watermarks, ruler, etc.), supports native PDF and Microsoft Word annotations and allows several uses to annotate the same document simultaneously.

With this new module, Orchard developers now have a choice between two deployment options:

  • On-premises - by installing the downloadable GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library.
  • SaaS – by integrating the cloud version of the annotator.

Users who already have a GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET license can use this new Orchard module for free. If you don’t have a license yet, but would like to test the annotator on your Orchard site, please feel free to contact GroupDocs sales for a 30-day trial license, or simply download an evaluation copy of the library.

For more details on the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET module, please visit the Orchard gallery.

Integrate GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET into Your GetSimple Website

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library logoWe’re pleased to announce the release of a plugin that lets GetSimple developers and site owners to seamlessly integrate the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library into their websites. Once deployed, the library enables end users to view and collaboratively annotate 50+ types of documents and images straight on your website. To name a few, supported file formats include: PDF and Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, CAD drawings and raster images (TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP).

How does GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET work?
The library converts documents to a web-compatible content (HTML/CSS + images) on the server and then renders it on your website within a document view widget along with an annotation toolbar. End users can view and annotate such embedded documents from any standard web-browser. You don’t have to worry about whether your users have the software required to open a document.

The same document can be annotated by several invited users simultaneously. Each user can add annotations, see others’ comments/markups and reply to them in real time. As a result, all involved parties can get a fast feedback on reviewed documents, discuss the necessary updates and get documents approved in a breeze.

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET has been built from the ground up with security in mind. Original documents embedded to web-pages are not downloaded to user machines during view/annotation sessions, but stay on your server and behind your firewalls. End users only see web-copies of the shared documents. Although available by default, the copy, print and download options can be disabled for specific documents, so that they are shared in a “read-only” mode.

Currently we offer two deployment options: on-premises and SaaS. This new plugin integrates the downloadable .NET library that can be deployed on your own server and allows you to store and host documents locally. We also offer a plugin that integrates our cloud version of the GroupDocs.Annotation app. It doesn’t require any server-side installations, but documents need to be stored on our servers. We use Amazon EC2 servers to guarantee the security of the service.

For more details on the plugins, please visit the GetSimple marketplace:

For more details on the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library and to download a free evaluation copy, please visit its homepage.

Add Microsoft Office Files, PDF and Image Annotation Functionality to Your Concrete5 Website

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library logoGroupDocs.Annotation for .NET is a downloadable library that allows developers to add cross-platform, multi-format document annotation functionality to any web-based app or site. Recently we’ve created an add-on specifically for Concrete5 users to make it easy to integrate the library into their websites. The add-on has been approved by Concrete5 admins and is now available for download from the official Concrete5 marketplace.

How can Concrete5 site owners and developers benefit from this release?
With the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library integrated into your site, you can seamlessly embed over 50 document and image types along with an annotation widget to any page within your website. Supported file formats include: PDF and Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, CAD drawings, raster images and a lot more. End users can view and annotate documents on your website using any standard web-browser and without having to install any office software.

GroupDocs.Annotation can significantly enhance your document collaboration workflows as it allows multiple users to annotate the same document at time. Moreover, users can access and annotate documents from anywhere, anytime and using any web-enabled device.

Another benefit – is the ability to share documents in a “read-only” mode. Original documents are not downloaded to user machines during view/annotation sessions. And thanks to the Digital Fights Management (DRM) feature, you can prevent users from printing, downloading and copy/pasting the documents you share.

This new integration is the second GroupDocs.Annotation add-on released for Concrete5. Earlier we’ve published an add-on that allows you to integrate the cloud-based version of the annotator. So, if you prefer a SaaS deployment option, please refer to this page, and if you are interested in the downloadable .NET version, please visit this page for further details on the integration and to download the add-on.

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.

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.

Save Annotations in a DB and Set User Avatars in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

Today, I’d like to present several great enhancements that we’ve implemented in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library version 1.6.0:

User Avatars

Remote collaboration in groups is much more engaging and productive when we can see each other (or at least put a face to each other). In this release we’ve implemented functionality that allows users to use personal avatars when annotating documents in a group.

The avatar functionality can be easily configured through the library’s API. The {{AnnotationHandler}} has two new methods for handling user icons:

The array used in these methods contains a binary picture that can be set for each user. For example, you can check if an avatar is already set, and if not, load one:

Save Annotations in a DB

In this release we’ve added the capability to configure how you store annotation metadata. The ORMLite persistence framework is now used to support a huge variety of storage providers. You can still use good old local file storage but if you need more consistency you can now easily integrate GroupDocs.Annotation with your application’s database, be it a MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or other supported DB. For more detail on this feature, please see this page.

New Annotation Objects

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java version 1.6.0 has two new annotation tools:

  • Ruler - allows users to measure the distance between specified points in pixels.
  • Underline tool - allows users to underline selected text.

Besides, we’ve improved support for native PDF and Word annotations and added the capability to export annotated Word documents to a final .doc/.docx file with the Word’s “Track Changes” feature active.

Print Preview

One more enhancement that you may be interested in is the ability to generate a document print preview when users try to print the annotated document. The print preview displays documents with annotations added.

To see a full list of changes and download the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library version 1.6.0, please visit our download archive. For more information on the library please visit its homepage and documentation. We also encourage you to use the code examples that we’ve prepared to help you explore the library’s functionality quickly.

Managing User Access Rights and Specifying Fonts in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java is a lightweight document annotation Java library that allows the placing of markup and comments in Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, images and over 50 other file types. It provides end users with a rich set of markup tools and can be used on any web-enabled device without the need to install third-party software. Thanks to its cross-platform compatibility and convenient UI, GroupDocs.Annotation is an ideal solution if you need to add document annotation functionality to your Java application.

Recently I’ve added two short guides covering minor, but quite common, requests from GroupDocs.Annotation customers and would like to share them with you:

Manage User Rights in GroupDocs.Annotation for Java
GroupDocs.Annotation has a user authentication/authorization system that allows you to grant and restrict different access rights to certain users. Using it, the library can be easily integrated into the user management system used in your own application. You can find the guide on this page.

Setting the TrueType Fonts for Document Exporting
GroupDocs.Annotation for Java uses the TruType fonts to render annotations and to export documents with annotations. These fonts may be absent in Linux OSs. This guide shows how to install the fonts to be able to export documents properly.


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