Using a Network Storage with the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library

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Not all of you might know that the latest version of the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library can read and save annotated documents not only from local storage or web links, but also from network storage. In other words, you can now locate documents on any network machine.

This feature can be useful for businesses who have several machines networked to one main storage, or for customers who use one machine as a server and another one as a file storage. In this article I'd like to show you how to use network storage with the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library and how to configure your servers.

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How Lawyers and Legal Firms Benefit from GroupDocs’ Document Comparison App

Online document management has gained wide industry acceptance in the last few years. From version control, central document repositories, cost reduction, and increasing employee output: cloud technologies helps. One of the tasks we often perform in our work is to compare documents or files to find differences and check which version is the most recent. That can be frustrating at times: it is time consuming and takes time that could be used for other tasks. Consider the example of a software engineer who needs to review and spot the differences in two Javascript or PHP files. Checking lines of code manually is error-prone and the engineer may miss important details. In this scenario, there should be a mechanism that can highlight the differences real-time and provide a summary on additions or deletions made in the files.

How Lawyers and Legal Firms Benefit from GroupDocs Comparison

Whether you need to compare Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or PDF files – GroupDocs Comparison is here to help you. Use it to compare documents online, from within your web browser. In this blog, we'll see how lawyers or legal firms can use our document comparison tool to their advantage. In the legal world, PDFs are commonly used for electronic filing and it has become a standard practice in courts and government agencies.

General Tasks Performed by Lawyers

Lawyers or legal experts need to maintain close contact with their clients. They report all progress and activities, and advise on critical issues. Not only that, but preparing large sets of documents for hearings and other legal proceedings is a key activity. So there is a need for revision and document comparison at each level. It requires meticulous execution as even the smallest change, if unnoticed, can have an impact on the case. Client confidentiality and preventing unauthorized use of legal documents are other important issues.

What is GroupDocs Comparison?

GroupDocs Comparison is on online document comparison app that lets you accurately compare Word documents, as well as Excel and PDF files, online from your desk. When you compare Word documents, for example, GroupDocs generates a redline view to spot the differences between two files. All insertions or deletions are marked with blue and redline respectively. A summary of the compared document helps readers figure out changes in real-time. No new software installations are needed. With GroupDocs Comparison, you can consolidate the difference between different versions and export it to DOC file for offline editing.

Protect documents from unauthorized use and view the categorized changes to stay current.

Benefits of the Document Comparison App

GroupDocs' online document comparison tool offers compelling features that can be used to:

  • Version control: Lawyers constantly juggle files and documents to build their case. Keeping ten versions of a document may sound tidy, but eventually, they'll need to automate the document comparison process to find the current version. GroupDocs Comparison does the job perfectly.
  • Compare Word documents, PDF files and Excel spreadsheets: Upload documents to GroupDocs, select the source and target documents and run document comparison. GroupDocs' line tracking feature allows you to see the changes made to the document. Lawyers will find it very helpful as the feature works in a similar way to that of change tracking in Microsoft Word. It saves time and they can engage in multitasking.
  • Website integration: If you're running a website and want to share a compared document with your peers, use the GroupDocs Comparison plugin. Faster dissemination of information is crucial to win business and clients. GroupDocs Comparison promotes online document collaboration.
  • Protect documents: GroupDocs Comparison helps you see what has been added, edited or deleted. This way, you can instantly spot and clear any unauthorized changes.
  • Compatible with different file formats: GroupDocs Comparison supports a wide range of popular industry formats. Since lawyers have to work on different legal documents, they may encounter cross-platform and version issues. Not anymore: GroupDocs Comparison overcomes cross-version issues and is platform independent. DOCX, XLS, PPTX, PDF, ODT, and many other formats are supported.


GroupDocs Comparison offers great value for professionals and corporates. Save time, avoid human error, check which is the most up-to-date version of two documents in seconds and increase productivity.

Online Document Viewer from GroupDocs: How It Works for the Healthcare Industry

The technology research firm Gartner states that the demand for SaaS (Software as a Service) products will continue to grow in a recent report (February, 2013). The report highlights that some of the top segments for the SaaS market will be:

  • Office suites,
  • IT operations management and
  • storage management.

Corporates understand the need to stay abreast technology trends and are taking the necessary steps to move towards cloud or web-based document management systems. Following the changing trends almost all industry verticals seek to adapt newer technologies to collaborate faster, lower costs and increase revenue.

In this blog, we'll focus how GroupDocs' online document viewer can benefit one of the world's largest industries: healthcare.

How GroupDocs Viewer Benefits the Healthcare Industry

How GroupDocs Viewer Benefits the Healthcare Industry

How Does the Healthcare Sector Operate?

Organizations in the healthcare sector work with a wide range of information, from patient data, through insurance forms for claims precessing, to sharing financial records, even viewing X-rays and displaying reports, forms and all kinds of files. They need to share, view, and read large amounts of medical records to manage operations efficiently. Disseminating information or reports to doctors, patients, and pharmacies easily and securely is important for a positive customer experience. In a way, viewing and sharing reports is a key task.

According to Plunkett Research Ltd. market survey in 2011, the global healthcare market was projected to be $5.5 trillion and expected to grow further. With increase spending in medicare from developed and growing markets, healthcare organizations need cutting edge technology that cater to their needs.

Introduction to Online Document Viewer from GroupDocs

GroupDocs Viewer is an cloud-based application for sharing and viewing documents. GroupDocs' online document viewer tool is software and platform independent, that is, you can view most common file formats online without installing any new software. Our application supports and works with a range of files, from text documents (PDF, Word), reports (Excel), presentations (PPT, ODT), to image files (JPG, GIF, etc.). The rendered document retains the exact quality of the original. The entire process of sharing and viewing documents is smooth. All you need to view a file is a web browser.

Let us see how GroupDocs Viewer works in a real-life scenario.

How Can GroupDocs Viewer Benefit the Healthcare Sector?

GroupDocs' online document viewers offers compelling features that can be used to achieve:

  • Collaboration: GroupDocs Viewer simplifies the document viewing process. It makes it easy to share documents and lets readers access files through a browser: they don't have to download files, append them to emails or use special software. Information can be shared between departments (for example medical - admin - accounts) without having to worry about whether everyone has the same software.
  • Multiple File Format Support: Hospitals share lots of different file formats: spreadsheets, documents, images, medical reports, invoices, etc. GroupDocs Viewer is compatible with all common business file formats so one solution lets you share all files. Share a medical report (ODT) with a doctor, without worrying about cross-platform or cross version issues. All they need is a web browser.
  • CMS Integration: Most websites or portals are built using Content Management systems. For example, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or ExpressionEngine, and so on. GroupDocs' plugins allow you to embed documents to websites or applications. We support a huge range of CRMs to make sure that you can embed files whatever platform you use. With GroupDocs, it is as easy to embed a file and a viewer as it is to embed a YouTube video. Just copy, paste, and publish.
  • API and SDK's: Product companies can leverage GroupDocs API SDK's benefits to integrate the GroupDocs app suite into their applications to make a robust document management platform. Don't code your own document viewer: save ours and save time.
  • Access to Other GroupDocs Apps: Access the other powerful GroupDocs apps:
  • Save resources: Storing, sharing and reading documents online saves resources and money. Online files don't get worn, or mislaid in the way paper-copies does, and are more secure.

Healthcare organizations require all these features and need to work efficiently. GroupDocs can help.


Governments and state agencies worldwide are beginning to accept the web-based document management model and see the potential it offers. Digital documents are easy to share across teams, even widely dispersed ones. A tool like GroupDocs Viewer also overcomes cross-platform issues so that everyone who needs it has easy access to files. It allows health organizations to move towards a paperless environment and, at the same time, engage in document collaboration with GroupDocs' online document viewer.

How to Сreate a Plugin for Sugar On-Demand Using GroupDocs GDrive Plugin Example

SugarCRM is an open-platform web-based customer relationship management system which has an on-demand cloud platform, Sugar On-Demand. In a previous article, we discussed how to create and use a plugin for SugarCRM, now we will discuss Sugar On-Demand's features. We will use the GroupDocs GDrive plugin as an example.

How to Сreate a Plugin for Sugar On-Demand Using GroupDocs GDrive Plugin Example

How to Сreate a Custom GroupDocs Plugin for Sugar On-Demand


  • PHP 5.3
  • SugarCRM On-Demand account
  • SugarCRM On-Demand application
  • GroupDocs account

Development of GroupDocs GDrive

Two main features of Sugar On-Demand are:

  1. All functions relating to the file system are denied.
  2. Sugar On-Demand is a cloud service so all plugin files must be installed from a single package because you will not be able to override deleted files during deployment.

Using the JavaScript SDK

On the on-demand version of SugarCRM we can't use our PHP SDK because all functions that work with file system are prohibited. Also it's impossible to override installed files which is why we have to use only one package for the installation, and the installed plugin doesn't need to deploy.

In the Gdrive plugin we use the JavaScript SDK which is minimized and located in the plugin root folder/_Dashlets/gd_GroupDocsDashlet/_gd_GroupDocsDashletLibs.tpl file. You can view and download GroupDocs JavaScript SDK from GitHub.

In this file we have also minimized CSS styles for the plugin UI.

In the _plugin root folder/Dashlets/gd_GroupDocsDashlet/_gd_GroupDocsDashletScript.tpl we have all the JavaScript functions that provide the plugin UI's connectivity to the JavaScript SDK. For the on-demand version of the plugin we don't use Dashlet: the entire user-side UI is in the Module detail view page (if a user clicks on GroupDocs in the main menu, they will see the user side UI).

Minimized Template File

For this reason we have the minimized template file _plugin root folder/views/gd_GroupDocsEditView.tpl.


This file contains simple HTML which generates the UI. To override the standard view of the plugin's edit list and edit view pages, we use the plugin root folder/views/edit.view.php and plugin root folder/views/edit.list.php files.

The Edit Plugin Page - Admin Only

The edit plugin page is the plugin root folder/views/view.edit.php. This is the admin side of the plugin and only admins have access to it.

View List Page - User View

The view list page is the plugin root folder/views/view.list.php file. All users can access this page where they will see folders and files which are shared for this user.

Sharing - Admin Only

For sharing functionality we created a separate bin which generates one more table in the database - "gd_groupdocs_shared" - and a separate module which provides only sharing functionality. Only admins can access the module. The gd_GroupDocs_Sharing module is almost the same as gd_GroupDocs but doesn't have the user side UI or the different admin side UI.

That's all: the plugin's created.

This plugin can be installed as a common plugin for other versions of SugarCRM.

How to Build a SharePoint Document Viewer Using GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET

When we released GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET, we got lots of questions from SharePoint users about whether it could be used to build a SharePoint document viewer. Finally, the answer is yes: our online document viewer allows integration with SharePoint web applications. Moreover, SharePoint websites using GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET can also be used for cross-domain document viewing.

How to Build a SharePoint Document Viewer Using GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET

Just follow these simple step-by-step instructions to embed our online document viewer in your SharePoint websites as a Web Part:


  • Server running the GroupDocs document viewer service
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

The following steps illustrate a typical process for creating of a Web Part which can be used to run the GroupDocs document viewer service:

1. Open Visual Studio 2010 as administrator and create a new Empty SharePoint Project.

Note: If you have not run as an administrator, then Visual Studio will prompt you to restart using different credentials as shown below:


2. Specify the local SharePoint server and then click Finish.

Note: You cannot use a SharePoint instance outside your workstation.

All the necessary files are created as shown below:


3. To create a Web Part in the project, click Web Part and then click Add.

The necessary files needed for the Web Part are created as shown.


4. We are using WebPartConsumer.cs to write functions to access the GroupDocs document viewer service. Add the following lines to the WebPartConsumer.cs file:


5. Now, deploy the project. The Output screen is displayed:

On the Output screen, you can see that the solution ViewConsumer.wsp is successfully deployed to the SharePoint server.


6. To view the control in a local SharePoint instance, you have to add it to your page as a web part.


7. To add the control, go to a page intended for editing.


8. Add the Web Part by using the option Add a Web Part as shown below.


9. The Web Part (WebPartConsumer) is listed as shown below.


10. Click Add to add the Web Part to the page.

11. Click Stop Editing to save the page.

After saving, you can see the WebPart, WebPartConsumer, in action as shown below.

Building a SharePoint Document Viewer Using The GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET

Thus, the GroupDocs document viewer service, integrated in a web application, is consumed in a SharePoint website.

View and Annotate Documents Online with GroupDocs’ Document Management Apps

The Internet has transformed our lives. We buy things with click of a mouse, be it entertainment, grocery, or accessories. The consumer-web relationship will only grow in the near future. As a result, enterprises and small, as well as start-ups understand the need to engage and collaborate with consumers to get an edge and thrive. So, the need for online document management systems arose. Online document management systems allow you to view and share documents, increase productivity, facilitate collaboration, and save cost.

View and Annotate Documents Online with GroupDocs

View and Annotate Documents Online with GroupDocs

Document storage and security are widely debated concerns. But cloud computing offers compelling features, and organizations realize the importance of online document management and are adapting to the change.

GroupDocs' online document management apps let you go paperless, share and annotate PDF and other documents, collect signatures and user information, and perform a number of other tasks (it's a powerful package of six apps). From content sharing to preventing unauthorized use of data, GroupDocs provides optimal value. There's no need to look for standalone products to meet a specific need. Use GroupDocs' app suite and benefit from document collaboration.

We'll see how the combination of GroupDocs' apps works for professionals working in the banking sector. Data analysts and investment bankers study company reports, financial statements and stock prices meticulously to predict future growth and publish projection reports. Research and collaboration with different groups are a part of their job. Based on their reports, investors invest in the stocks they suggest have the best chance to give a good return. With stiff competition, reaching out to potential customers and providing valuable information to get business is important. How can GroupDocs help?

Preparing Reports – Online Document Annotation

GroupDocs Annotation is an online annotation app that lets you review and annotate PDF, word-processing files and images. Upload the document and invite colleagues to review the document. Team member view the comments of peers online, annotate documents using a flexible set of annotation options, resolve conflicts and help publishing teams store comments in a single file. Editors and writers incorporate suggestions and publish content. This way you save time, increase productivity, and avoid repetition.

Now you must be wondering, how can GroupDocs Annotation benefit me? Every document development (reports, white papers, research articles, etc.) goes through a review cycle to ensure that the document meets industry and organizational standards. Consider a situation where you have done a fundamental analysis of an oil major. You've spent months researching and meeting different professionals and have put together all the information that an agency or a investor firm need for their decision making. It is certain that you'd want it be reviewed multiple times by in-house departments before making it publicly available to ensure consistency and that the factual data is correct.

GroupDocs' PDF annotation app fosters document collaboration and makes it easy to communicate. Share a link to the document and team members can join the collaborative review process from anywhere in the world. It is extremely beneficial for large projects where client interaction is a must. Comments are visible to all invited parties and you manage the document from within your GroupDocs account. Collaborate real-time and get feedback faster.

Sharing Data – Online Document Viewer

GroupDocs Viewer is a web-based app that lets you read, share, and view documents online with a browser. Share different document types (PDF, DOCX, XLS, etc.) with users effectively from within your website or company portal. No new software installations is needed. The online document viewer lets you embed documents and is platform independent.

As a banker, you see the potential: disseminate reports faster, attract foreign investors and acquire business. Sharing information is easy and your customers do not have to rely on any external software to view data. If you are using a content management system (like WordPress or Joomla) to publish news or updates, GroupDocs' online document viewer allows you to embed documents for visitors to view and read. Reach your target audience and share Excel files, PDF, Word files, or PowerPoint presentations projecting a firm's growth trajectory in minutes.

Your readers can search text, use thumbnails to navigate to a certain section of a report, print or download the document to read it offline (these features can also be turned off to safeguard the data). All that is possible with our all-in-one online document viewer.


Professionals in the banking sector benefit from GroupDocs' online document management apps in several ways:

  • GroupDocs Annotation speeds up document review by allowing teams to mark up documents in real time, online, and discuss suggested changes to resolve conflicts instantly.
  • GroupDocs Viewer allows them to share reports online quickly and easily in a way that allows their readers to access and view information without installing software or depending on any type of software other than a web browser.

SugarCRM Plugin Tutorial Using GroupDocs Viewer API

GroupDocs offers a full set of document management tools for SugarCRM: we've developed a bunch of plugins which help you use Viewer, Annotation, Assembly, Comparison and Signature apps in SugarCRM. This article gives some recommendations on how to create your own custom plugin for SugarCRM. We will use the GroupDocs Viewer plugin for SugarCRM as an example. SugarCRM is an open-platform web-based CRM solution which has an on-demand cloud platform. Today we show you how to create an on-site version plugin. Thе next article considers some bottlenecks when creating plugins using the SugarCRM cloud platform.

How to Create a Custom GroupDocs Plugin for SugarCRM

How to Create a Custom GroupDocs Plugin for SugarCRM


  • PHP 5.3
  • Installed SugarCRM
  • GroupDocs account

Plugin Creation

Before you start creating a plugin, keep in mind that all data and all parameters such as displayed fields (including field parameters), relationships etc. are declared as arrays in SugarCRM. Also make sure that your plugin file starts with the following:

Getting Started

  1. First of all, create a manifest.php file. This file will contain all information for plugin installation. I'm not showing the manifest.php code because of its big size but you can find it on GitHub.
  2. The next step is creating icons: we need to create a folder named icons and add all icon files to it.
    Now let's start creating the plugin functionality.
    The GroupDocs Viewer plugin embeds files from a GroupDocs account using its GUID.

Plugin Functionality

  1. Lets start with variables. All variables are specified in vardefs.php.
  2. Then create a folder named shugarModule which will contain all functionality.
  3. Create a language file:
    • In the ShugarModule folder, create a language folder.
    • In this folder, create an application folder with an en_us.lang.php file. You will have the following structure:
  4. Create a relationships folder.
    This folder will contain all the files that describe relationships for the database tables that will be created for the plugin.
    In the ./relationships directory, all the many-to-many relationships are defined and included in the $dictionary array. The files are stored in ./appropriate folder/<relation_table_name>MetaData.php. Tables are generated based on these definitions.
    These files are included through the ./modules/TableDictionary.php file. If you create a custom many-to-many relationship, you need to add a reference to the new relationship to the custom/application/Ext/TableDictionary/tabledictionary.php file. If the file doesn't exist, create it. These changes take effect after you clear the Sugar cache by running the Quick Repair and Rebuild option from the Admin Repair screen.
    The following are the definitions for $dictionary[]. They are similar to the Vardefs. If necessary use that page as a reference.
    <relationship_table> : The index for this relationship in the $dictionary array 

    • table : The name of the table that is created in the database
    • fields : Array containing arrays for each column definition. The join table must have a field for the primary key of each table to be linked, a primary key for the join table itself, a deleted field for relationship unlinking, and a date_modified field to track when the relationship changes. Additional fields can be added to track the role played by the relationship
    • indices : The database indices on the relationship table
    • relationships : Definitions of the relationships between the two tables
    • lhs_modules : The left hand module. Should match $beanList index
    • lhs_table : The left hand table name
    • lhs_key : The key to use from the left table
    • rhs_modules : The right hand module. Should match $beanList index
    • rhs_table : The right hand table name
    • rhs_key : The key to use from the right table
    • relationship_type : Relationship type
    • join_table : Join table used to join items
    • join_key_lhs : Left table key. Should exist in table field definitions above
    • join_key_rhs : Right table key. Should exist in table field definitions above

    We've finished with the basic functions needed to for SugarCRM to install and recognize the plugin. Now we can work directly with the module files which do all magic.

  5. In the SugarModule folder, create a modules folder, and in this folder create a gdoc_GroupDocs folder. This last folder will be placed in the SugarCRM installation's modules folder and will contain all the plugin files.
  6. Place the vardefs.php file, which contains an array with all variables, into this folder.
  7. Create a controller.php file. This file will do all the work, and will receive all the requests from the form.
    This is a controller.php code: 

    Here we can see the following:

    • The first line is standard for SugarCRM.
    • Then we define a class for the controller which extends the standard SugarCRM controller class.
    • All action names must start with "action_" and then the action name. To call an action, simply call "&action=index" in the URL.

    Also we need views. To edit the plugin page, we need the edit.view.php file.

  8. Create a views folder and place edit.views.php in it.
    The following table lists the metadata definition files found in the modules/module/metadata directory, and a brief description of their purpose within the system.
File Description
additionalDetails.php Used to render the Popup information displayed when a user hovers the mouse cursor over a row in the List View.
editviewdefs.php Used to render a record's EditView.
detailviewdefs.php Used to render a record's DetailView.
listviewdefs.php Used to render the List View display for a module.
metafiles.php Used to override the location of the metadata definition file to be used. The EditView, DetailView, List View, and Popup code check for the presence of these files.
popupdefs.php Used to render and handle the search form and list view in Popups.
searchdefs.php Used to render a module's basic and advanced search form displays.
sidecreateviewdefs.php Used to render a module's quick create form shown in the side shortcut panel.
subpaneldefs.php Used to render a module's sub-panels shown when viewing a record's DetailView.


We've finished with the basic files. There can be other files depending on the plugin functionality, but for the purposes of this example, we're done.

The Final Plugin

Let's look at the installed module structure:

The installed module structure

The installed module structure

And lets see how our plugin looks like in action.

The plugin edit page

The plugin edit page

An embedded file on the page.

An embedded file on the page

An embedded file on the page



Assemble Documents and Acquire Online Signatures with GroupDocs!

The Web 2.0 era has brought consumers and organizations closer. Consumers are active in community forums, blogs or other information-sharing platforms to discuss their tastes and preferences. Closer relationships with their customers has helped organizations understand buyer's behavior and devise new products faster. Growing Internet penetration ensures that organizations who share, collaborate and reach out to their customers have a competitive edge. Managing documents effectively is important for businesses to increase the transaction cycle. Every aspect of document management, from collecting and storing information, accepting quotes and requesting signatures, requires sound management practices. Before the dawn of the information age, businesses had limited options and had to buy standalone products to achieve document management tasks.

Benefit from GroupDocs' Document Assembly and Online Signature Apps

Benefit from GroupDocs' Document Assembly and Online Signature Apps

In today's world, what appeals to us the most when we buy a product? Variety, benefits, utility, and cost. GroupDocs' apps suite offers compelling document management features that let you address specific requirements and complete tasks easily. View, annotate, sign, assemble, compare, and convert documents online.

How can GroupDocs' apps suite solve real-world problems? Let's look at how it helped Tom.

Tom works as a marketing manager for a leading firm in the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sector. His job involves meeting with potential clients, understanding their needs, gathering information and closing sales. He regularly meets 8-10 clients a day and sends them proposals soon after the meeting. Keeping track of documents and storing information is difficult. Tom asked himself if the process could be automated: could he create a proposal template, add questions, and send them to his clients to collect information? After an Internet search he found a solution that automates the document generation process and increases his productivity - GroupDocs' document assembly app.

How Do I Benefit From GroupDocs' Document Assembly Service?

GroupDocs Assembly is a web-based app that helps you generate custom documents by collecting data entered by users through online forms. The app automatically incorporates the data into an existing document template. With this app, you can seamlessly generate hundreds or even thousands of custom documents, without manually customizing each one. It can take less than an hour to set up a template and you can re-use it any number of times.

All you need to do is create a standard document template in Microsoft Word or PDF format and add fields for the user-data. Then upload the template to GroupDocs and create an online questionnaire associated with the fields in the template. Once done, invite clients to complete the questionnaire online. As clients enter and submit data, GroupDocs automatically generates a new document that incorporates the data into the template. In this a way a unique document is created for each individual client. There are countless types of documents that can be assembled with this app - sales contracts, order quotes, NDAs, job applications, and event registrations.

GroupDocs Assembly helped Tom collect data and get completed documents quickly. However, that was not his only challenge. He also needed to get documents signed. He was not worried because he knew that GroupDocs' online signature service would help him overcome that challenge.

How Do I Benefit From GroupDocs' Online Signature Service?

GroupDocs Signature is another useful app in the suite, indispensable when you need to get documents signed quickly. With this app, documents can be signed online, in a web-browser. Just upload a document to your GroupDocs account, add recipients (signers and CCs) and send the document for signature. Documents can be signed by dropping an image of a handwritten signature, or by drawing a signature in the web-browser. Once the document is signed, notifications are sent to all the parties involved.

GroupDocs' online signature service allows you to get documents signed faster, as you don't need to print, scan, or fax them. More importantly, documents signed with GroupDocs are absolutely legally binding in most countries, including US, EU, Canada, Japan, and Australia.


GroupDocs Apps Suite: Online Document Management and Collaboration Made Easy

Businesses relish the economic opportunities SaaS and cloud based platforms offer. Organizations worldwide are reacting to a shift in the document management space. Lawmakers in various countries stresses the need to save documents and files online, rather than the traditional way: paper. Different verticals such as pharmaceuticals, IT, and banking have started implementing and harnessing the benefits from online document management. There are many advantages: digital file storing and sharing is safe and secure, protects unauthorized use through security layers, and reduces cost, to mention a few.

One thing is certain: the paperless environment will redefine how businesses communicate in future.

Bring your online document management to a new level with GroupDocs

Bring your online document management to a new level with GroupDocs

GroupDocs offers cloud based document management and document collaboration solutions for your business. Faster collaboration between teams increases productivity and avoids confusion. From academic papers and legal documents to financial reports, organizations require solutions to manage their data and files easily and effectively. At GroupDocs we're addressing those issues and making products that drive innovation in online document management. What can GroupDocs do?

Sharing and Viewing Files

GroupDocs Viewer is an online document viewer that lets you share, view, and read files through a browser. From Word, PDF or Excel, GroupDocs Viewer supports viewing a wide range of popular formats. Send and receive documents online in seconds with no new new installations needed. Collaboration is fast and you can reach out to your audience and share information.

Reviewing and Editing Files

GroupDocs Annotation helps you review and annotate documents online. Upload a document, share links with colleagues, make comments and engage in collaborative review. Members can see comments made by others and can resolve conflicts. Instant feedback helps the publishing team expedite the process because all comments are saved in a single file. There are different annotation options available: point notes, highlight text, strikeouts, and others that are equally easy to use.

Signing Documents

GroupDocs Signature is a secure and safe online signature service that lets you sign and receive documents online. Just email or send a link to your partners to sign documents: upload, scan, or draw. Once the document is signed, instant notification is received by both the parties. Only an internet connection and a web-browser is needed to function. GroupDocs Signature supports section-specific signing that involves signers collaborating from anywhere.

Collecting Information Through Forms

GroupDocs Assembly is an online document generation service that supports merging fields (name, date, signature, etc.) into a document template. Send the custom template to your customers. After they enter the information, GroupDocs Assembly generates a new document with user-input data that retains the layout and structure of the original. In short, create once and reuse it!
Document assembly saves time as recipients submit information online. Save time and automate the document generation process.

Converting Files

GroupDocs Conversion is an online file conversion app that lets you convert documents from one format to another with a browser. GroupDocs Conversion supports popular file formats (Excel, PDF, Word, PPT, and others) and retains the original layout after conversion.

Comparing Files

GroupDocs Comparison lets you compare two Word documents or PDFs easily.  Insertions and deletions from the source and target documents are made in blue and red lines. This helps finding the exact differences and keep the files up-to-date.

Online document management gets more important as a global workforce demands an online repository and version control. Cloud storage and service providers has enabled people to store and share documents online. By managing your documents with GroupDocs' apps suite, you are staying on top of document management and ahead of the competition!

How to Create GroupDocs Add-On for cloudControl

CloudControl is a cloud platform much like Heroku. Creating a cloudControl add-on is very similar to creating a Heroku add-on but there are some differences. This article explains those differences.


GroupDocs' add-on for cloudControl is a web tool that can be installed on any web application to provide GroupDocs functionality:

  • Create a new GroupDocs user with a free plan and get the user ID and private key for this user. This is done automatically when the add-on is installed.
  • The user can change the payment plan using the add-on's change plan function.
  • Access to any methods from the GroupDocs API using the client ID and private key (which you can get from the add-on). We created this example which shows how to use add-on and GroupDocs Python SDK for some basic actions.


  • Kensa tool
  • cloudControl tool
  • Python 2.7
  • cloudControl aplication

Creating the Add-on

The process for creating a cloudControl add-on is the same as for creating a Heroku add-on, but, as I said earlier, with a couple of differences. We will not go into how to create the add-on because Heroku has a lot of documentation for this and you decide how you build it. I will only show what exactly the differences are. Lets assume that we already have a cool Heroku add-on and we want to rebuild it for cloudControl:

  1. Install the Kensa and cloudControl tools. They help you manage add-on and cloudControl applications. Find out how to install the cloudControl tool.
  2. After installing the tools, change the addon-manifest.json file.
    This contains all the basics information for add-on installation, such as which environment variables will be created and from where to download and install add-on files. 

    • Before you upload the edited addon-manifest.json file, set the environment variable ADDONS_URL=
    • Specify the production server.
      Heroku required you to specify the production server, and then constructed the URL used to provision your add-on by appending "/heroku/resources" to it. Now, provide a hash instead of a string and change "/heroku/resources" to "/cloudcontrol/resources".
    • Add "sso_salt":"PASSWORD" and "production": {"base_url":"", "sso_url":""}.
  3. Change "heroku_id" to "cloudcontrol_id" in the add-on files.
  4. When the changes have been made, test the add-on with Kensa tests by running it in the console: kensa test provision and kensa deprovision test.

    Kensa tests

    Kensa tests

  5. If the tests pass, push addon-manifest.json to cloudControl with kensa push -f addon-manifest.json.

    Kensa push

    Kensa push

  6. Install the add-on to your cloudControl application: cctrlapp YOUR_APP_NAME addon.add YOUR_ADDON_NAME.PLANE

Now we have published a cloudControl add-on and installed it. So far, so good. How do we get the environment variables that the add-on creates? Let's find out.

How to Get Environment Variables

In Heroku, this is easy. For example, in Python we can do this with the line os.environ_['VARIABLE NAME']. If you try this in cloudControl, you get only a few basics Python properties and not your add-on variables. In cloudControl, all environment variables created by the add-on are written to the json file which we can get by usingCRED_FILE. This is the name of a system property that contains the path to the JSON file with environment variables. To get our data, all we need is to read this JSON file and decode the JSON string. In Python, we can do this with this code:

That's how we get the client ID and private key of the GroupDocs add-on user.

And that's all. You now know what the difference is between Heroku and cloudControl add-ons.


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