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PDF Converter Services 7.3 – Table Of Content Generator & Performance improvements

Posted at: 3:10 PM on 05 March 2015 by Muhimbi

PDFConverterServicesBox4_thumb3

Although our developers have been working hard on the SharePoint Online version of the Muhimbi PDF Converter, that doesn’t mean we have forgotten about the on-premise version, after all it is used on thousands of servers.

Today we are announcing the release of version 7.3, which - in addition to having a fancy new Table Of Content Generator - also includes a number of bug fixes and major performance improvements when merging large files.

The following blog posts provide more detail

 
A quick introduction for those not familiar with the product: The Muhimbi PDF Converter Services is an ‘on premises’ server based SDK that allows software developers to convert typical Office files to PDF format using a robust, scalable but friendly Web Services interface from Java, .NET, Ruby & PHP based solutions. It supports a large number of file types including MS-Office and ODF file formats as well as HTML, MSG (email), EML, AutoCAD and Image based files and is used by some of the largest organisations in the world for mission critical document conversions. In addition to converting documents the product ships with a sophisticated watermarking engine, PDF Splitting and Merging facilities, an OCR facility and the ability to secure PDF files. A separate SharePoint specific version is available as well.
 

Sample-TOC7
Automatically Generated Table Of Contents

 
In addition to the changes listed above, some of the main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

2264 EML Fix EML to PDF - Accessing content stream of non-leaf entities is not supported.
2237 EML Fix EML to PDF - Attachments present in an attached EML file show as attachments of the main file
2245 Merging Fix System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException when merging AnyDWG PDF Files.
2247 Merging Fix NullReferenceException while merging
2255 Merging Fix NullRefException when merging certain PDF files
2243 Merging Fix Object reference not set to an instance of an object when merging certain files
2168 Merging Fix Merge Operations reset the security settings
1978 Merging Fix Error in 'PdfLoadedPageCollection.GetPage' while merging certain files
2232 Merging Improvement Loading some existing PDF files is slow (e.g. for merge operations)
2240 Merging Improvement Merging certain existing PDF files is very slow
2263 Merging New Implement Table of Content (TOC) Facility
1950 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - some formatting is incorrect when HTML email contains inline images
2258 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - Attachment Recursion Problem
2228 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - The German Word 'täglich' is displayed as 'tälich' by the time it makes it into the PDF.
2315 OCR Fix OCR Tasks are not always aborted after timeout
2304 OCR Fix OCRed Text is placed off-screen in some cases
2281 OCR Fix OCR - Some files are not processed at all
2269 OCR Fix TIFF not extracted correctly during OCR
2266 OCR Fix OCR - Error when OCRing PDF files that contain no images
2278 Other Fix Unexpected token loading certain Acrobat 1.3 files
2260 Other Fix Can't reregister an object when loading PDF
2246 Other Improvement Opening 3rd party PDF files takes a long time / Never finishes
2256 Other New Document the use of the conversion service with SSL
2176 Other New Create sample code for adding Digital Signature to PDF
2239 PowerPoint Fix PowerPoint converter may fail under load on Office 2013 systems
2312 Watermarking Fix Real-time watermarking history entries always returns the latest file

 

For more information check out the following resources:


As always, feel free to contact us using Twitter, our Blog, regular email or subscribe to our newsletter.

Download your free trial here (42MB). .

.

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PDF Converter for SharePoint 7.3 - K2 Support & Table Of Content Generator

Posted at: 11:54 AM on by Muhimbi

PDFBox5

Although our developers have been working hard on the SharePoint Online version of the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint, that doesn’t mean we have forgotten about the on-premise version, after all it is used on thousands of SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 servers.

Today we are announcing the release of version 7.3, which - in addition to support for K2 blackpearl workflows and a fancy Table Of Content Generator - also includes a number of bug fixes and major performance improvements when merging large files.

The following blog posts provide more detail

 
For those not familiar with the product, the PDF Converter for SharePoint is a lightweight solution that allows end-users to merge, split, watermark, secure, OCR and convert common document types - including InfoPath, AutoCAD, MSG (email) MS-Office, HTML and images - to PDF as well as other formats from within SharePoint using a friendly user interface, workflows or a web service call without the need to install any client side software or Adobe Acrobat. It integrates at a deep level with SharePoint and leverages facilities such as the Audit log, Nintex Workflow, K2 blackpearl, localisation, security and tracing. It runs on SharePoint 2007, 2010 & 2013 and is available in English, German, Dutch, French, Traditional Chinese and Japanese. For detailed information check out the
product page.

Collage  Use K2 SmartObjects to Convert, Merge, Watermark and OCR files.


In addition to the changes listed above, some of the main changes and additions in the new version are as follows:

2264 EML Fix EML to PDF - Accessing content stream of non-leaf entities is not supported.
2237 EML Fix EML to PDF - Attachments present in an attached EML file show as attachments of the main file
2275 K2 New Add support for K2 blackpearl workflow integration
2245 Merging Fix System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException when merging AnyDWG PDF Files.
2247 Merging Fix NullReferenceException while merging
2255 Merging Fix NullRefException when merging certain PDF files
2243 Merging Fix Object reference not set to an instance of an object when merging certain files
2168 Merging Fix Merge Operations reset the security settings
1978 Merging Fix Error in 'PdfLoadedPageCollection.GetPage' while merging certain files
2232 Merging Improvement Loading some existing PDF files is slow (e.g. for merge operations)
2240 Merging Improvement Merging certain existing PDF files is very slow
2263 Merging New Implement Table of Content (TOC) Facility
1950 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - some formatting is incorrect when HTML email contains inline images
2258 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - Attachment Recursion Problem
2228 MSG Fix MSG to PDF - The German Word 'täglich' is displayed as 'tälich' by the time it makes it into the PDF.
2315 OCR Fix OCR Tasks are not always aborted after timeout
2304 OCR Fix OCRed Text is placed off-screen in some cases
2281 OCR Fix OCR - Some files are not processed at all
2269 OCR Fix TIFF not extracted correctly during OCR
2266 OCR Fix OCR - Error when OCRing PDF files that contain no images
2278 Other Fix Unexpected token loading certain Acrobat 1.3 files
2260 Other Fix Can't reregister an object when loading PDF
2246 Other Improvement Opening 3rd party PDF files takes a long time / Never finishes
2256 Other New Document the use of the conversion service with SSL
2176 Other New Create sample code for adding Digital Signature to PDF
2239 PowerPoint Fix PowerPoint converter may fail under load on Office 2013 systems
2312 Watermarking Fix Real-time watermarking history entries always returns the latest file


For more information check out the following resources:


As always, feel free to contact us using Twitter, our Blog, regular email or subscribe to our newsletter.

Download your free trial here (49MB). .

.

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Converting, Merging & Watermarking SharePoint Documents using K2 Designer

Posted at: 6:04 PM on 04 March 2015 by Muhimbi

PrintAs of version 7.3, the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint provides native support for the K2 workflow engine using K2’s SmartObjects technology.

K2 blackpearl comes with a number of different workflow editors. The majority of K2 workflow designers will be most familiar with K2 Studio, but Visual Studio as well as web based workflow editors are also available. This post describes how to create a basic workflow to convert documents to PDF (as well as other formats) using a basic K2 Designer workflow. Similar tutorials are available for K2 Studio, Nintex Workflow as well as SharePoint Designer.

A note on licensing the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint when used in combination with K2 blackpearl. Muhimbi’s licensing model is very simple, if a server runs Muhimbi Software in any way shape or form, then it requires a server license. Even though the PDF Conversion engine may be installed on a non-K2 server, all K2 Servers run our SmartObjects and therefore require a license. For details, in plain English, about how Muhimbi’s software is licensed, see this Knowledge Base Article.

A version of this blog post can also be found in the User Guide, Chapter 5.3.

 

Prerequisites


Before creating the workflow, please make sure Muhimbi’s K2 Integration facilities have been deployed as described in the Administration Guide, Appendix – Deploying K2 Integration facilities. Basic knowledge of creating workflows in K2 Designer, and having the privileges to do so, is assumed.

This tutorial was written for SharePoint 2010. Muhimbi’s PDF Converter for SharePoint integrates equally well with SharePoint 2007 & 2013, but the actual steps for creating K2 workflows differ in each SharePoint version, particularly in SharePoint 2013. Please refer to K2’s tutorials and documentation for your particular environment.

The Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint is exposed in K2 as a series of SmartObjects. By default SmartObjects are not available for use in the K2 Designer, an administrator must add them. The steps to do so are as follows:

  1. In the relevant Site Collection open K2 Site Settings. If this option is not available then please make sure the relevant K2 Designer SharePoint Features have been enabled at the Site Collections and Site Level.
  2. Under K2 Designer for SharePoint Management select Configure SmartObject Access.
  3. If Muhimbi Document Converter for SharePoint is not already present in the list, click Add new item.
  4. In the Add SmartObject Window open the Muhimbi Folder and tick the box next to Muhimbi Document Converter for SharePoint.
  5. Under Advanced, select the option to Automatically create all methods and click Finish to complete the operation.

 

Enable K2 Designer SmartObject

 

Creating the workflow


In this tutorial we will create a basic workflow to convert files to PDF and associate the workflow with a Document Library. This workflow is similar to the one we built using K2 Studio, but as K2 Designer works slightly differently we have to jump though some additional hoops.

  1. Create a new Document Library named Tutorial2 in a site collection of your choice.
  2. In the Tutorial2 Library, select the Library ribbon tab and click K2 Workflow.
  3. In the Welcome dialog, assuming it is displayed by default, select the Create a new workflow option.
  4. Name the workflow Tutorial2, accept the default settings and, as this tutorial does not need any of the other Wizard screens, click Finish.
  5. In order for a SmartObject to be able to convert a document a number of parameters are needed. In K2 Studio these parameters (EventDetails.ListItemRelativeURL and EventDetails.SiteURL) are available from the Context Browser, but in K2 Designer we have to manually create them. The steps are as follows:
    1. In K2 Designer select File / Configure Workflow Settings / Data Fields.
    2. Click the Add button and specify SiteURL as the name.
    3. Although we could use a complex regular expression to determine this value at run time, let’s keep it simple and specify the URL to the site collection as the Default Value. In our case http://portal.denallix.com/ (including the trailing slash!).
    4. Click OK and add another Data Field named ListItemRelativeURL.

      K2 Designer - Define Data Fields
    5. Accept the default settings, click OK and OK again to close the Data Fields dialog.
    6. Hover the mouse over the Start line in the designer, a button will appear, click it and confirm the question to add a new step.
    7. Select the Workflow Steps tab in the ribbon and drag the Set Data Fields activity onto the newly created step.
    8. We already know the SiteURL, but we need to calculate the value of the ListItemRelativeURL by taking Document Context.Document URL and removing the SiteURL from the beginning. This is not difficult, just a bit fiddly.
      1. In the Context Browser open Inline Functions / Text and drag the Mid(Text,Start) on top of ListItemRelativeURL.
      2. In the Editor that is opened drag and drop Document Context / Document URL onto the Text field.
      3. Drag and drop Inline Functions / Text / Length onto the Start field.
      4. In the Editor that is opened drag and drop Data Fields / Site URL onto the Text field.
      5. Click OK in the various Edit windows and verify that the Set Data Fields Wizard looks as follows.
      6. Click Finish to continue.
    K2 Designer - Calculate Data Fields
  6. With the required data fields in place, select the SmartObjects tab and drag the Convert Document smart object onto the empty workflow container and fill out the fields:
    1. Source URL: The URL of the document to convert. The syntax is as per this post, please make sure that the web application name (http://yourwebapp) IS NOT included in the URL. In this tutorial we use the previously calculated data field by dragging Context Browser / Data Fields / ListItemRelativeURL onto the SourceURL field.
    2. SharePoint Site URL: Similar to K2’s other SharePoint SmartObjects and Wizards, you will need to specify the URL of the site collection the workflow is acting on. The steps are identical to specifying the Source Url, just select SiteURL from Data Fields.
    3. Destination URL: The optional path and file name of where the converted file will be written to. When left empty the converted file will be saved in the same folder as the source file using the same file name, just with the extension of the specified file type. This field uses the same format and rules as the Source URL field. In this tutorial we’ll leave this field empty. For details on what locations documents can be converted to and how to specify paths, please see here.
    4. File Type: The extension of the file type we are converting to. In this case assign the PDF value.
    5. Include Meta-Data: In this example we want to copy all meta-data available on the source document to the converted document. Please accept the default Yes value
    6. Optional Parameters: The Muhimbi PDF Converter is a very powerful product that allows many different settings to be specified. It is not feasible to make all of these settings available via individual field mappings, which is why we have developed a special XML syntax to populate these parameters. For this tutorial leave this field empty, you can find more details in this blog post. Please keep in mind that K2 Designer does not provide support for entering line breaks in SmartObject mappings so we recommend creating this XML in a regular code editor (or Notepad) and copy it from there into the Optional Parameters field.
       
    K2 Designer - Smart Object 1[3]
  7. Click Next followed by Finish, this tutorial does not use the return properties.
  8. From the File option in the ribbon select the Deploy option. Click Next (twice) followed by Finish.

 

K2 Designer - Workflow

 

Testing the Workflow


Verify the workflow is working correctly by uploading an MS-Word file (or Excel, MSG, TIFF, PowerPoint or any of the many other formats we support) into the Tutorial2 Document Library and manually starting the workflow on the file. To manually start a workflow, in SharePoint open the context menu for the relevant file and select the ‘Workflows’ option.

If all has been configured well, and the workflow has been created correctly then - within a few seconds - a PDF copy of the source file should appear in the Tutorial2 library.

 

Troubleshooting


If the workflow does not work correctly then either use the Process Overview report in K2 Workspace to drill down into the workflow, or - and this is what we like to do - insert a Send E-mail step between the Set Data Fields and Convert Document steps, and populate the email with the content of the various data fields. By sending the email to Context Browser / Workflow Context / Originator E-mail it is easy to verify that the workflow is actually running and get an overview of what is going on without having to dive into the K2 Workspace Reports.

 

For more details on how to create SharePoint Workflows using K2 blackpearl see the K2 Website. A fully installed Virtual Machine (Excluding the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint) is available as well.

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Converting, Merging & Watermarking SharePoint Documents using K2 Studio

Posted at: 4:16 PM on by Muhimbi

PrintAs of version 7.3, the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint provides native support for the K2 workflow engine using K2’s SmartObjects technology. This post describes how to create a basic workflow to convert documents to PDF (as well as other formats) using a basic K2 Studio Workflow. Similar tutorials are available for K2 Designer, Nintex Workflow as well as SharePoint Designer.

A note on licensing the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint when used in combination with K2 blackpearl. Muhimbi’s licensing model is very simple, if a server runs Muhimbi Software in any way shape or form, then it requires a server license. Even though the PDF Conversion engine may be installed on a non-K2 server, all K2 Servers run our SmartObjects and therefore require a license. For details, in plain English, about how Muhimbi’s software is licensed, see this Knowledge Base Article.

A version of this blog post can also be found in the User Guide, Chapter 5.2.

 

Creating the workflow

 
Before creating the workflow, please make sure Muhimbi’s K2 Integration facilities have been deployed as described in the Administration Guide, Appendix – Deploying K2 Integration facilities. Basic knowledge of creating workflows in K2 Studio, and having the privileges to do so, is assumed.

This tutorial was written for SharePoint 2010. Muhimbi’s PDF Converter for SharePoint integrates equally well with SharePoint 2007 & 2013, but the actual steps for creating K2 workflows differ in each SharePoint version, particularly in SharePoint 2013. Please refer to K2’s tutorials and documentation for your particular environment.

In this tutorial we will create a basic workflow to convert files to PDF and associate the workflow with a Document Library named Tutorial.

  1. Create a new Document Library named Tutorial in a site collection of your choice.
  2. Launch K2 Studio and create a new project of type K2 Process using template Blank Process. Save it in a location of your choice.
  3. Once the workflow editor is displayed select Process Wizards in the left hand pane and drag the SharePoint Events Process onto the design surface.
  4. Click Next in the wizard and then, in the Action screen, select the Events for List and Library Items option.
  5. On the Connection Settings screen specify the URL of your site collection, browse to the Tutorial Document library created as part of step 1 and click Next.
  6. In the Events Selection screen select Item Updated. Although we could select the Item Added option as well to automatically convert new documents, that would require additional logic to see if the created type is of type PDF, which complicates this workflow and is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Click Next.
  7. This tutorial does not require any of the item’s Metadata, so click Finish to complete the wizard.
  8. Using the Event Wizards pane drag the SmartObject Event onto the design surface and click Next on the first screen of the Wizard.
  9. Enter Convert Document as the Event Name and click the ellipses (…) next to SmartObject Method to open the Context Browser.
  10. In the Context Browser Navigate to the Environment (the first) tab and select SmartObject Server(s) / SmartObject Server / Muhimbi / Muhimbi Document Converter for SharePoint / Single Method / Convert Document and click the Add button followed by the Next button.

    SmartObject Context Browser
  11. The Input Mapping screen shows the various properties supported by the Convert Document SmartObject.
    1. Source URL: The URL of the document to convert. The syntax is as per this post, please make sure that the web application name (http://yourwebapp) IS NOT included in the URL. In this tutorial we are going to convert the document that started the workflow.
      1. Select Source URL and click the Assign button followed by the Ellipses button behind the Value field.
      2. In the Context Browser select the Process/Activity Data tab (the 3rd one) and navigate to XML Fields / [Your Project Name] / EventDetails / EventDetails / ListItemRelativeURL. Click the Add button followed by OK.
    2. Destination URL: The optional path and file name of where the converted file will be written to. When left empty the converted file will be saved in the same folder as the source file using the same file name, just with the extension of the specified file type. This field uses the same format and rules as the Source URL field. In this tutorial we’ll leave this field empty. For details on what locations documents can be converted to and how to specify paths, please see here.
    3. File Type: The extension of the file type we are converting to. In this case assign the PDF value.
    4. Optional Parameters: The Muhimbi PDF Converter is a very powerful product that allows many different settings to be specified. It is not feasible to make all of these settings available via individual field mappings, which is why we have developed a special XML syntax to populate these parameters. For this tutorial leave this field empty, you can find more details in this blog post. Please keep in mind that K2 Studio does not provide support for entering line breaks in SmartObject mappings so we recommend creating this XML in a regular code editor (or Notepad) and copy it from there into the Optional Parameters field.
    5. SharePoint Site URL: Similar to K2’s other SharePoint SmartObjects and Wizards, you will need to specify the URL of the site collection the workflow is acting on. The steps are identical to specifying the Source Url, just select SiteURL from EventDetails.
    6. Include Meta-Data: In this example we want to copy all meta-data available on the source document to the converted document. Please assign Yes to this field. Please keep in mind that at the time of writing K2 Does not validate the values specified in YesNo fields, so pay extra attention when filling out this field.

      PDF Conversion Smart Object
  12. In this tutorial we are not using the Return Mappings, so click Finish to close the wizard.
  13. We need to connect the Workflow Activity to the workflow. On the Design Surface right-click on the Start element and drag a line to the newly created activity.
  14. Click the Deploy button in the Home ribbon. Once the Deploy Project Wizard is displayed click the Finish button.

 

Basic Conversion Workflow

 

Testing the Workflow


Verify the workflow is working correctly by uploading an MS-Word (or Excel, MSG, TIFF, PowerPoint or any of the many other formats we support) into the Tutorial Document Library. As we have configured the workflow to only trigger when a document is updated, either open the document and resave it or update the properties of the document using the ribbon.

If all has been configured well and the workflow has been created correctly then, within a few seconds, a PDF copy of the source file should appear in the Tutorial library.

 

Troubleshooting


If the workflow does not work correctly then either use the Process Overview report in K2 Workspace to drill down into the workflow, or - and this is what we like to do - insert an E-Mail event step before the Convert Document step and populate the email with the content of the various lookup fields. Sending an email to the originator makes it easy to verify that the workflow is actually running and get an overview of what is going on without having to dive into the K2 Workspace Reports.

Email Based Debugging

 

For more details on how to create SharePoint Workflows using K2 blackpearl see the K2 Website. A fully installed Virtual Machine (Excluding the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint) is available as well.

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