PDFlib is the leading developer toolkit for generating and manipulating files in the Portable Document Format (PDF). PDFlib is perfectly suited for dynamically generating PDF files on a web server, other server systems as well as on mobile and embedded devices. Application programmers can use PDFlib to implement "Save as PDF" in existing applications. PDFlib has proven itself in a wide range of use cases. Since PDFlib frees developers from the technicalities of the PDF file format, you can focus on acquiring the data and arranging text, graphics, and images on the page. You only need decent graphics or print output experience to be able to use PDFlib quickly.
The PDFlib product family is available in three different flavors:
PDFlib offers all functions required to generate PDF documents with text, graphics, images, and interactive elements such as annotations or bookmarks.
PDFlib+PDI includes all PDFlib functions, plus the PDF Import Library (PDI). With PDI you can open existing PDF documents and incorporate some pages into the PDFlib output.The
PDFlib Personalization Server (PPS) includes PDFlib+PDI plus additional functions for variable data processing using PDFlib blocks. PPS makes applications independent from any layout changes.
There are many different scenarios how PDFlib products can be useful on mobile and embedded systems. Below are some examples.
Communication infrastructure devices such as network routers, PBXs etc. often run on embedded Linux or similar systems. They can create network statistics and usage reports in PDF format. The PDF documents can be retrieved via a Web interface.
A USB temperature logger measures and records temperature over time. It is built with the form factor of a common USB memory stick and runs an embedded version of Linux internally. When temperature-sensitive goods (e.g. food) are shipped, the USB device is included in the shipment. Based on its measurements the logistics provider can prove that the cooling chain was not broken during the transit. PDFlib can be used to create such temperature charts in PDF format. Once the stick is attached to a computer the generated charts can be retrieved. For the benefit of long-time archiving the reports the standardized PDF/A format can be used which is fully supported by PDFlib.
An architect doing an expertise on the construction progress of a building records the current status by taking photographs with his Android-base smartphone. He combines the images with the available floor plan and adds comments. Using PDFlib+PDI the available floor plan PDFs are combined with the images and comments, and a report in a single PDF document is created.
Smartphones can also be used to log the movement of all vehicles within a car pool using GPS measurements. Every movement of each car can be tracked and reported. PDFlib generates a PDF report and includes geospatial information including the logged GPS coordinates of the cars. Georeferenced PDF contains geographic reference information for the whole page or individual maps on the page. PDFlib can be used to assign geospatial reference data to images and partial or full pages (refer to the PDFlib Cookbook for examples).
Modern network attached storage devices such as the QNAP TS-109 II Turbo NAS. The device is based on Linux 2.6.12 running on a Marvell 5182 CPU with 500 MHz and offers a variety of features related to data backup, media streaming, disk configuration and maintenance, etc. This wealth of features can be administered via a convenient Web-based interface. Using PDFlib products statistics and reports can be generated in PDF or PDF/A formats, ready for presentation and archiving.
A manufacturer sends employees to his customers for machinery maintenance. In order to automatically create time sheets the time spent on the customer’s premises is logged with time and GPS data on the smartphone. A report and billing information can be generated with PDFlib on the fly.
The iPad is used by the nursing staff to record the healthcare data of hospital patients. At the end of the treatment the relevant patient data can be used to create a PDF with PDFlib. The standardized PDF/A format can be used to create output which is suitable for archiving.
A salesman measures the customer’s kitchen at his home and helps him to plan a built-in kitchen. Once the construction plan is completed it can be combined with cost estimates in a PDF document generated for the client on the fly.