While PDF/A conforming archiving is one of the focus areas of pdfaPilot, our OEM customers also use it for a wide range of other PDF tasks like splitting or merging documents, adding metadata (including Extension Schemas for PDF/A), extracting text (for an indexer) and much more. pdfaPilot is a full blown PDF processing engine with support for several hundred corrections and more than one thousand checks. In general all features of pdfaPilot Desktop and pdfaPilot Server are available to OEM customers through programming interfaces. This also applies to document conversions of office files, images, emails, PostScript and EPS. Target formats can be PDF or PDF/A but also any other relevant PDF based ISO standards, such as PDF/X (print and publishing), PDF/E (engineering) or PDF/UA (universal accessibility).
Especially for OEM customers operating globally it is important that pdfaPilot comes pre-localized so that it can seamlessly be used in 15 different languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Finnish, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Czech, Danish).
pdfaPilot is frequently updated (several maintenance releases and feature updates per year). New or revised PDF based ISO standards are usually supported at the same time the respective standard is published by ISO. This is made possible by callas software’s active participation in all ISO committees in charge of PDF standards. As updates to pdfaPilot are made available to our OEM partners when they become available it allows them to provide their customers with additional value for their own maintenance agreements.
It is obvious that reliability is crucial for such a built-in component: the products of our OEM partners will only perform well if the integrated pdfaPilot functionality performs well. All pdfaPilot releases are carefully tested before they are made available, and thus before they are shipped to millions of customers by OEM customers like Adobe, Foxit, Quark, Xerox – and any of the products of our OEM customers that are small or medium enterprises and serve more specialized markets.
There are almost no limitations with regard to supported environments: the pdfaPilot OEM components are available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX. The component may be a command line application «pdfaPilot CLI» or a library «pdfaPilot SDK». The programming library has a native C API with additional header files for C++ and comes with wrapper interfaces for C#/.NET (Windows only) and Java. A web service interface for SOAP is available as well. It is important to understand that all these interfaces and environments are frequently used by our customers.
Since the features of pdfaPilot CLI and pdfaPilot SDK are almost identical it only depends on our OEM customers’ need and preferences which of the components works best. Here you will find a detailed overview about the differences between the two.
pdfaPilot SDK comes with sample source code projects for all supported environments. Usually it takes only a few hours until first integration results can be achieved. Our OEM customers typically receive free evaluation and development versions until their first products with pdfaPilot integrated into them are shipping.
Whenever questions occur during this phase or later there is a priority support for OEM customers, with direct access to our developers when needed.
Areas of application
Below you will find some examples for product types in which pdfaPilot is frequently integrated (in alphabetical order), but please note that this list is by no means a complete list.
There are powerful desktop products from OEM customers with worldwide product sales that internally use our PDF technology: Adobe Acrobat, Foxit Phantom Suite, Quark XPress and many more. In some cases only PDF/A conversion and validation is used, in other cases validation of and conversion to several PDF based ISO standards is provided, or even highly configurable analysis and modification of PDF files..
ECM, DMS or the like
Since PDF/A is the standard for portable and reliable documents it is used in many document processes worldwide. Thus it comes at no surprise that systems that organize such processes, such as Document Management Systems (DMS) or Enterprise Content Mananagement Systems (ECM), are providing their users with ways to automatically create PDF/A renditions from documents, e.g. when they have reached a certain status in the system. Many vendors in this area are using pdfaPilot in their products for support of PDF/A.
Email can be seen as a particular type of document with the peculiarity that it can in turn have other documents as attachments. Email management systems exist for the several kinds of email servers (from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Notes) that allow users to organize email related processes. In this context pdfaPilot is often used for converting emails with or without attachments into archivable PDF/A. pdfaPilot supports all PDF/A variants, thus allowing OEM customers and the users of their systems to choose the PDF/A variant that is the best fit for their business needs.
Finance and insurance have been among the early adopters of PDF/A very soon after its publication by ISO. This makes sense because these verticals are particularly interested in reliable document formats and are either by law or by their own interest in need for a long term format that is independent from any proprietary management or viewing system. Some of our first OEM customers for pdfaPilot are vendors providing solutions in this area.
In several countries, some governmental organizations are required by law to use PDF/A for archival or for publication of laws and regulations. Several systems that allow these organizations to manage defined processes in an automated way are internally using pdfaPilot.
Departments dealing with digital dossiers for employees operate in one of the most regulated areas. Many provisions exist about what has to be stored in a digital file, for how long, and what information has to be removed in these files. Other rules define who may have access to the files and who not. It is obvious that such an area needs a reliable format that makes sure that everybody who is allowed to have access is able to actually display and view it’s contents, such as PDF/A. Vendors for systems that allow these departments to accurately manage their files are relying on pdfaPilot for this reason.
Activation and License Terms
When being used under an OEM distribution agreement pdfaPilot does not require per-machine or per-user activation. It instead simply integrates with the host software’s copy protection and can be distributed it with the host product and installer without the need for interaction with an additional activation system.
pdfaPilot may be integrated into a wide range of products and technologies, from desktop tools with a massive customer base (such as Adobe Acrobat, Foxit Phantom or Quark XPress) to very specific solutions for a specialist target audience. In order to find the licensing arrangement that works best for our customers with such different contexts we follow a tried and proven procedure in our OEM distribution agreements that takes the individual situation of the host product into account. We are confident, that pdfaPilot does not only integrate well on the technical level but also on the business relationship and licensing arrangement level.