Add virtually any PDF functionality to your project with this versatile component.





Add virtually any PDF functionality to your project with this versatile component.


By Michael Riley


One of the cool things about Extensible Style Language Formatting Objects (XSL:FO) is its ability to output its results to Portable Document Format (PDF). Unfortunately for .NET developers, most implementations of this transformation have been written primarily for Java. Realizing this deficiency, .NET component developer TallComponents has filled the void with a PDF generator, TallPDF .NET, that is much easier to use than XSL:FO, and it's written from the ground up as a native .NET assembly. Consequently, TallComponents wrote this component not for the compliant-at-heart, but rather the .NET developer looking to solve a business problem quickly. Although this might certainly put off the open standards purist, it will turn on the PDF .NET component seekers.


TallPDF .NET's assembly of 50-plus classes collectively contain more than 200 properties, methods, and events to generate virtually any type of PDF document that could have been created using more traditional means. Of course, the complex documents require complex code, and TallPDF.NET is not immune to this theorem. If you're unfamiliar with PDF document construction, you will have a steeper learning curve. And even if you're familiar with PDF programming, you will spend a weekend or two becoming familiar with the product's Document Object Model (DOM) implementation of PDF elements. Once you make the educational investment, however, generating attractive and meaningful PDF output is relatively easy.


The component includes samples demonstrating its most common and useful calls. These code samples range from the 30 lines of a simple "Hello World" demo to a more substantial  PaySlip program of more than 120 lines that demonstrates TallPDF .NET's ability to consume XML and XSL documents to facilitate formatted data output. You'll find TallPDF .NET is most valuable for creating these more complex programs. For instance, you can link the component to an XML data-output stream and merge it with XSLT to generate the same output as something such as Apache's Cocoon project, yet you'll exert substantially less hand-coded effort.


You can address virtually any portion of a PDF document with this component - from creating Bezier shapes and images (BMP, JPEG, and PNG formats are supported for import) to setting the document author to applying strong (128-bit) security for content access. TallComponents even lets designers extend the shape library using the Custom Shape class. This lets you create a library of unique and frequently incorporated shapes you can import into the PDF document stream via an XML file. About the only thing TallPDF .NET doesn't support is the application of digital signatures, which is something TallComponents should consider in future releases.


If you're seeking an easy way to provide PDF document output to your end product, consider TallPDF .NET to help fulfill your objectives.




Lisdodde 19

5931 TG Tegelen




Phone: +31 (0)77 3210942

E-mail: mailto:[email protected]

Web Site: http://www.tallcomponents.com

Price: Starts at US$399 (with evaluation discount)




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