ImageGear for .NET v15
By Anand Narayanaswamy
Do you want to create software to process your images? Do you want to upload your vacation images and view them in various ways using an ASP.NET application? If you would like to develop .NET-based applications for these scenarios, you need powerful class libraries. ImageGear for .NET, developed by AccuSoft, extends the functionalities provided by the default namespaces and classes of the .NET Framework by including more features with minimum effort to access them.
ImageGear for .NET enables you to develop powerful imaging applications using Windows Forms, ASP.NET Web Forms, and Web Services on both 32- and 64-bit platforms. The product allows you to create, control, and deploy secure and high-quality imaging applications with minimum effort using Windows Vista, Visual Studio 2005, .NET Compact Framework, and .NET Framework 3.0. You will be able to develop applications to manipulate images according to your own requirements by making use of the controls and namespaces that ship with the product.
A fully functional trial version of the product can be downloaded from the AccuSoft Web site (http://www.accusoft.com/support/s_login.aspx?link=downloads) after registration. Unlike other products, ImageGear .NET is packaged as a Software Development Kit (SDK), similar to the .NET Framework SDK. Once the installation process is completed you need to learn the functions of various namespaces and their associated classes in order to work with the product.
I managed to easily work with the product by following the step-by-step instructions provided in the documentation. The backbone of the product is highly code intensive, and developers should be prepared to write many lines of code to achieve the desired results for complex applications. However, the product is designed in such a way to achieve the desired results with minimum effort.
The core feature of the product is that it provides support for all major formats, such as BMP, PNG, EPS, PSD, CAD/Vector, JPX, JP2, PDF, GIF, and TIFF. The vendor provides a detailed list of all the supported file formats at http://www.accusoft.com/products/imagegear/file_formats_net.asp. The product includes support for advanced PDF annotation, OCR/ICR/OMR/barcode recognition, and TWAIN scanning. Moreover, the product enhances the images using such advanced features as color reduction, promotion, and dithering. In addition to the above features, the product provides support for ICC Color Profiles, fast color anti-aliasing, and resampling and ImageClean processing.
You can even use Microsoft s Windows Media Photo format to produce high-quality still images. Because the product supports Windows Vista, you can develop applications using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) component files to produce cutting-edge user interfaces. With the help of this feature, it is possible to load images from a specific directory into your application to create thumbnails, then magnify each one of them to view the enlarged image. I would like to see support for Microsoft Silverlight in the next version of the product.
I found that ImageGear for .NET works without causing excessive CPU usage; hence, it is ideal for hosting ASP.NET applications in a shared server. With the help of the product, you can include pseudo-coloring functionality in your applications. This will enable you to transform the standard 12-bit grayscale image into a color image, allowing all the detail of the image to be visible, which I hope will be highly useful for medical professionals. The product also supports advanced technologies, such as 3D and multi-planar reconstruction technologies.
An interesting feature of the product is that it provides three rendering methods: Windows GDI, OpenGL, and Direct3D for flexible rendering of vector/CAD drawings. With the help of ImageGear for .NET you can easily create thumbnails of images. You ll also be able to perform zooming within an image. You can also rotate images by an arbitrary angle using bilinear or bicubic interpolation methods and build applications using the latest Adobe PDF Library v7.07 through a native .NET PDF wrapper. AccuSoft provides rapid support through e-mail and hosts an online resource center consisting of live samples, code snippets, and a discussion board at http://www.accusoft.com/resourcecenter.
ImageGear for .NET provides support for high-resolution digital camera RAW and AutoCAD 2007 file formats. It also supports frequency domain image processing algorithms such as fast Fourier transforms, convolution, discrete cosine, and sine transformations. AccuSoft provides a comprehensive list of all the important features at http://www.accusoft.com/products/imagegear/ignet/overview.asp.
I must say that the documentation supplied with the product is very exhaustive and pinpoints each and every feature of the product in detail, with a detailed API reference.
AccuSoft has included samples for various types of applications, such as Windows Forms, ASP.NET, and WPF, which I believe will surely reduce the learning curve associated with the product. You can directly work with these samples from the Start menu. AccuSoft has fully integrated the SDK with Visual Studio 2005 and provides a deployment wizard, with which developers can easily create the relevant executable file of the final output by integrating all the required libraries. I hope they will provide full integration for Visual Studio 2008 in the next version.
From my point of view, ImageGear for .NET will be highly useful for advanced .NET developers to implement powerful imaging functionalities into their products.
Anand Narayanaswamy, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), works as an independent consultant and runs NetAns Technologies (http://www.netans.com), which provides Web hosting services based in Trivandrum, India. Anand also works as chief technical editor for http://ASPAlliance.com. Anand is the author of Community Server Quickly published by Packt Publishing (http://www.packtpub.com/community-server/book). He runs http://Learnxpress.com, http://Dotnetalbum.com, and http://Csharpfaq.com. Find out more about him at http://www.visualanand.net or e-mail him at mailto:[email protected].
Web Site: http://www.accusoft.com
Price: Starts at US$3,995