New Adobe Document Cloud SDKs Make Building Document Experiences in Your Apps Easier
PDF has become the “lingua franca” – or common language – for how people collaborate with documents. As more individuals, small businesses, and enterprises are working remotely, they’re sending and sharing PDFs at even more rapid pace than ever before. In fact, in 2019 alone, over 250 billion PDFs were opened in Adobe applications.
But PDFs can be a challenge for developers and publishers to work with. Here’s why:
- Loss of control across fragmented cloud workflows: PDFs are open source today, which means that people can view PDFs across a multitude of viewers, browsers like Safari and Chrome, and even applications like Dropbox and Box, each offering different, inconsistent experiences. As a result, people working in the cloud are often forced to open or download a separate application to view, manipulate, and even download a PDF.
- Analytics ‘black box’: Today, marketers are accustomed to detailed web analytics. However, when it comes to posting PDFs of popular marketing materials like brochures, buying guides, and case studies on their websites, the analytics are minimal. They can see whether or not a user clicked on the PDF link, but aren’t able to gain valuable insights like how many pages a customer read, how long they had the file open, or what they highlighted.
- Complex landscape for developers: There are too many different, disconnected services out there for developers to create PDFs. These range from low-level PDF libraries that can be cumbersome to work with, smaller players offering individual services, strictly on-prem SDKs, as well as all of the open source alternatives. The security and reliability of the different solutions can vary.
Today, we’ve made building document experiences, like creating customer welcome kits and managing legal agreements, a little bit easier with the new Adobe Document Cloud View SDK and Services SDKs. Soft-launched last November, the View SDK allows you to embed and customize a PDF viewer in your own web and app experiences. The Services SDK includes APIs for creating and manipulating PDFs. Both SDKs include easy-to-understand sample code and documentation, so that developers can get up and running quickly to build seamless, consistent PDF experiences for customers.
We’ve applied over two decades of experience to the development of these SDKs. We invented the electronic document and produce the world’s best PDF tools like Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat Reader, and Adobe Scan. Now with these SDKs, we’re redefining what developers can do with PDFs in their applications, from scanning, signing, and editing to applying optical character recognition (OCR) to make PDFs editable and searchable. Here’s a bit more about the View and Services SDKs:
- View SDK: Now, it only takes a few lines of code for a developer to embed a PDF viewer in their company’s web and app experiences—from a bank that wants to display statements without compromising the user experience, to government agencies that need to quickly post updated public service announcements for citizens. The View SDK gives complete control of the user experience, with a series of customizable viewing modes. For instance, one mode allows PDFs to embed seamlessly into a web page, while another displays PDFs as a click-thru slideshow. Developers can also customize options for users to highlight, annotate, and comment on PDFs. Check out our interactive demo to see the different viewing options in action.
- Services SDK: The Services SDK gives developers the ability to create hi-fidelity PDFs inside their apps. It offers an ever-growing number of PDF manipulation capabilities like combining pages and converting PDF to Microsoft Office formats. These capabilities help streamline the management of PDFs across different cloud workflows, such as employee onboarding, invoice management, as well as creative asset review and approval. These workflows cut across a number of internal systems in addition to HCM, ERP, DAM and other solutions offered by a variety of SaaS providers.
These services are the first out the gate, with more to come as we help developers embed more world-class PDF functionality from Acrobat including the ability to electronically sign documents with Adobe Sign. Our teams are working on ways that we can tap into Adobe Sensei’s AI and machine learning innovations to open up new ways of working with PDFs. Imagine being able to create an application for your company that can pull a quick content summary of a large repository of PDFs, or automatically extract data from PDFs to get rid of time-intensive, manual processes. We look forward to what’s next.