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Reliable, Simple, no-issues server-side PDF print driver

Posted on 2004-09-29
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
I have already "wasted" a lot of time trying to develop a solution and I'm pulling my hair out here so I thought I'd ask the question here. creating PDF's server-side has been a nightmare for me so far.

My Requirements: print to a PDF printer driver to create PDF files on the server. *NO USER INTERACTION*..nothing popping up, no prompting for PDF file names, NOTHING.

What I've tried: ActivePDF Server, Adobe Distiller - each have their own little quirks, problems that cause some kind of user interaction, I can't stand it.

What I have not tried: Paying the $195 for an Adobe Solutions Network membership. Is it worth it? What do you get for it? DynamicPDF and other 3rd party PDF solutions.

Can someone recommend a good, reliable, simple PDF printer driver I can use to create PDF without any hassle? PLEASE, anyone?
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Question by:jamauss
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12183420
The ASN membership will get you access to documents that mainly describe how to automate Acrobat and Distiller. Because you want to do this on a server, you cannot use Acrobat or Distiller (you can find more details in the EULA). With one exception, you are not allowed to use these products on a server. The exception is if any potential user has a license for the full version of Acrobat. So, the ASN membership will not buy you anything useful. You can get an idea about what you would get by downloading the Acrobat 5 SDK, which is still available for free.

What type of documents to you want to convert to PDF?
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12183439
BTW: ActivePDF Server should do what you want to do. What are your problems with it?
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by:jamauss
ID: 12183615
Let me provide a little bit more info about what I'm doing...

I have created a Windows Service that (among other things) generates Gantt and PERT charts, and I need to be able to export them to PDF files by printing them to a printer driver (like the Adobe Distiller one).

ActivePDF Server seems to come close to doing what I need to do but, it keeps displaying the created PDF in Acrobat Reader after it creates it. It also seems dependant upon Distiller and uses Distillers port settings even though I thought I read somewhere that activePDF Server doesn't require Adobe products installed on the machine. For some reason too, I can't create a new PDF Port for Distiller from the printer properties...it let's me take the actions but, then doesn't add the directory I chose to the list of available PDF Ports.
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Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 12185674
ActivePDF does not require Distiller.

You are not supposed to have Distiller installed on the server. During the installation of the activePDF Server, it looked for a PostScript printer and installed that as it's default printer. If the first (or only) PostScript printer is the Distiller printer, it grabbed that. Remove Distiller and install the ActivePDF PostScript printer (which you can download from the ActivePDF web site, see the ActivePDF Server documentation on page 15 for installation instructions. You can download the driver from here: http://www.activepdf.com/downloads/serverproducts/index.cfm

Once you do that, Distiller should not be called anymore, and in turn, the PDF document will no longer be opened in Acrobat or Reader.
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by:jamauss
ID: 12194629
Thanks khkremer - that led me towards the solution.
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