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Creating  PDF  in VB.NET because ABCPDF no longer supported by DiscountASP.net

Posted on 2015-02-07
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Last Modified: 2015-02-09
I made a program about 6 years ago that collects data from the end user for a lease, and then prints it onto the lease form.

How it does it is it uses a component (Websupergoo ABCPDF) that was free on DiscountASP.NET, imports a background image (the form), and allowed me to add text boxes onto a layer above the image, and write text to the boxes by playing with the X and Y coordinates.

An example of the code is below:

            Dim theImg As XImage = New XImage() 
            theImg.SetFile(Server.MapPath("Myform1-1fhd1.gif"))
            
            Dim theDoc5 As Doc = New Doc() 
            theDoc5.Topdown = True       
            theDoc5.Layer = 2
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "25 25 587 767"
            'theDoc5.Rect.String = "8 8 562 742"
            theDoc5.AddImageObject(theImg, false)
            
            theDoc5.Layer = 1
            theDoc5.FontSize = 11
            
            ' Show the 1st lessee
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "540 89 600 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(leasenoLabel)
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "66 162 550 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(l1nameLabel)
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "58 182 550 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(l1numberLabel)
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "115 182 550 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(l1streetLabel)
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "260 182 550 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(l1aptLabel)
            theDoc5.Rect.String = "90 203 550 550"
            theDoc5.AddText(l1cityLabel

           theDoc5.Save(Server.MapPath("Firstpagea.pdf"))
            theImg.Clear()

Dim theDocE As Doc = New Doc() 
            theDocE.Append(theDoc5)
            theDocE.Append(theDoc6)
            theDocE.Append(theDoc7)
            theDocE.Append(theDoc8)
            
            theDocE.Save(Server.MapPath("Englishpages.pdf"))

            theDoc5.Clear()
            theDoc6.Clear()
            theDoc7.Clear()
            theDoc8.Clear()
            theImg.Clear()            

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Now DiscountASP.NET has deprecated the ABCPDF component and I unfortunately don't have $500 - $2000 for the license.

I am prepared to do some recoding, but would like to avoid a week solid of work.

Can anyone suggest a solution  or alternative that can help me minimize the rework I have to do, either that is free or comes at a reasonable price ?

Thanks, Peter
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Question by:pbissegger
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7 Comments
 
LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40596762
How about PDFSharp: http://www.pdfsharp.net/MainPage.ashx

I specced this for a VB.NET utility that needed to create and merge PDF files, and in my (somewhat limited) testing it seemed to work well. I was easily able to create PDF files, and was able to merge those PDF files with existing files, or create entirely new files. It's open source and licensed for use in commercial software. You can purchase support, if needed.

There are some restrictions when running on a web server, but those involve fonts and such:

http://www.pdfsharp.net/wiki/PDFsharpFAQ.ashx#Can_PDFsharp_run_on_Web_Servers_under_Medium_Trust_5
0
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:ste5an
ID: 40596810
Take a look at iTextSharp.
0
 
LVL 85
ID: 40596908
Be careful with iTextSharp. It's been released under AGPL, which basically means that any code which includes those components would have to have the same licensing  - which essentially means your product would have to be open source. If you're okay with that, then iTextSharp would be a good choice. If not, then you'd be wise to look elsewhere.
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So, you’ve got this shiny new VPC and a fancy new application configured on your EC2 servers ready to go. This application is only accessible from your computer, which is great for security, but you need your users to be able to access it! So, what’s the easiest way to do this?

 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:ste5an
ID: 40597363
@Scott: but only for software products.
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 40597470
You can get a license for ABCPDF for free: http://www.websupergoo.com/free-license.htm

This way, you would not have to change your application. BTW, a license of ABCPDF.NET Standard is $329
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:pbissegger
ID: 40597626
Thanks for the multiple answers guys.

Unfortunately, my site does not meet the criteria for obtaining a free license for ABCPDF  (it is on a subdomain on an intranet), so I had to go with something new.

I went to the PDFSharp site and got my functionality working in about 30 minutes. It has many of the same commands, and it works well with my hosting provider.

Thanks, Peter
0
 
LVL 85
ID: 40598297
@Scott: but only for software products.
I made a program about 6 years ago that collects data from the end user for a lease
I would assume the author is referring to a software product, regardless of the hosting environment. Of course, you'd have to contact the authors of the software to be sure of the licensing status, but when I contacted iTextSharp about my use in my product, they basically informed me that any use in a "commercial environment" (which means any software product that is not used by you, and ONLY you, for non-business reasons) required a license.
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