There was a time when development community was not very strong , neither companies commercially valued the importance of the tolls or plugins for Development. Now that is no longer is the case. Development of a product without tools or plugins, I dint think no one now does that. Using right set of tools or a plugin that ease the development effort or increase the product experience is equally appreciable.
At times there was only tools or plugins for the desktop applications, now look around, we are not limited to desktop anymore, we are blessed and charmed with hundreds of tools/plugins/utility for web/devices even focused to technology. I personally admire of such tools that make my development life easier. Through this not so short engineering experience life I have experienced lots of cool tools. Now I think its a shame If I do not share those experiences with my fellows. So from now one I will occasionally will try to come up with an experience sharing post with few tools that I have used or using.
Lets start with the fairly newest one, recently I was working on a product that requires a MS word to pdf conversion. System hosts a on premiss small utility service that receives MS word formatted document from various sources and put watermark on those docs and upload those to server for review and so on and on. Fairly simple idea, but when comes to conversion to PDF that no longer simple. Based upon document formatting and the content converting pdf might turn into a tricky task. And lets not forget the performance, we were expecting a huge conversion hourly. We dint want put too much effort on this one as its a tiny part of the big picture, so its time to go for a tool/utility that will do the job for us.
Though there is many open-source solution available but we decided to give it a try Spire pdf converter, why after going through the tutorials It seems fairly easy to integrate, but concerns was two,
- how well it can handle loads
- how good is the quality of the converted pdf’s
But I find it very helpful, the converted pdf’s was good quality, with embedded media (images) or plain text file with formatting. Converted pdf can keep the formatting intact from source document. Interesting tip about the tool is there is desktop application available to convert to pdf from diff sources along with .net library to build your self. For same purpose application you can try it also. That library you can download from here and for the same codes you can see here. I see there is a free to test version is also available, so enjoy 🙂
Despite of many good features I believe there is still some feature enhancement can be introduced in the list of existing feature. Like I want to invoke a service may be REST to convert my document , such feature might come handy in cloud applications I believe.