cAs an EMC/Documentum customer, yesterday we received a letter from EMC stating, “EMC has decided to discontinue support of PDF Annotation Services (PAS), effective April 30, 2016, so that EMC may concentrate its efforts on current technology.” As we have posted here before, some of the Adobe components of PAS are no longer supported by Adobe. Also, using the full blown Adobe Acrobat suite for PDF annotation can be expensive (license for each user that will be annotating), but it is can also difficult to support and maintain since each client requires a client installation. This post will present our thoughts for replacing PAS with OpenAnnotate.
Documentum PDF Annotation Services
Documentum typically introduces new products that replace or augment their existing offerings. It is very surprising for us to see that they have decided to discontinue support for PDF Annotation Services without introducing a viable alternative. Annotation is typically a critical component in many of our applications across industries but also in our Compliance Solution’s review/approval process. TSG introduced our open source OpenAnnotate product, which is a browser based alternative to PAS, back in 2010. With EMC officially pulling the plug on PDF Annotation Services, quite a few PAS users have reached out to us to discuss OpenAnnotate as a replacement for PDF Annotation Services.
As a replacement, OpenAnnotate was written as a lightweight, web-based tool that does not require any additional client installations or licensing costs. Additionally OpenAnnotate is based, like PAS, on the Adobe XDF standard. Some benefits include:
- can be deployed side by side with an existing PAS installation
- simple upgrade plan for clients that are looking for a PAS replacement as does not require any format changes
- existing annotations made with PAS will appear in OpenAnnotate
- annotations can be “burned into” the PDF to display in Acrobate Reader (no license cost) for printing as well as exporting from Documentum
- integrations available for Webtop, FirstDoc Webtop, HPI, Active Wizard, Cara and upcoming support being added for D2 and xCP
Screencams of OpenAnnoate are available in the learningzone
Over the years we have added additional features to OpenAnnotate that PAS clients have asked for as they transitioned to solely using OpenAnnotate. The most sought after features are highlighting, strikeout, and insert text, and as recently announced, those features will be available for the OpenAnnotate 2.2 release coming soon.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this announcement, so please comment below if you have any questions.
Is OpenAnnotate based on OpenAnnotation?
OpenAnnotation sounds similar to OpenAnnotate. Are they related?
OpenAnnotate is based on the XFDF specification, which is the ISO standard for forms and annotations of PDF documents.