Adobe® PDF Library

Java and .NET Interface Overview


The Adobe PDF Library (APDFL) is an Application Programming Interface (API) designed to allow programmers to work with the Adobe PDF file format.  APDFL provides a method for software developers and vendors to build their own third-party systems that allow them to create, change, process, review, and otherwise work with PDF files.  For example, you could use the APIs provided with APDFL and the Java and .NET Interface to guide you in creating your own custom system to insert text or hyperlinks into a set of PDF files.  Or you could create your own utility that can export graphics from a PDF file to an image file or set of image files, like PNG or BMP.  The tools in the library are based on the Adobe Acrobat software but will run independently, so that a copy of Adobe Acrobat does not need to be installed on the same machine running the APDFL Software Development Kit (SDK).

Adobe Systems introduced the Portable Document Format (PDF) in 1993, with the Acrobat software and the Adobe PDF Library.  All of the APDFL interfaces were written in C. It is still possible to access the APDFL functions using C program code, but to work with APDFL with other programming languages, a set of interfaces is needed.  In 2007 Datalogics introduced the Java and .NET Interface to the Adobe PDF Library.  This interface is a set of modules for the APDFL that allow programmers working in Java, or in languages supported by Microsoft .NET, like C# and Visual Basic, to take advantage of the APDFL tools and resources. The Interface also enhances the native features of the Adobe PDF Library in several ways, including the ability of the Library to process graphics, work with watermarks, and print PDF documents programatically. The Java and .NET Interface  encapsulates the original Adobe PDF Library; the interface allows you to work with the original core library functions directly, and seamlessly, in Java or .NET.

We provide two separate interfaces to Adobe PDF Library, one for Java code, and the other for the Microsoft .NET environment.

Program code and samples

The Java and .NET Interface provides a set of program samples, JAR files for Java, and Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files for Windows. For Windows platforms these program and support files appear under directories called DotNET and Java. Non-Windows systems include the Java directory.

We also provide a set of program samples with this interface.  Most of these samples demonstrate a discrete function for working with PDF files.  You can simply copy and paste this sample code into your own .NET or Java programs to complete a specific function, like merging multiple PDF files into one file or converting the pages in a PDF file to a series of PNG image files.  Or you can use these program samples as a reference point, a guide for you to write your own program code.

All of our sample programs exist primarily to demonstrate how to use PDF Library functions.  Keep in mind that some of the examples do not include complete error condition handling code or lack other functions that would be expected in a production environment.  You will need to provide these features in any production software you create based on the sample code provided with the Java and .NET interfaces.