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5/10/2006
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xDoc Challenges Adobe Across Platforms

xDoc Server 2.02 creates PDF documents from Microsoft Word files more efficiently and less expensively than Adobe's PDF maker, claims CambridgeDocs.

IT shops seeking to publish Microsoft Word .DOC files to create PDF and HTML documents have a more efficient and less expensive method through a new CambridgeDocs cross-platform product called xDoc Server Version 2.02.

"It's primarily for Word to PDF," said Rizwan Virk, the firm's CEO in an interview Tuesday "Some very large corporations have been looking for a solution like this." The new version eliminates the necessity for Microsoft and Adobe publishing products in cross-platform environments.

Virk said xDoc is particularly useful for Unix and Java-based server applications. A user typically can publish volumes of Word content on Windows, Linux, and Solaris servers and not be subject to the licensing fees or be bogged down by performance issues inherent in the traditional "print-stream" approach. Applications ranging from contract generation to custom publishing are candidates for xDoc, according to the company.

Version 2.02 uses Java and XML to merge single Word files while adding data from databases before publishing the resulting application as XML, HTML or Microsoft RTF. As an example, Virk said an insurance policy could be merged with multiple associated documents, then more details added, and finally published as one big PDF document.

While Virk expects the Word-to-PDF application to see the most customer use in xDoc, he said it should be useful, too, in applications calling from Word to Microsoft RTF and PDF documents.

"Document sets that are part of a workflow or server-side application are ideally suited to this," said Virk. "xDoc gives organizations more flexibility, allowing them to use Microsoft Word to define the look and feel of their documents, integrate data into them from other databases, and then publish the resulting documents on cross-platform servers."

One CambridgeDocs customer, education and scientific publisher HyLighter, likes the idea that the xDoc application can run on Linux servers while effortlessly supporting Microsoft Word.

The firm's earlier versions of xDoc addressed pieces of the new offering, for instance Word to XML documents. The new version is Java-based and can be called from J2EEE application servers including those manufactured by IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic, and Apache Tomcat.

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