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FOP Vs IText

Awais Bajwa
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Joined: Jan 16, 2001
Posts: 191
which one is the super set in generating PDF on the fly.. iText or FOP.
Are there any limitations in iText that we dont have in FOP.?

A.B
Bruno Lowagie
author
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Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 88
Originally posted by Awais Bajwa:
which one is the super set in generating PDF on the fly.. iText or FOP.
Are there any limitations in iText that we dont have in FOP.?

FOP and iText are two different libraries.
This being said: there is a Java5 port of FOP (called Folio) that uses iText as PDF engine.

You have read some negative remarks about iText elsewhere in this forum. You can also read negative remarks on FOP. In general these remarks come from people who don't know anything about the purpose of FOP and/or iText.

FOP is good for small PDF files (less than 100 pages) generated from an XML source. On the FOP site, you will see that iText is promoted for post processing; for instance: you can use iText to encrypt a PDF file generated by FOP.

iText is more feature rich than FOP as far as PDF is concerned: you can add annotations, create AcroForms, digitally sign a PDF document. Also iText is the only solution if you need to generate PDF documents containing thousands or ten thousands of pages.

A user once replied that this isn't a very common request, but... well, let's remain friendly and say that this user hasn't a lot of experience in the real world. Banks, the DoD, insurance companies, even the University where I work, produce documents with thousands of pages on a daily basis.

A few examples of what iText can do and FOP can't do:
- manipulate an existing PDF document (fill in an AcroForm, add a digital signature, add watermarks,...)
- work with Optional Content layers
- render a Java Swing component to PDF (translating everything drawn to a Graphics2D object to PDF syntax)
- create an encrypted PDF file
- ...
Awais Bajwa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2001
Posts: 191
Thanks for your detaild explanation.. I have alredy worked with FOP and I agree with you in what you said.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: FOP Vs IText