In its brief history, Sun's Java platform has been weak in printing and document rendering as compared to Microsoft Windows. Dynalivery is fulfilling this need for better document management with the introduction of its second major product in the Fall of 2002, the Saffron Document Server.
Saffron is virtual printer software. Applications typically will connect to Saffron over intranets or the Internet, and "draw" successive text and graphics objects (using Sun's Java2D specification) that comprise the pages of documents. Saffron will then translate these pages to a variety of popular document formats and transmit them immediately to users waiting at web browsers. Saffron will optionally "archive" documents on paper or in databases for "later" use. Saffron will also optionally act as a "local virtual printer," executing on the same computer as the invoking application. Saffron includes an all-Java PostScript® language compatible interpreter and a PostScript print driver for Microsoft Windows NT/2000.
A core capability of Saffron is to generate Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) output, similar to Adobe Acrobat Distiller. However, Saffron is a high concurrency Java server application, not a single-user desktop product. The PDF format originated in the graphic arts industry and has become a de-facto standard for precisely formatted business documents such as bank statements and insurance forms that users transmit over the Internet. Unlike HTML, PDF documents retain their formatting across many different computers, operating systems, Internet browsers, and printers. Users may read PDF documents with a free browser plug-in called Acrobat Reader that is downloadable from the web sites of Adobe and thousands of its customers.
Dynalivery's first product, Parallel Crystal has generated PDF documents from one application, Crystal Reports, since 1999. It uses a thread-safe C++ library developed by Dynalivery. It processes complex report templates with sub-reports, charts, lines, and bitmaps. Parallel Crystal faithfully renders them with a compact file size and page breaks in the right locations, matching the Crystal Reports Designer Print Preview window. To see for yourself, download the sample Box Office Movie Report, Box.pdf, generated with Parallel Crystal v2.6 and Crystal Reports 7. (If you have Crystal Reports Designer 7 please feel free to download and review our box.rpt sample report template.) Dynalivery's enterprise customers have achieved scalability in the range of 10,000 to 100,000 PDF pages per day of highly personalized output with Parallel Crystal.
Dynalivery developed Saffron in response to customer demand to break out the popular C++ language PDF technology in Parallel Crystal into a separate server product that would work with Crystal Reports, competitors to Crystal Reports, and even non-reporting server applications. By implementing in Java we have met an additional customer requirement for portability across operating systems and computing devices such as appliances, printers, PCs, workstations and high-end servers. Saffron will have a number of enhancements over Acrobat Distiller including a variety of output formats beyond PDF (HTML, RTF, and soon TIFF, JPEG, PNG and SVG), document concatenation, and document storage in an Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) repository. Note that Adobe publishes the structure of its PDF file format to assist developers like Dynalivery in the creation of software products that complement Acrobat. Dynalivery currently relies upon public specifications of the other standard file format types that it targets with Saffron output modules.
Saffron will be available in a number of product packages, including integrated with Parallel Crystal and stand alone. Beginning in late September 2002, existing Dynalivery customers with paid-up support agreements will receive upon request a free update that includes a copy of Saffron for co-resident use with Parallel Crystal on Microsoft Windows NT/2000 report servers.
Dynalivery will also offer Saffron as a complement to using Java Web/Portal Servers such as BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, Oracle 9iAS, Macromedia JRun, Novell/SilverStream eXtend, JBoss, and potentially others.
Saffron Output Samples
Please feel free to download and inspect the various PDF, HTML, RTF, SVG, PNG, and JPG documents that Dynalivery generated with Saffron, Parallel Crystal v2.7 Beta2 and Crystal Reports 7. All output files can be downloade from our Saffron Output Sample Page.
OEM and strategic partnership inquiries for Saffron are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
To help you preview and understand these great new capabilities, click on the following URL to download trial editions from our web site. This first set of trial editions includes "Saffron Desktop" which is our graphical user interface to Saffron. It is a Java server, including a PostScript language compatible interpreter and a Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) input module , that will generate and concatenate PDF, HTML, RTF, SVG, JPG and PNG documents. It is completely functional, unlike many trial editions and is only limited by its license key expiration. While it is beta software, we encourage you to use it to prepare any web or email documents, including long or complex documents, that you may be sharing with business colleagues or remote family and friends. We have included installers for MS Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX operating systems.
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