Update to pdfUtils Component

This post is more than 2 years old.

I'm happy to announce an update to my pdfUtils component. For folks who don't remember, the pdfUtils component was simply meant to help folks further build upon the awesome PDF support in ColdFusion 8. Todays update comes from Edward EG. Griffiths. He added a new method, readXMP. This allows you to read the XMP data from a PDF. He is currently working on writeXMP.

Now what is XMP? I had no idea until Edward explained it to me. XMP is a way to embed metadata within PDFs. Not the metadata you normally see (and the metadata you can access with CFPDF) but any arbitrary metadata. You can see how this would be useful for document handling, workflow, etc.

Turns out that DDX supports working with XMP, but it is on the list of 'banned' DDX keywords in ColdFusion 8. Now with this method you have a way around that.

To be honest, I'm really surprised by the PDF format. I didn't think it was all that interesting until ColdFusion 8 let me dig into it so much.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Chad G. posted on 4/5/2008 at 6:19 AM

Just to give you an idea of what XMP is used for, or can be used for, i work in the printing industry and we use XMP metadata to drive automated workflows. There is also JDF (www.cip4.org) that can do this, but that is another topic.

So when a PDF of a catalog page comes in we can read the XMP data and know how many pages are in the catalog, the catalog name, etc etc.

Then we use this meta data to process the PDFs and assemble them into press-ready PDFs. Or use the data to populate job information in our ERP system. Lots of other things we can use the data for.

What CF and XMP gives me is IF the graphic artist does not know how to populate XMP data in their copy of Indesign, Acrobat or Quark (which i dont think can populate XMP data). Say i build a CF app to take in the PDF pages i can ask the graphic designer to enter the number of pages, the catalog name, etc... and i can write the XMP meta data with CF for them.

Comment 2 by Ed posted on 7/16/2008 at 8:51 PM

the new pdfUtils method for writeXMP() has been completed and published to riaForge (thanks Ray). go knock yourselves out!

Comment 3 by Michael Horne posted on 3/18/2009 at 1:55 PM

Bless you, Ray Camden, for making my life with Lucene/ColdFusion integration a heck of a lot easier :-)

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 3/18/2009 at 3:48 PM

Have you seen my Seeker project? http://seeker.riaforge.org

Comment 5 by Steven Erat posted on 8/25/2010 at 11:43 PM

Stumbled on this today from old entry on Ben Forta's blog. Looking for a existing solution to read/write XMP metadata to images files (TIFF/JPG/etc) in CF. XMP used across Adobe CS products, so might work. Thanks.