Releases New Product Versions

Good news everyone!

We’ve just released the newest version of our flagship product, Able2Extract, this week. It’s now at version 4.0, which means more advanced conversions for extracting PDF graphics into different formats.

And in addition to that update, we’ve also improved our Able2Doc products as well, with better PDF to Word conversion output and an updated interface.

Of course, if you have previous versions of our software, we’ve got upgrades posted up for you so you don’t miss out on the latest features.

And so, in honour of taking one gigantic step forward with the new release, I thought it would be a good time to take a small step back. Releasing a new product version is always a perfect time to reminisce about the “good ol’ days”—thinking about where you’ve been and what you’ve done. And, in 6 years, after hard work (read: blood, sweat and tears) we’ve come a long way!

A Brief Trip Down Memory Lane

We also have our own history of fun facts to know and tell that date back to our foundation in 2000. In the early days, when trying to build the name and the product line, Investintech worked out of the company president’s apartment for a time (that’s right, “home base” was actually “home”). The staff was numbered at only 3 at the time: the president, executive vice president and lead developer, which meant honing down those much needed multi-tasking abilities until workloads demanded a staff. It consists of 9 members today.

The name “,”  itself, was coined because the site was initially supposed to be a financial information website focused on small cap technology companies. In the end, we found a nice niche in the PDF world, expanding one idea into another and eventually into one that combined specific working needs and practical software demands.

Our first product, Able2Extract 1.0, in fact, began as a simple PDF to Excel converter, which worked well, but not well enough to be put out on the market. After innovation, expansion and development, the products branched out into ones with more advanced capabilities—Able2Doc, Sonic, OCR technology, better GUIs, SDKs, server side software, conversions to HTML, PowerPoint, Word, and (better conversions to) Excel. Thus, this new version adds another big milestone to the list with a foothold in the graphic conversion arena.

Now, in a nice and cozy (and just as home-y) office here in downtown Toronto, Investintech has grown into the company you see on the screen before you.

There’ve been many challenges and successes along the way, and these new product versions are only one of them. And undoubtedly, there’ll be more to come.


Apollo: A Deity Descending

The PDF world is silent and seemingly still. CPU’s buzz and hum under the daily grind as they work towards maximum usage. Users are clicking away on the keyboard, typing their way closer to the future. . . . And all under the shade of anticipation for Apollo.

Yes, it’s coming. As mentioned, Adobe is coming out with Apollo, their new up and coming media platform. Still wonder what this Sun god namesake is?

Apollo is a cross-operating system runtime intended to make it easier for developers to create and set out Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop that can render Flash animations and HTML functionality as well as the PDF’s containing abilities, ultimately enabling Web-applications to function outside the browser.

The software will allow developers to create applications by using already widely used Web designing and creation tools. Apollo applications will look and function like any average desktop application, included with installers and uninstallers.

The important issue here is that while Web applications can function on different operating systems, they don’t work when disconnected from the Internet. This is one of the browser restrictions Apollo seeks to improve.

Thus, with Apollo files (with Internet content and media), people could access work online, save it offline, work on it and then have any changes updated and synchronized with the Internet version once reconnected.

All without an Internet browser? Yes, without an Internet browser. Then what?—The PDF. The PDF’s capability of containing rich media content is being pushed to its limits as an applications container. The primary setback would, of course, be the file size of those Apollo documents.

The release of the product will be the first one under the Macromedia-Adobe union. Its distribution campaign has yet to be set in stone, but you can expect for it to be available via free download. Apollo is intended for a release in the first half of 2007.

Will Apollo be the Apps god it intends to be?

What Kind of PDF Converter Buyer Are You?

When shopping on-line, anxiety is a necessary side effect. Not being able to fully inspect that second hand Louis Vuitton purse you see on e-bay; or worse yet, purchasing a software product from a fly by night company unknowingly—scenarios you’re all too familiar with?

For some, software shopping on-line becomes a way of life—convenience in the comfort of one’s own home (the Golden Rule of the Internet). They love clicking and downloading, but hate the fine print “Buyer Beware!” tag in a font size of 3. In other words– “What You Buy Is What You Get” (WYBIWYG).

Yet, at Investintech, what you buy is what you get—so if you buy a quick PDF conversion software product, you get a quick PDF conversion software product.

We get different kinds of PDF converter shoppers that have common queries when making that perfect purchase with us. So, here are a few that may also help you to make that ideal buy:

*The Anxious Buyer:“How come the Professional version is only available as a 30-day license?”

This type of buyer loves details. With Investintech products, there are options that users can use to their advantage, like the free trial downloads of our desktop applications. A 30 day license is just another option ideal for those who need to complete brief projects and need the full advantage of our software capabilities. But don’t worry, the Professional versions of our products are also available with a full use, single-user license.

*The Panicking Buyer: “My upgrade PIN isn’t working?”

This type of buyer likes to get at the heart of a matter. So do we. One thing to make sure of, is that you’ve got the right components– the Standard version of the product you’re upgrading to Professional and the PIN for the Standard product being upgraded. With questions like these, the Upgrades page and contact info on our site is there for you to get in touch with the right answer to the tech issues you need help with.

*The Curious Buyer: “What’s the difference between Able2Extract and a different PDF Converter?”

This type of buyer likes to research. We’ve got the resources to help you for just these kinds of questions. We’ve got product comparison charts, articles to help you understand different product features and in addition, there are also individual pages for each of our desktop products so you can research at your own ease.

So, welcome to Investintech: what kind of PDF converter buyer are you?

Some Quick Thoughts on PDF Security

You’ve been hit over the head with it: one of the key features of the PDF is that it comes with securing features. You can add passwords to PDF,  restrict utilization, and even certify an encrypted PDF.

Yet, as great as those features may sound, security options can only do so much outside of the digital state.

We were recently asked a question by a prospective customer:

“How do you prevent a user from distributing a created PDF? I only want the downloader to view this [confidential] document. I do not want him to be able to send a “Copy” to the entire staff.”

One of our staff members, George, had this to say in response which brings to light an important point:

“The problem is the fundamental one – the PDF document is just an ordinary file, just like any other on computer…it can be copied, sent via FTP or email, deleted etc. – just as any other file. Therefore, there is no way to limit distribution of the FILE that is the document itself…It really isn’t possible to prevent a person who reads the content of a PDF file from copying it by hand, or taking screenshots of it, talking about it etc…”

Of course, this makes you wonder about your own files–have they been compromised?  The problem is that PDF security places a little too much emphasis on the document falling into the wrong hands, not the hands of the intended recipient. Is there a possibility that they could be both one and the same?

Sad to say, PDF capabilities just  don’t eliminate the human factor on the other end once the file is accessed.  The only thing you can do to prevent this is to make sure that the file has the highest security settings in place. And–  of course, ensure you’re sending the file to a trusted recipient (no sarcasm intended).

One tip: When deciding on the security for your PDF document, think of the characteristics of certain security measures. For instance, passwords can be compromised,  printed PDF documents can be photocopied, etc. Think outside the security box.

This is not to say that the PDF isn’t good enough at securing documents. It is. Only, it just stops short of ensuring honesty in the work environment. There are good security measures available, just don’t take them for granted.