Author: Halfvares Mats, Teknikhuset AB.

Published: 2004-09-15

Applies to:
  • Customers running Content Studio PDF server under Content Studio ver. 4.0 or later

Type: How to

More information

Content Studio PDF server is a product that can be used to generate PDF-documents from a document in Content Studio. This functionality is a plug in that must be purchased separately. In addition customers need to fully license the Active PDF Writer and the Active PDF Web Grabber products from Active PDF. There is one license of Active PDF needed for each server running Content Studio PDF server and one separate license for each web site served by Content Studio PDF-server.
Setting up the Content Studio PDF-server includes installation of Active PDF and Content Studio PDF server on the PDF server and configuring of each one of the Content Studio installations that should be able to generate PDF documents. The PDF server should be a separate machine but one server can server a large number of web sites. We strongly recommend our customers NOT to install Content Studio PDF server on a server that has other duties since the PDF server generation can occupy a wast amount of the server's resources.
Setting up the PDF server
First you must create 2 new domain or Active Directory user accounts that will act against the Content Studio site. You might like to name them CSPDFService and CSPDFReader and as usual set a strong password for these accounts and make sure that they does not need to change their passwords at next logon and that their passwords does not expire. These accounts does need any special privileges in the network but they must be members of the Administrators local group on the PDF server. If the 2 server are not members of the same domain or in 2 trusting domains they cannot open trusted connection between each other. In this case you must create matching pairs of local account names and passwords on each one of the two servers.
  • Content Studio PDF server runs successfully on Microsoft Server 2003 (Standard, Enterprise and Web Editions), Windows 2000 Server (Standard or Advanced), Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional. The product cannot be run on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows NT, Windows 98 or earlier operating system.  (Servicepack 1 on Windows Server 2003 requires service servicepack 7 of the Active PDF Server and Active PDF WebGrabber). This version is not compatible with the version 1.0 of the CSPDFWorker.dll that is one of the core components of Content Studio PDF Server. For details see the article PDF server might stop working after installing SP 1 on Windows 2003 Server . Also there are some problems with Active PDF Server when it tries to build the static printer pool. We have found that starting by installing Sp 6 of the Active PDF Server and WebGrabber, configure the installation and then upgrade to Sp 7 works best.
  • You must install the IIS (Internet information services) web server before installing Content Studio PDF Server. IIS is a part of the operation system mentioned above but does need to be running. The installation program will not continue if it detects that IIS is not installed.
  • Install Active PDF Server Sp 6 and Active PDF WebGrabber Sp 6 and register the products according to the instructions for these products.
  • Configure Active PDF server in its configuration dialog. Make sure that a valid post script printer is selected or use the activePDF postscript printer.
  • Configure Active PDF to use a static printer pool (this can be a problem with Sp 7). Content studio PDF server requires at least the value 2 as both the Static pool size and as the Reserved pool size. Rebuild the printer pool before exiting the configuration dialog.
  • If you installer Sp 6 of Active PDF Server and WebGrabber you can upgrade to Sp 7 now.
  • Configure the Active PDF webGrabber Internet Explorer runtime account in the WGIELogin dialog. Use the credentials of the CSPDFReader created previously.
  • Log on locally or via Remote Desktop on the server using the CSPDFReader account. If this account does not have permission to log on to the server you must assign administrative privileges to CSPDFReader. Make sure that this account has a valid internet access (i.e. proxy settings and security zones settings) before logging off. Also, on Server 2003 you must disable enhanced security configuration or make sure that the security warning dialog is turned off. Also set the Disable script debugging option in the Internet Explorer advanced settings. Any modal dialog that appears in Internet Explorer for this user must be suppressed ex. the dialog that a warning that you are going to submit data to the Internet. The latter dialog can be suppressed the first time it is displayed.
  • A special problem occurs if the site or the source file is protected from anonymous access. If the site uses integrated security and is located in your network domain you must ensure that this url i registered in the Local Intranet zone for CSPDFReader. This is not needed if the url does not contain dots ex. (http://myserver/intranet). If the site is configured outside your domain or integrated security is turned off and single signon cannot be performed this will not work. Currently there is no support for this scenario in Content Studio PDF server. Therefore the best option is to ensure that the site is configured for Anonymous Access and that anonymous accounts can browse the web site. As a last resort you could create a login on the web server with the same name and password as the CSPDFReader account.
  • Now is the time to test the Active PDF WebGrabber by running the VBS script "TestWebGrabber.vbs" found in the Tools directory on the CD. This script should generate a PDF of the start page of the Content Studio web. If your company policy prevents users from accessing the public internet please edit this script by changing the URL to a local html file or a ex. the start page of your local intranet. If this script fails it is likely that the CSPDFReader account is not correctly configured. Please review the 2 steps above and make sure the stored password is correct.
  • Install the PDF Server by running its installation program and follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Start the Content Studio PDF Service Manager (CSPDFMan.exe) that was installed by the installation program. This application will help you generate all the registry setting values needed. This utility can be used to register the license key obtained from Teknikhuset AB. Without a license Content Studio PDF Service will run but will not generate any PDF:s.
  • Now it is time to control that the PDF server machine has access to the web servers it should serve. You can do this by running the CSPDFTester.exe utility installed by the installation program. This utility allows you to select the web server and the web site that should be served by the PDF server. It is necessary that DCOM works between the two servers and that the CSPDFService account is allowed to make the calls needed. This tool will access the PDF-queue on the web server and generate a PDF if a request was found.
  • Start the service "Content Studio PDF service", preferably by using the Content Studio PDF Server Manager. While at it, make sure that the Active PDF Writer and Active PDF WebGrabber services also are running properly and these services can be controlled through the Content Studio PDF Server Manager as well. Take a look in the Event viewer's Application log which will log all critical events from the service and some informational messages as well.

Configuring the Content Studio web site

Normally a web site in Content Studio is not enabled for PDF generation in order to avoid that users tries to create PDFs and just ending up with a full PDF queue and no PDFs. To enable it you must edit the setting "system.PDF_ServerInstalled" and set it to the value 1. Note that this does not automatically enables you to create PDFs in the background - it just enables the user interface in Content Studio.
The next thing you must do is to set up general permissions for the PDF Server runtime account on all of the web sites you have licensed for PDF server. Start by registering the CSPDFService runtime account in Content Studio. In the site properties dialog of Content Studio, display the security dialog for the PDF queue by clicking the PDF button in the Security section. Add an entry for the CSPDFService account and give it the permission to Read/List, Write/Create and Delete. Close the dialog by clicking the OK button. Next step is to enable the categories for PDF generation. For each category that contains documents that should offer the possibility to generate PDF documents you must do the following:
  • Create a new category of the file type where you would like the generated PDFs to be created. Ensure that all users that should be able to generate PDF documents has the CREATE permission on the PDF-queue and CREATE on this destination category in order to succeed. Normally all verified users have the CREATE permission on the PDF queue.
  • Enable the category for PDF. You do that on the category in question in the properties dialog for that category. Open up the PDF dialog and set the settings you would like to use, you must have WRITECONTAINER permission on the category in order to set these properties. Also ensure that all users that should be able to create PDF documents must have READ and WRITE permission on the document that act as source of the PDF. Note that  if you have chosen to generate for sub documents also these permissions are checked on the root document only.
  • Make sure that the CSPDFServer account has CREATE/WRITE permission on the PDF destination category.
  • Lastly you must check that the CSPDFReader account must have BROWSE permission on each one of the document that acts as source of the generated PDFs. Normally you just set this permission on the category level and let the permission inherit down to each document.

Content Studio PDF Server generates its PDF:s by letting the CSPDFReader browse to the documents and by using Internet Explorer's print engine these pages are transformed into PDF documents that are uploaded to Content Studio. You can modify the looks of these PDF documents by modifying the printer settings of the CSOSDReader account on the PDF server. In order to do this you must either log on to the server with this account or use the Run As option. Also a number of parameters are also available on the source category and can be modified by a category administrator or (if permitted by the administrator) by the generating user.