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[Test-results encl.]GroupDocs Viewer addon

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Any caveats on using this?

Greetings!

I was excited to see GroupDocs document viewer listed in ocP's addons directory and have installed its file on my server. Before actually testing it, however, I wonder if anyone with experience of it can help me with a question about its usage?

Given that the supplied code for opening documents in an embedded iframe indicates that the document-viewer is requested per-click from GroupDoc's server (as per Google Viewer), does GroupDocs impose conditions on requested use of the viewer, such as (again as per Google Viewer) logging in/out under a registered account, and charging a usage fee? The latter point is important, since the GroupDocs viewer is a mightily pricey bit of software - way out of my budget - and I wouldn't want to find myself unexpectedly facing a colossal bill as the result of using it. There seems to be no info available on their website about such conditions and terms, or in fact any user documentation at all for the viewer, at least for non-customers.

Any info would be really welcome and much appreciated!

Thanks for reading!


Last edit: by RichT
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I went ahead and researched my question for myself, and here's my comeback:

There seems to be no info available on their website about such conditions and terms, or in fact any user documentation at all for the viewer, at least for non-customers.

Incorrect - there's plenty to see here (GroupDocs own site), and very near the top of the left nav, there's a links page on using the Viewer with specific platforms - dozens listed, including ocP v9.x.x

Given that the supplied code for opening documents in an embedded iframe indicates that the document-viewer is requested per-click from GroupDoc's server (as per Google Viewer), does GroupDocs impose conditions on requested use of the viewer, such as (again as per Google Viewer) logging in/out under a registered account, and charging a usage fee? The latter point is important, since the GroupDocs viewer is a mightily pricey bit of software - way out of my budget - and I wouldn't want to find myself unexpectedly facing a colossal bill as the result of using it.


CAVEATS:
As I suspected, you do pay to use it ($17/month, recurring subscription. The subscription covers 3 other standalone apps - a document-composing utility, an annotations utility, a conversion utility and 1GB file storage).

When you first request the viewer, you're presented with a login-or-register box. Though there's nothing to indicate it, if you choose to register, you're informed that you've set up a 15 day free-trial period. :shake:Tut tut.
(You're sent a "welcome" email confirming that, but there's no link to cancel your trial or instructions how to or concerning what happens at the end of the trial period. (I have this feeling I know the answer.)

During the trial-period, after a certain time viewing your content,  you're taken to another page after a random period of time. Under any circumstances that you return to view your page, a nag box to purchase confronts you.

Any document you request the viewer to display is saved on GroupDocs server and there's no interface for removing it. :devil: That goes for any file that the viewer refuses to display, too.

The page-embedded viewer refused to display the 2 .pdf files I requested, whether using the auto-installed GroupDocs Viewer Custom Comcode tag, or using a hand-coded URL path (only an error message in the viewer pane, from their server). Likewise, they wouldn't open when I uploaded the files from my PC to their server. However, my browser-entered requests to display them directly in the browser (using the ?url= forwarder between GroupDocs' URL and the URL to the file) worked fine.

Those are my caveats. Aside from them:
Loading-time (using the browser) was acceptable but not impressive, slower than flexPaper but faster than pdf.js (free (FOSS), now Firefox's default pdf viewer) (Both these viewers are fully installable on your own server.)

The GroupDoc's sole appealing feature (not available in Google Viewer, also cloud based but free) is an interface for individual removal of all widget buttons (print, copy screen content, download/ export etc.) plus right-click disabling, all of which make it harder (but not impossible) for people to pillage your material. That said, since the markup files for pdf.js and flexPaper sit on your own server, it's not at all hard to remove the buttons by editing them out.

Personally, it's not for me. I just don't like their pushy marketing style. In an age of scams galore, they need to think hard about that if they want to attract custom.

Hope this helps.



Last edit: by RichT
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