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ColdFusion Barcode Plug-In

for Adobe PDF Files
Installation Guide

Introduction

This ColdFusion i-fax.com Plug-In gives your website the ability to generate barcoded documents in Adobe PDF format, that can be faxed or scanned by your customers and linked to data on your database.

The ColdFusion/PDF version of the i-fax.com plug-in is available at Download Plug-In.

News, Sports and Music
by MondoTag.Com


Web Barcode for Fax and Scanner

This installation manual was designed to provide software developers with an easy guide to installing the i-fax.com Plug-In on document creation systems.

If you have any questions that are not addressed by this manual or if you have suggestions on how i-fax.com Inc. could serve you better, we welcome your input at service@i-fax.com.

Note:
You can activate the i-fax.com service by signing up at https://www.secure.i-fax.com/terms.html.

There is no charge for this Plug-In. There is no charge for producing documents or web pages containing the i-fax.com barcode.

Before you can begin to receive and link documents to transactions, your i-fax.com service must be activated.

copyright © 2013 i-fax.com Inc. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents



i-fax.com Architecture


The i-fax.com Plug-In is split into two parts:

  1. The Barcode Generator
    The Barcode Generator accepts a value to encode and generates a barcode that is then inserted into a pdf document you specify.

    i-fax.com also provides plug-ins in various languages for many document formats (e.g. Microsoft Word, HTML and GIF) as well as utilities for merging barcodes with existing PDF documents and for creating sheets of barcoded laser address labels for barcoding existing paper documents. Please visit http://www.i-fax.com/plugin.html for a full list of our plug-ins.

  2. Your Website
    When an end user sends a barcoded document to the i-fax.com server (by fax or scanner), the barcode is interpreted by i-fax.com's server. The i-fax.com server renames the document with the encoded identifier found in the barcode and sends the document to your website. Documents can be delivered in the using the following protocols:

    • FTP file transfer,
    • Secure FTP file transfer,
    • Secure Shell (ssh) file transfer,
    • or as an Email attachement.

ColdFusion PDF Version of the i-fax.com Plug-In




Description of the ColdFusion PDF Version of the i-fax.com Plug-In

The i-fax.com ColdFusion PDF plug-in contains the Java class "ColdFusionPDFMerge64.class", which permits you to quickly and simply add the i-fax.com barcode to your PDF documents.

ColdFusionPDFMerge64 encodes a 64-bit numeric value, and is compatible with the .GIF version of the barcode.

The following files are for an earlier version of the barcode plugin, now deprecated:

ColdFusionPDFMerge187.class
ColdFusionPDFMerge48.class

All versions place the transaction ID in human-readable form above the barcode, making it easy to identify a document's transaction ID even in hardcopy.

Installing the ColdFusion PDF Version of the i-fax.com Plug-In onto your Website

  1. The ColdFusion compatible version of the PDF Merge Utility requires that you to use the ColdFusionPDFMerge64 Java class.

    Find the class path for your Java version and create a subdirectory of it called /com/Ifax/Barcode/. For instance, in a normal Windows desktop environment the classpath is c:\windows\java\CLASSES, so you would create a directory called c:\windows\java\CLASSES\com\Ifax\Barcode. Other platforms and installations will have classpaths in different locations, please see your system or application documentation for details.

    The PDF i-fax.com Plug-In may work in conjunction with your web application but it is not a web application. We recommend that you keep the i-fax.com classes in a directory outside your web directory tree if possible. Make sure that the class files have the correct ownership and permissions to be accessible by your application.

  2. Put the files ColdFusionPDFMerge64.class and PDFMerge64.class in the newly created directory.

  3. The files ifaxpdfmerge64example.asp and example.pdf should be put in a test environment on your web tree.

Choosing a Value to Encode

Prior to creating a Barcode, your application must create a unique identifier and encode it for inclusion in the Barcode. A unique identifier can be any value that your application will find meaningful; a transaction ID, a sequence number, an account number, or a form number.

When an end user returns a document encoded with an i-fax.com Barcode, you will use this unique identifier to link the document image to the data on your website or in your database.

You do not need to encode large amounts of data in the i-fax.com Barcode. You can use a record identifier that will link the Barcoded document or PDF page to data that was captured while a user was on-line.

Warning:
This unique identifier value is leaving your site and your control.

It is important that you use the least amount of information necessary. For example, it is not recommended that you use a person's account number when you can use a transaction identifier for a specific transaction.

Using the PDFMerge64 Plug-In

There are several ways of adding i-fax.com barcodes to .pdf documents

  1. If you only want to put a barcode on one of the pages of the document and want to capture the created pdf file to a string, the simplest way is to use the getPDFMerge method and pass it the name of the file, the value to encode in the barcode, where on the page you want the barcode to appear and the page number you want to put the barcode on.

    String getPDFMerge(String pdffile, String transid, String orient, long pagenumber)

    • pdffile is the name of an existing PDF file that you wish add a barcode to.

     

    • transid is the unique identifier you wish to include in this barcode (see the explanation of "unique identifiers" in the section above). The ID must be a string representation of a number between 0 and 18,446,744,073,709,551,615).
     
    • orient allows you to place the barcode at the top or bottom of the page. Setting this to "1" places it at the top, "0" puts it at the bottom, and setting it to "2" puts copies at both the top and bottom.
     
    • pagenumber is the pagenumber of the pdf document to put the barcode on.
  2.  

Important Tip
It is strongly recommended that you use the "2" value for the orienttop parameter.

Placing an i-fax.com barcode at the top and bottom of each page will significantly improve the recognition rate of the barcode and will substantially reduce your labor costs.

     
  1. If you only want to put a barcode on one of the pages of the document and want to output the created pdf file to a file, the simplest way is to use the getPDFMergeToFile method and pass it the name of the file, the name of the file to create, the value to encode in the barcode, where on the page you want the barcode to appear and the page number you want to put the barcode on.

    void getPDFMergetoFile(String pdffile, String outfile, String transid, String orient, long pagenumber)

    • pdffile is the name of an existing PDF file that you wish add a barcode to.

     

    • outfile is the name of an new PDF file you want to create.
     
    • transid is the unique identifier you wish to include in this barcode (see the explanation of "unique identifiers" in the section above). The ID must be a string representation of a number between 0 and 18,446,744,073,709,551,615).
     
    • orient allows you to place the barcode at the top or bottom of the page. Setting this to "1" places it at the top, "0" puts it at the bottom, and setting it to "2" puts copies at both the top and bottom.
     
    • pagenumber is the pagenumber of the pdf document to put the barcode on.
     

Important Tip
It is strongly recommended that you use the "2" value for the orienttop parameter.

Placing an i-fax.com barcode at the top and bottom of each page will significantly improve the recognition rate of the barcode and will substantially reduce your labor costs.

  1. If you want to put barcodes on more than one of the page of the document it is a two-step process. First you pass the information about all the barcodes you want to create with the addBarcode method.

    void addBarcode (String transid, String orient, long pagenumber)

    • transid is the unique identifier you wish to include in this barcode (see the explanation of "unique identifiers" in the section above). The ID must be a string representation of a number between 0 and 18,446,744,073,709,551,615).
     
    • orient allows you to place the barcode at the top or bottom of the page. Setting this to "1" places it at the top, "0" puts it at the bottom, and setting it to "2" puts copies at both the top and bottom.
     
    • pagenumber is the pagenumber of the pdf document to put this barcode on.
 

Important Tip
It is strongly recommended that you use the "2" value for the orienttop parameter.

Placing an i-fax.com barcode at the top and bottom of each page will significantly improve the recognition rate of the barcode and will substantially reduce your labor costs.

 

Once you have used addBarcode to list all the pages you want to have barcodes on, use the getPDFMerge method to create the new barcoded pdf to a String or getPDFMergeToFile to output the newly created pdf to a file.

 

String getPDFMerge(String pdffile)

 

void getPDFMergetoFile(String pdffile, String outfile)

 
    • pdffile is the name of an existing PDF file that you wish add a barcode to.

     

    • outfile is the name of a file to output the newly barcoded pdf to.
     
  1. For applications that can make use of raw PDF graphic streams, the method "getPDFBarcode" takes the value to encode in the barcode and where on the page you want the barcode to appear and returns a PDF graphic stream that can be used with PDF generating software.

    String getPDFBarcode(String transid, String orient)

    • transid is the unique identifier you wish to include in this barcode (see the explanation of "unique identifiers" in the section above). The ID must be a string representation of a number between 0 and 18,446,744,073,709,551,615).
    • orient allows you to place the barcode at the top or bottom of the page. Setting this to "1" places it at the top, "0" puts it at the bottom, and setting it to "2" puts copies at both the top and bottom.
     

Important Tip
It is strongly recommended that you use the "2" value for the orienttop parameter.

Placing an i-fax.com barcode at the top and bottom of each page will significantly improve the recognition rate of the barcode and will substantially reduce your labor costs.

 

Browser Behavior Warning
If you are using a PDF Merge Plug-In as part of a web application to deliver barcoded PDFs to users, you may wish to temporarily save the barcoded PDF to disk and redirect the user's browser to the new PDF file.

Some users running Internet Explorer and the Acrobat plug-in may experience difficulty handling "streamed" PDF output generated dynamically.

Design Considerations for PDF Documents

The PDF Merge Plug-In places a barcode on the top and/or bottom of a page of the PDF document. It is important to keep these parts of the page free from any other graphics that may interfere with the printing of the barcode; you will need to keep the top (and/or bottom) 2 inches of the first page blank (5 cm). This requirement is for the pages of the document getting barcodes only, the rest of the PDF can be formatted as you see fit.

The PDF Merge Plug-In will not work with linearized (optimized for streaming on the web), encrypted (secured with password) or incrementally updated PDF's. When you create the PDF's to be merged, please ensure that these options are not set. To be certain that the PDF is free from these options, you can open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat, select File/Save As... set Security to "none" and clear the Optimize checkbox, then save the file.

Using the PDF Merge Utility in an ColdFusion application

The file ifaxhpdfmerge64example.cfm is a fully functional demonstration of how to use the i-fax.com PDF merge utilities in an ColdFusion environment. There are three steps required; first, the Java class must be instantiated with a call to GetObject()

<cfobject Type="Java" Action="Create" Class="com.Ifax.Barcode.ColdFusionPDFMerge64" Name="barcode">

Next, the barcoded document must be generated. You can stream it directly to the browser with:

cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMerge(inputfile, transid, "2", 1)
<cfoutput>#barcodestring#</cfoutput>

 

Or you can save it directly to a file:

<cfset ret = barcode.getPDFMergetoFile(inputfile, outputfile, id, "2", 1)>

If you wanted to barcode more than one page in a document, you could do it this way

<cfset ret = barcode.addBarcode(inputfile, outputfile, transid_for_first_page, "2", 1)>
<cfset ret = barcode.addBarcode(inputfile, outputfile, transid_for_second_page, "2", 2)>

 

Then either output directly to the browser:

cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMerge(inputfile)
<cfoutput>#barcodestring#</cfoutput>

or redirect it to a file:

<cfset ret = barcode.getPDFMergetoFile(inputfile, outputfile)>

 

The files ifaxhpdfmerge64example.cfm is a fully functional demonstration of how to use the i-fax.com PDF merge utilities in a ColdFusion environment. There are three steps required; first, the Java classes must be instantiated, either


<cfobject Type="Java" Action="Create" Class="com.Ifax.Barcode.ColdFusionPDFMerge64" Name="barcode">
or
<cfobject Type="Java" Action="Create" Class="com.Ifax.Barcode.ColdFusionPDFMerge187" Name="barcode">


depending on which version of the barcode you wish to use.

Next, the barcoded document must be generated. You can generate it as a string with:


<cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMerge(inputfile, id, 1)> <!--- ColdFusionPDFMerge64 version --->
<cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMerge(inputfile, id, format, 1)> <!--- ColdFusionPDFMerge187 version --->

Finally, output it with:


<cfheader name = "Content-Type" value = "application/pdf">
<cfoutput>#barcodestring#</cfoutput>

Alternatively, you can generate it directly to a file:


<cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMergetoFile(inputfile, outputfile, id, "1")> <!--- ColdFusionPDFMerge64 version --->
<cfset barcodestring = barcode.getPDFMergetoFile(inputfile, outputfile, id, format, "1")> <!--- ColdFusionPDFMerge187 version --->


and redirect the browser to where it is stored.


Your Website




When an end user sends a barcoded document to the i-fax.com server (by fax or scanner), the barcode is interpreted by i-fax.com's server. The i-fax.com server renames the document with the encoded identifier found in the barcode and sends the document to your website by FTP file transfer or as an email.

File Types

i-fax.com will deliver files to your server by FTP or Email. Every file sent from the i-fax.com server will follow this naming convention:

i-fax.com File Naming Convention

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa_bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb_999.TTT

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The unique identifier found in the i-fax.com Barcode (created by the i-fax.com barcode generator by your application).

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

A transaction key assigned by i-fax.com.

999

The page number (000 is reserved for the thumbnail) for JPEG files only.

TTT

The file extension of different output formats, e.g. pdf, tif, jpg, udt.

Unique Identifier

The unique identifier is the value that your application assigned at the time the i-fax.com Barcode was created using the i-fax.com Plug-In.

Transaction Key

i-fax.com assigns a unique transaction key to every transaction that is processed by a server. This transaction key ensures that each file that your web server receives is unique and is not overwritten in the event that a user sends the same document twice.

Page Number

The JPEG standard does not support multi-page documents. As a result, i-fax.com will deliver a separate JPEG file for each page in the document. These files will be numbered from 001 ... 999. Please note that number 000 is reserved for a JPEG thumbnail page that is explained below.

File Formats

The following file types are produced by the i-fax.com server:

  1. The first page of the document is provided in a miniature version in JPEG format (240 x 345 pixels). This feature can be turned off by i-fax.com (on your customer profile). If you want this feature turned off, please contact service@i-fax.com.

The "thumbnail" allows your application to display a small version of the document (e.g. as a search result).

  1. When you sign-up for the i-fax.com service you will be given the option of selecting one or more image formats for your documents. i-fax.com supports 4 image formats. The format you choose will depend on your application.

    Adobe PDF
    The i-fax.com server can produce a multi-page PDF file containing the document. The document is compressed in Group IV format to conserve storage space.

    TIFF
    The i-fax.com server can produce a multi-page Group IV TIFF file containing the document.

    JPEG
    The i-fax.com server will produce a series of JPEG files, each containing a page of the document.

    PNG
    The i-fax.com server will produce a series of PNG files, each containing a page of the document.

  2. If you have elected to receive documents using FTP, SFTP or ssh, i-fax.com will send a file with a .udt extension to indicate that your document has been sent. Clients using earlier versions of i-fax.com product should see the following link fin_guide.html.

This file will not appear on your server until all of the document images associated with your transaction have been delivered (in PDF, TIFF, JPEG or PNG format).

Warning Regarding FTP, SFTP and ssh Transactions

Your application should not start processing files in your FTP, SFTP or ssh directory until the .udt file is detected on your server.

The .udt file is not sent to your server until all of the files related to your transaction have been sent. So your server application should "poll" for the .udt file. This will ensure that your application does not start processing files before they have been completely transmitted to your server.

.udt File Contents

The .udt file contains information about the files received by i-fax.com.

Field Name Description
CallerID The caller id of the fax machine that the document was faxed from. If the document was not faxed or there was no caller id then the field is set to "Unknown".
TransID The unique identifier encoded in the barcode on the document. This is the same unique id used in the returned file names.
Pages The count of pages processed for the document.
Orientation "0" if the document was scanned or faxed with the barcode right side up, or "1" if the barcode was upside down. When a document is faxed or scanned in upside down, the i-fax.com server rotates them before sending them on for ease of handling.
To If the document was efiled instead of faxed, the "To:" line of the email is put here
From If the document was efiled instead of faxed, the "From:" line of the email is put here
Subject If the document was efiled instead of faxed, the "Subject:" line of the email is put here
Senddate If the document was efiled instead of faxed, the "Date:" line of the email header is put here

A two-page document encoded with a "unique identifier" of 639787744 that is faxed upside down would have the following in the .udt file:

CallerID=Unknown
TransID=63978744
Pages=2
Orientation=1

If you have elected to use i-fax.com's OCR service then the .udt file will contain the ocr'd text. Each page of text will start with a page identifier in the form [Page 1] followed by the text found on that page. A two-page document encoded with a "unique identifier" of 639787744 that is faxed upside down would have the following in the .udt file:

CallerID=Unknown
TransID=63978744
Pages=2
Orientation=1
[Page 1]
...text found on page 1...
[Page 2]
...text found on page 2...

Note:
You will find examples of the Adobe PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG and .udt files with the files you receive when you Download the Plug-In.

File Transfer Options

i-fax.com can deliver files to your server in one of two methods, using a file transfer protocol (such as FTP, SFTP or ssh) or using Email:

FTP, SFTP (Secure Socket Layer) and ssh (Secure Shell)
i-fax.com will transfer a group of files to the server you specify when you sign-up for the i-fax.com service. You will be asked to provide an FTP, SFTP or shh account and a directory on your site that is accessible to a file transfer from i-fax.com.

It is recommended that you design your application to poll this directory looking for files with the .udt extension. i-fax.com always sends a .udt file when a transaction has been fully transferred.

A number of strategies can be used to initiate the polling process. The strategy you chose will depend on the tools available to you on the web server you are using for your website:

  1. On Unix or Linux servers, you can schedule a job in the crontab that will capture transactions in your FTP directory and incorporate them with your web database. (This will not be possible in most hosted web environments.)
  1. On a Windows NT®/2000/XP® server, you can schedule a task in the Task Scheduler that will capture transactions in your FTP, SFTP or ssh home directory and incorporate them with your web database. (This will not be possible in most hosted web environments.)
  1. You can imbed a CGI script in a web page that is executed when the page is accessed. The CGI script can be designed to detect the arrival of a .udt file in the FTP directory and process the incoming document. The CGI script can be placed within a page that runs when users wish to access a document or in a page that is run frequently.

Note:
For clients that require additional security, i-fax.com provides 128 bit encryption (Secure Socket Layer or Secure Shell) free of additional charge. i-fax.com's service is HIPAA compliant.

Email
i-fax.com will email a group of files to the email address you specify when you sign-up for the i-fax.com service.

Each email sent by the i-fax.com server will contain all of the files pertaining to a specific document. In the event that an end user sends multiple documents in one fax or scan (each document having a unique i-fax.com Barcode), the i-fax.com server will transmit each document and its associated files in a separate email.

Emails sent by the i-fax.com server will contain the relevant files for a given document as attachments. Each email will contain the following entry in the "subject" line:

Document for transaction #{unique identifier from i-fax.com Barcode}

A number of strategies can be used to incorporate documents that have arrived by email. These include programs such as Procmail (for Unix and Linux environments) and Microsoft Exchange (for Windows NT®/2000/XP®).

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