CASE STUDY OVERVIEW

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Field Activity provides a broad variety of operational and support services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), specified DoD Components, selected federal government activities, and the general public.

The DoD requires the ability to work with sensitive digital documents and deliver quality administrative support.

The DoD needed a reliable web-based application that converted paper documents to highly secure electronic formats.

With WebGrabber by ActivePDF, the DoD automatically transforms paper documents into highly-secure and accessible PDF documents.

ActivePDF Drives Digital Transformation at the U.S. Department of Defense

Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) is the Department of Defense (DoD) Field Activity that provides a broad variety of operational and support services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), specified DOD Components, selected federal government activities, and the general public.

Personnel and Security (P&S) is responsible for directing the civilian and military personnel programs, personnel security programs, and administration of the civilian and military Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints program in OSD and other organizations that require personnel administrative support.

Challenges

The global departure from traditional paper documents to secure electronic formats has not gone unnoticed at the WHS/OSD. The removal of a paper-based workplace was no longer a suitable option. This idea, however has created a unique problem.

While all documents needed to be online, they were unable to robustly generate properly formatted form letters and other correspondence utilizing pre-formatted HTML stored in their Oracle® database.

The DoD objective was to create a web-based application that allowed the tracking of Security Clearance adjudication information for the Executive level of the Federal Government. The DoD needed the ability to dynamically generate PDF documents on-demand­ for storage in a document management system. This process would drive digital transformation, without sacrificing quality or accessibility.

 

Solutions

For the WHS/OSD, the main purpose of bypassing the physical letter writing process was to bring the directorate into the PDF standard and allow a web based (thin-client) capability of the system. Coupled with other ActivePDF server-based products, WebGrabber provides WHS/OSD with the ability to easily store pre-formatted and customized HTML in an Oracle database; and then seamlessly and dynamically create a PDF file from that stored data.

WebGrabber gives the DoD the ability to edit and scale HTML-to-PDF, along with an unwavering level of security. Peter Bagnato, the Principal Systems Engineer at OSD outlines that the ease of integration of ActivePDF’s software is “Outstanding.” While the application is written in ColdFusion®, ActiveEdit® is used to create HTML formatted text for the letter.

This data is written to the database using a ColdFusion template. Another ColdFusion template is used to pull that HTML-formatted text and display it within a PDF file created using WebGrabber.

The use of all three technologies (ColdFusion, ActivePDF, and ActiveEdit) is seamless and robust. The WHS/OSD are using ColdFusion to manipulate and read the database, while running under a Windows® 2000 development platform and UNIX (HP-UX 11.0) production platform.

WebGrabber is the .NET developer tool to convert webpages or raw HTML files into PDF documents. Try it for free!

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Results

“Quite a bit of research was carried out on similar products in the market before we learned that ActivePDF could easily satisfy our requirements after spotting an advertisement in the ColdFusion Developer’s Journal,” states Bagnato. “We evaluated both Crystal Reports 8.5 and raw HTML. However, Crystal Reports was inadequate because it did not support HTML tags above version 1.0.

"This meant that white spaces could not be recognized. Raw HTML was inadequate because of the necessity to have standard header and footer sections on letters of various lengths. The letters are typically from one to twenty pages long and all must be formatted in the same way.”

Bagnato had nothing but positive comments about the pre-sales technical support he received throughout the evaluation period of ActivePDF’s products.

“ActivePDF support is unsurpassed. We have never worked with a company that has given us a greater turn-around time in answering our questions and finding solutions for our problems.”

Once the solution has been fully implemented, there are possible plans for the OSD to expand this solution within the entire Department of Defense.

 

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TESTIMONIALS

What People are Saying

“Once we found WebGrabber, we didn’t need to look any further."

Randy Kula

Software Developer, InfoAccess.net

“Ultimately, we can be more responsive to changes using WebGrabber with standards-based HTML reporting to produce reports. Now, we have complete control over the layout without having to learn a new system.”

Kenneth Cox

Sr. Programmer/Analyst, Pacific Life

“ActivePDF support is unsurpassed. We have never worked with a company that has given us a greater turn-around time in answering our questions and finding solutions for our problems.”

Peter Bagnato

Principal Systems Engineer, Office of the Secretary of Defense

“ActivePDF has been our PDF software partner since 2002. They allowed us to put our ideas into practice and we have built our business around their ability to deliver.” 

AJ Mueller

CEO, ONE-EIGHTY Corp.