Improved Client-Server Conversion with Document Conversion Service


We are pleased to announce that the latest version, Document Conversion Service 2.0.014, contains many updates and changes that simplify the configuration needed to set up client-server conversion.

Client-server conversion, also known as remote conversion, allows 1 or more client computers needing to convert files to ‘talk’ to a server computer, where the actual file conversion takes place.

A simple example of this is when you have a small application to convert files on each client computer and Document Conversion Service is running on its own, separate computer, the server.

What’s New in DCS 2.0.014?

The Document Conversion Service install now creates two user groups, a local user group named Document Conversion Service Users, and if on a domain, a domain group named Document Conversion Service Domain Users. A network share folder named DCSREMOTE, used by the clients to give the server access to the files to be converted, is also created. This makes giving clients access to be able to convert files as easy as adding the clients to the appropriate Document Conversion Service user group.

The Document Conversion Server Client Redistributable install has been simplified to install only the basic components needed by the client by default, and can now be deployed using a command line.

Best Practices for Document Conversion

We recommend the following when installing Document Conversion Service for client-server conversion:

  • You will need access to an administrative account on both the client and the server computers for adding local accounts and modifying group memberships.
  • Create the DCSAdmin account with the same password when installing Document Conversion Service on the server and when installing Document Conversion Server Client Redistributable on any clients.
  • Use the new groups Document Conversion Service Users and Document Conversion Service Domain Users to give the clients permission to connect to the server.

Common Setup Scenarios

When configuring client-server conversion you need to know if your clients are local or domain accounts and if the server is on a domain or a workgroup. You will also need to have installed the Document Conversion Service Client Redistributable on each client machine.

Server is…Client is a Domain AccountClient is a Local Account
On a DomainAdd client account to the Document Conversion Service Domain Users group.Create a matching local account with the same user name and password on the server. Add both accounts to the Document Conversion Service Users group.
On a WorkgroupCreate a matching local account with the same user name and password on the server. Add both accounts to the Document Conversion Service Users group.

Programming for Client-Server Conversion

When calling PEERNET.ConvertUtility or the command line tools from your application to perform the file conversion on a remote computer (client-server conversion), you need to know the following:

  • The machine name of the server where Document Conversion Service is running.
  • The path to a shared folder that is accessible to both the client and the server; in most cases this will be the DCSREMOTE network share that is created on the server as part of the Document Conversion Service install.
Remote Conversion from PEERNET.ConvertUtility

When using the PEERNET.ConvertUtility conversion methods in a client-server remote conversion call you need to specify the name of the server and the path to the shared folder, usually the DCSREMOTE folder.


PNConversionItem resultItem = null;   
String strRemoteComputer = "DOC-CONV-SRV1";
String strRemoteFolder = @"\\DOC-CONV-SRV1\DCSREMOTE";

// Directory must exist 
String strOutputFolder = @"C:\Test\Output";
if ( !Directory.Exists(strOutputFolder) ) 
{
    Directory.CreateDirectory(strOutputFolder);
}   

// This is the single call needed to convert a file
resultItem = PNConverter.ConvertFile(@":\Test\File.pdf", 
                                     strOutputFolder, // output folder 
                                     "ConvertedFromPDF", // converted file name
                                     true, // overwrite existing
                                     false, //  do not remove file ext
                                     false, // do not create log
                                     "TIFF 200dpi OptimizedColor", // profile
                                     String.Empty,
                                     String.Empty,
                                     null,         // no custom user settings
                                     strRemoteComputer, // DCS is running here
                                     strRemoteFolder, // remote shared folder
                                     String.Empty // no custom log folder);

Remote Conversion from the Command Line Tools

If your application uses the the command line tools, DCSConvertFile.exe, DCSConvertFolder.exe, etc., you will need to install the full version of the Document Conversion Service Client Redistributable. The command line tools are not included as part of the minimum install.

The command line tools all take an argument “/C” that takes the name of the server and the shared folder path for conversion on a remote computer.


DCSConvertFile /P="TIFF 200dpi Monochrome" /C="DOC-CONV-SRV1;\\DOC-CONV-SRV1\DCSREMOTE"
               "C:\Test\Document.doc"

Installing the Client Redistributable

The client redistributable, PNDocConvClientSetup_2.0.exe, is included as part of the Document Conversion Service install. You will find it in the \Redist folder.

The wizard-based install defaults to the minimum components. It does not include the command line tools, the Watch Folder service or the extra sample code. If you need the command line tools choose the Complete install or select Custom and choose the features you need.

If you need to bundle the client install with your application, several command line options are available to install the client silently. When using the command line the default setup type is BASIC, which installs the only the minimum components.


PNDocConvClientSetup_2.0.exe /S 
                             PASSWORD="password"
                             [SETUPTYPE=BASIC|FULL]
                             [DCSUSER="domain\user"]

The following command line runs the basic client setup silently with no UI. A local DCSAdmin account will be created with the supplied password, or if it already exists, will be validated and used with the supplied password.


PNDocConvClientSetup_2.0.exe /S PASSWORD="password"


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