PDF Converter for SharePoint Online - FAQ

Please note that answer to common troubleshooting related questions can be found here. A separate FAQ for he real-time watermarking and secure OnOpen facility can be found in this Knowledge Base article.

What is the difference between the PDF Converter for SharePoint on-premise and Online versions?

Ever since Muhimbi was founded in 2008, our aim has always been to support all current and future SharePoint versions. SharePoint 2007-2019 largely share the same architecture resulting in mainly small tweaks (and some not so small ones) to make the same product work on all SharePoint versions. To us, on-premise means a SharePoint 2007-2019 installation that you have installed yourself or someone (other than Microsoft) is maintaining on your behalf.

Over the last few years Microsoft has been pushing 'The Cloud', popularising a product that is known as SharePoint Online, or Office 365. Depending on who you talk to these terms are used interchangeably, but we call it SharePoint Online. Although the SharePoint Online user interface resembles SharePoint 2019, under the hood it is quite a different beast, especially where it comes to 3rd party extensibility. Our core conversion service is largely the same, but the entire front end (SharePoint User Interface, Workflow Actions) has had to be redeveloped from scratch.

As a result, and due to limitations of the SharePoint Online platform, some of the features provided by the on-premise version of our software are not yet available in the Online version. We continue to work on it as we aim for feature parity between both versions. For an overview of the similarities and key differences, see this Knowledge Base article.

How much does it cost?

The PDF Converter for SharePoint Online is available as a monthly subscription. To make sure the Online version of our software is priced as competitively as our on-premise solutions, several different subscription levels are available. The subscription level depends on your exact needs and is based on factors such as the number of monthly conversions, supported file types, the need for PDF/A and OCR as well as the level of support.

Pricing details (per year, for unlimited users and developers) can be found here.

What do you mean with 'Maximum Operation Size' and 'Operations per month'?

Each subscription level comes with a different Maximum Operation Size and Operations Per Month allowance. The maximum size decides the size, in bytes, for a single operation, this includes the total size of all source files in a single merge operation as well as the size of a single conversion.

The number of operations per month are the number of individual operations carried out. Examples of a single operation are: converting a file, watermarking a file, securing a file, carrying out OCR on a single page etc.

What happens when I run out of monthly Operations?

Each subscription level comes with a different Operations Per Month allowance (see previous point above). When a subscription has reached 75% of the allowance you will receive an automated email requesting you to contact the Muhimbi team to make arrangements. When reaching 100% of the allowance, without making any arrangements, the software will cease to work for the remainder of the month.

Can I deploy the PDF Converter for SharePoint App in SharePoint 2013 on-premise?

Yes you can, providing you use the most recent (9.8) App and Workflow actions. For details see this blog post.

Does the PDF Converter for SharePoint Online support Nintex' or K2's Online products?

The on-premise version of the PDF Converter for SharePoint has supported Nintex Workflows for years and K2 as of version 7.3. Our plan is to integrate with the Online versions of both products, but that will be part of a future release as at the time of writing Nintex Workflow Online does not support third party workflow actions. Until then you can create a SharePoint Online workflow using SharePoint Designer and trigger that workflow from K2 or Nintex Online, or invoke our REST based service as per this blog post.

What locations can I convert files to?

The on-premise version of the PDF Converter for SharePoint can convert files to any location within a single Web Application, including different site collections, as described here. Unfortunately SharePoint Apps distributed via Microsoft's SharePoint App Store are much more restricted and can only convert files to different locations, including sub sites, within a single Site Collection. If you wish to write converted files to a different site collection then you will need to carry out some manual development work or use Microsoft Flow.

Is it possible to run Muhimbi workflows in Site Collections that use the Records Center template?

Unfortunately, for security reasons, Microsoft has disabled the ability to deploy third party workflow components in sites that use this template. Use a workflow product such as Microsoft Flow or Azure Logic apps instead. Our software integrates with both.

Can I upgrade an 'on-premise' license to an Online subscription?

Although both products are completely different, and the licenses are not compatible, we want to make sure that customers with active maintenance and support agreements are not left behind. For details see this Knowledge Base article.

Conversion is not as fast as when using your on-premise solution, what gives?

Our Document Conversion Service has been developed with scalability in mind, as a result it is incredibly fast. The conversion service used by our SharePoint on-premise and Online solutions are (largely) the same. However, where SharePoint on-premise uses a relatively simple architecture that adds very little overhead, SharePoint Online uses a completely different architecture that adds quite a bit of overhead.

This is completely out of our control, Microsoft has had to make some very difficult decisions in order to make SharePoint Online secure while still allowing third parties to integrate with it. Unfortunately this means that operations that used to take 1 or 2 seconds now take a bit longer. Although we are constantly looking at ways to optimise SharePoint Online, we believe that - given the restrictions of the platform - it is pretty fast.

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