In this post, I will do a brief review of the state of 64-bit PDF iFilters for the Microsoft platform (this effects SharePoint). There have been a couple things occur in the last few days that I just wanted to point out.
First, let me review the purpose of an ifilter briefly for those who may not be aware. For Microsoft search products, an ifilter allows the indexer to read different file formats. So a PDF ifilter allows a Microsoft search product to open Adobe PDF files so that can be indexed and searched. Also, if you are running the MS Search Product on 64-bit platform, you want to run a 64-bit ifilter for performance and supportability reasons.
Until this month, in my opinion, the only production ready option for a 64-bit ifilter was offered by FoxIt Software. There are two things that have happened that I wanted to point out for your review.
- Finally, Adobe has released a 64-bit PDF ifilter. Their filter is free.
- FoxIt Software has released an update to their 64-bit PDF ifilter this month. There is a charge for their ifilter if you are using on a server (free for desktop use).
So if you are using FoxIt already, time to update your filter next patch cycle. If you need an ifilter, you may ask, “Why on earth would I use the FoxIt Software solution I have to buy now that Adobe has a free version?” There have been tests done to show that previously, the FoxIt ifilters (even 32-bit) performed better than the Adobe solution. I know the FoxIt version is multi-threaded. I do not know the capabilities of the free Adobe version yet.
So for Production environments, I would ask you to still consider the FoxIt solution. But if you can’t afford it, there is an alternative now. As more testing is done with these filter solutions, hopefully we will have more information to make a decision.
If you need help installing the ifilters, here are some links that will help:
And if you install SharePoint updates/patches, remember that you need to reinstall the FoxIt PDF ifilter.