64-bit PDF iFilters Update

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.

  1. Finally, Adobe has released a 64-bit PDF ifilter. Their filter is free.
  2. 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:

For WSS 3.0: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927675
For MOSS 2007: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/adir_ron/archive/2007/05/03/Just-Released-_2D00_-PDF-IFilter-for-x64-Bit_2100_.aspx

How to add the PDF icon

And if you install SharePoint updates/patches, remember that you need to reinstall the FoxIt PDF ifilter.

About J.D. Wade

Lead Technical Cloud Architect, husband, active in community theatre, love watching movies, have been described as “quirky”, aka “KB Man”
This entry was posted in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint, Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (SPF 2010), Sharepoint Foundation 2013 (SPF 2013), SharePoint Server 2010 (SP 2010), SharePoint Server 2013 (SP 2013), Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 64-bit PDF iFilters Update

  1. Dan Usher says:

    Great article mate. It’s nice to know that this is an important capability that others are interested in as well for their projects that they’re supporting. I too am interested to see if the Adobe iFilter is multi-threaded. Only time will tell 🙂

  2. gavinadams says:

    Hi JD,
    great article and yours was the first I read on this new release.

    You might like to check this article out.

    It has some stats on foxit v’s adobe 64bit. Basically its suggesting that adobe is 5 times slower than foxit.


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