PDFTextStream Chosen by State of Michigan, Deloitte and Touche to Support Key PDF Reporting Features

The State of Michigan has deployed PDFTextStream to support essential reporting requirements in its revamp of a key statewide service delivery system.

The Michigan Department of Community Health, Department of Information Technology, and Department of Human Services jointly created the BRIDGES project in order unify the multitude of legacy systems that were in use to manage the State's social service programs, including those providing child care, direct cash assistance, medical coverage, and food stamp services. The State of Michigan enlisted the aid of Deloitte and Touche and EDS to manage and implement large portions of the BRIDGES project.

The Challenge

"Working with Snowtide was a very positive experience. We will recommend PDFTextStream to other projects with similar needs." Chris Weiss, System Architect, State of Michigan

Reporting was a key requirement from the start in the BRIDGES project, but a problem emerged, as described by Chris Weiss, the project's System Architect: "Some of the reports produced by the system were very large PDF files. However, most users were only interested in a few pages pertaining directly to a particular worker or work location." Breaking these extraordinarily large PDF reports up into managable chunks that are directly relevant to the user's current context would be an important step towards maximizing their productivity and the overall system's effectiveness.

In conjunction with their implementation partner, Deloitte and Touche, Mr. Weiss and his team began searching for a solution. "We evaluated several open source PDF libraries," he said. "They were not selected due to the development effort required to accommodate our particular project needs." Finding a PDF library that would get the job done without getting in their way was key to the team being able to move forward.

The Solution

"PDFTextStream was selected because of its capabilities, ease of integration, ease of use and performance." Chris Weiss, System Architect, State of Michigan

Once Mr. Weiss and his colleagues at Deloitte and Touche took a look at PDFTextStream, they knew they had found the right tool for the job. "PDFTextStream was selected because of its capabilities, ease of integration, ease of use and performance," Mr. Weiss said. Having found a quality, effective PDF extraction library that met their stringent requirements, the team turned towards baking PDFTextStream into their project.

Thankfully, there wasn't that much work to do. Within a couple of days, the team had integrated PDFTextStream into their Java reporting module. "PDFTextStream greatly reduced the development effort needed to segment and display our large PDF reports," said Mr. Weiss. "It was much easier to integrate than other libraries that were reviewed."

The Results

After PDFTextStream had been selected, Tim Carey, Mr. Weiss' colleague in the BRIDGES Program Management Office, had a chance to see what it's like to work with Snowtide. "Once we decided this was the product we wanted to purchase, Snowtide provided us with significant support throughout our development and testing process prior to the purchase being completed," said Mr. Carey. "This was extremely helpful given our typically long procurement cycle."

At the end of the day, the key reporting functionality was rolled out as part of the critical BRIDGES project, with smaller, more relevant reports being delivered to its users thanks to PDFTextStream. And Mr. Weiss' final words on PDFTextStream and Snowtide? "Working with Snowtide was a very positive experience. We will recommend PDFTextStream to other projects with similar needs."