iTextSharp is Very Cool

I've been using an evaluation version of a 3rd party library to create PDFs in my latest client project. Well, when we finally decided to buy the library, let's just say that their licensing scheme absolutely sucks. It either ties you to one server or one product, neither of which is advantageous to the client, and would be a bitch to maintain in the future (what, I'm supposed to tell the client to buy 3 licenses for the test, QA, and production servers? Yeah, they're really going to be pleased with that...). What I wanted was a site license, but they didn't offer that and they weren't budging to offer it when we asked. Therefore, I did some re-digging on the Internet, and I ended up trying iTextSharp. Granted, I don't really like the object model and the naming conventions, but it does exactly what we need it to do, and (wait for it) it's free.

All I can say is that vendor just lost a lot of business because of their idiodic policy. We'll be updating our code to use iTextSharp in the next version, and the impact to the client will be small at best. Note to component vendors: not everything that is open source sucks, and unless you have a top-notch product with a great licensing scheme and great support, it's going to cut into your business.

Oh, wait, how did this hot potato get into my lap, and why does it have the words "Open Source Debate" burned into its' skin? Run away! Run away!!!

* Posted at 09.16.2004 03:57:38 PM CST | Link *

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