Adobe finally releases 64bit PDF iFilter

Adobe has finally released a 64bit PDF iFilter.

So what is this all about?  I ran into this issue in the spring of 2007 while working on a SharePoint 2007 deployment project.  We had chosen to use 64bit Windows Server 2003 and MOSS Standard.  Everything installed correctly and was working fine.  That is, until we looked into getting SharePoint to index PDF files.

SharePoint's search feature actually uses the Windows built in indexing functionality.  A key part of this is something called an iFilter.  This is a plugin that basically explains to the Windows indexer how to open and examine certain file types.  Microsoft includes all of the ifilters you need for the Office suite, of course.  However, the big one not included is the PDF filter.

So, normally, you go out and download the PDF ifilter from Adobe.  However, the catch is that since the indexer is a built into the OS, it requires 64bit versions of the ifilters when running a 64bit OS.  After discovering this little nuance, I was quite surprised to learn that Adobe had not released a 64bit version!

Luckily for our client, a company name Foxit Software came up with a 64bit ifilter within a few weeks of me needing the filter, and before we went to production. (Foxit also makes a great PDF Reader, which is much more lite weight than Adobe's Reader.)

Anyway, here's the announcement from Adobe's website:

Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms

Adobe® PDF iFilter is designed for end users or administrators who wish to index Adobe PDF documents using Microsoft indexing clients. This allows the user to easily search for text within Adobe PDF documents.

Key benefits:
• Integrates with existing operating systems and tools on your computer or within your company
• Provides an easy solution to search within Adobe PDF documents located on your computer, company network, and company intranet
• Greatly increases your ability to accurately locate information

Adobe currently bundles a 32-bit PDF iFilter with Adobe Acrobat® 9 as well as free Adobe Reader® 9 software. It uses the Microsoft iFilter interface and allows third-party indexing tools to extract text from Adobe PDF files.

In response to customer requests, Adobe is releasing Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms, which will allow searching PDF files on Microsoft® Windows® 64-bit platforms for applications such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005.


It appears that Adobe’s ifilter doesn’t perform nearly as well as Foxit’s.  Check out this blog post for more details:

Print | posted @ Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:57 PM