For more than 40 years, CMiC has been providing the construction industry with high-quality enterprise software. In order to maintain its competitive edge, the company has had to stay ahead of the curve, and it does this by offering on-premises and cloud services, along with all-encompassing management tools available on a single platform.
More recently, CMiC made the decision to develop a mobile application to complement its web-based project management tool. According to Product Manager Steve Cangiano, this app would “allow construction professionals to view plans, track documents, and enter their employees’ time from the field.” Creating an app was seen as a natural next step for CMiC, as PDFs are prominent in construction document workflows, especially as many of the job’s responsibilities are performed in the field.
The company began exploring how to enable its app to handle complex PDFs and provide functionality such as annotation capabilities. As it wasn’t something they wanted to create themselves, they intentionally sought out a PDF viewer and markup tool that could be easily integrated into their app.
“We were looking for a development partner — both open source and other third-party libraries — that would give us a deep set of tools to allow us to customize viewers’ UI/UX,” said Cangiano. Upon discovering PSPDFKit for iOS, CMiC downloaded the trial version and immediately noticed “the depth of features and responsiveness of the UI – it was exactly what we were looking to bring into our application.”
In early 2017, CMiC started using PSPDFKit for iOS, Android, and Web in its CMiC Mobile products. In addition to being accessible anywhere in real time, it has features that allow its users to see and control details that pertain to planning, management, and execution, both onsite and in the office.
“Users are able to open the PDF, navigate between pages, and even view older versions of the document,” Cangiano explained. “We are dealing with very large and complex PDFs and PSPDFKit handled them extremely well. We even built a tool that allows users to share annotations between devices – which is critical for collaboration on a set of construction drawings.”
CMiC ended up using XFDF as the interchange file format for its synchronization solution. XFDF is an XML-based format for storing PDF annotations and form fields external to a PDF file. PSPDFKit offers similar functionality in the form of Instant and InstantJSON while also supporting XFDF fully. Together with our flexibility and expertise, CMiC built a syncing solution to fit the company’s specific needs. This kind of cooperation is key when relying on a technology partner.
“We found the tool set to be very deep, and it allowed us to take total control of the data moving between our application and PSPDFKit. The quality of the product is extremely high, and we know it will handle just about anything we throw at it,” Cangiano said. “Additionally, the support staff and responsiveness of PSPDFKit’s leadership team has been extraordinary. They are a pleasure to work with and have allowed us to get the most of out of PSPDFKit.”