Operational Modes

PSPDFKit for Web can be operated in two possible modes:

  1. Standalone — A JavaScript library that runs on the client

  2. Server-Backed — The standalone JavaScript library backed by Document Engine

Regardless of the operational mode being used, your frontend code will be identical, with some exceptions (such as initialization and opening files).

Comparing Operational Modes

Deployment Standalone Server-Backed
Deployed on your infrastructure
Backend Static Document Engine
Deployment method Any Docker
Framework Standalone Server-Backed
Angular
ASP.NET
Blazor
Electron
HTML5
jQuery
Next.js
Nuxt.js
Progressive Web Apps
React
Ruby on Rails
Svelte
TypeScript
Vue
Integrations Standalone Server-Backed
SharePoint Online Coming soon
SharePoint On-Premises Coming soon
Microsoft Teams Coming soon
Microsoft OneDrive Coming soon
Salesforce Coming soon
PDF Support Standalone Server-Backed
PDF
PDF/A 1, 2, 3, 4
XFDF
Instant JSON
Office Document Support Standalone Server-Backed
DOCX, DOC, DOTX, DOCM
PPTX, PPT, PPTM, PPSX
XLSX, XLS, XLSM
RTF
ODT
HTML Support Standalone Server-Backed
HTML
Image Support Standalone Server-Backed
PNG
JPEG, JPG
TIFF, TIF
HEIC
GIF
WEBP
SVG
TGA
EPS
Performance Standalone Server-Backed
Initial load time Fast Fastest
Document rendering Client-side Server-side
Document streaming
Functionality Standalone Server-Backed
Viewer
Annotations
Forms
Signatures
Editor
PDF generation ✓✓
Conversion
Extraction
Redaction
OCR
Document security ✓✓
Search
Bookmarks
Events and notifications
Print
User authentication Not built-in Built-in
Annotation and Form Synchronization Standalone Server-Backed
Sync annotations and form data to a server Not built-in Built-in
Conflict resolution for concurrent editing Not built-in Built-in*
Customizable permissions Not built-in Built-in
Incremental sync (annotation diff) Not built-in Built-in

* Via PSPDFKit Instant (a component for Document Engine)

Standalone

PSPDFKit for Web Standalone uses our JavaScript library for rendering and editing documents directly in the browser. It’s powered by WebAssembly technology, and it doesn’t require a server, plugins, or internet access.

Client-only has the following advantages:

  • Get up and running faster — No servers need to be deployed or maintained.

  • Lower infrastructure costs — Rendering and processing are offloaded to the client.

  • Security and privacy — Documents don’t need to be transferred across a network.

Server-Backed

PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed uses Document Engine as a backend for PSPDFKit for Web. Document Engine is delivered as a Docker container.

Server-Backed has the following advantages:

  • Faster performance — Rendering is done on the server, with pages streamed on demand.

  • Out-of-the-box sync — Synchronize annotations and form field values to the server and across sessions.

Learn more about Document Engine.