Synchronizing Annotations across Users, Devices, and Sessions

PSPDFKit for Web supports three approaches for synchronizing annotations to your server, and across multiple users, devices, or sessions:

  1. PSPDFKit Server

  2. Instant synchronization

  3. Building your own solution using our APIs

All three approaches are deployed on your infrastructure and can be integrated with our web SDK. For integrating with our mobile or desktop SDKs, Instant synchronization and custom-built solutions are supported.

PSPDFKit Server Instant Synchronization Building Your Own
Backend PSPDFKit Server PSPDFKit Server Any
Concurrent users per document 1 Multiple Multiple
Real-time sync Built in Built in Not built in
Conflict resolution Built in Not built in
User authentication Built in Built in Not built in
Customizable permissions Built in Built in Not built in
Incremental sync Built in Built in Not built in

PSPDFKit Server

PSPDFKit Server is our prebuilt solution for synchronizing documents and annotations to your server and across sessions, and for managing authentication. It’s deployed on your infrastructure as a Docker container.

Our web, mobile, and desktop SDKs connect your app to PSPDFKit Server, while your backend uses the server’s JSON-based API to manage documents and annotations.

PSPDFKit Server is best used in scenarios where multiple users will not be working on the same document concurrently. If there will be multiple concurrent users, then you should use Instant synchronization because it has built-in conflict resolution.

Learn more about PSPDFKit Server.

Instant Synchronization

PSPDFKit Instant is our prebuilt solution for synchronizing annotations across multiple concurrent users, devices, or sessions. It’s a licensable component that’s included as part of PSPDFKit Server.

Launch Demo

Instant consists of three parts: the PSPDFKit Server backend that synchronizes documents and annotations and manages authentication; the PSPDFKit Instant component that handles conflict resolution, version tracking, diffing, and merging; and the web, mobile, and desktop SDKs that integrate into your app.

Learn more about PSPDFKit Instant.

Building Your Own Solution

PSPDFKit web, mobile, and desktop SDKs have easy-to-use APIs for importing/exporting annotations and forms data as part of a robust synchronization solution.

Before you start, take a quick look at our guidance for storing annotation data and conflict resolution.

ℹ Info: When building your own solution, our technical support team will gladly help with questions specific to using our SDK. However, due to the complexity of building your own synchronization solution, support is limited to PSPDFKit technology.