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PDF-to-TIFF Conversion Issues On Tomcat Server With JAI

With a little help, JAI on a Tomcat server can support TIFF.
By Abhishek Ahuja

Last year, we encountered an issue where our PDF library PDFOne (for Java) could not convert PDF documents to TIFF format. This happened only when the library was running on Apache Tomcat server.

After quite a bit of troubleshooting and searching on the Web, we discovered that this is a problem with some newer versions of Tomcat. We are not sure of the exact version from which this became a problem. There was no problem with v6.0.0.14, which I had on my computer. On another computer with v6.0.0.26, the problem cropped up. Version 7 also suffers from the problem.

The issue was related to the Java Advanced Imaging (JAI) library used by PDFOne. When PDFOne initializes it enumerates support for various image formats in the Java runtime and in the JAI library. In the problem versions of Tomcat, JAI library is unable to return that it supports TIFF even though it does.

A post on a Tomcat users mailing list offered a solution - use a static block that rescans the supported format.

static {
  ImageIO.scanForPlugins();
}

We tried this fix and it works! So, there it is. Just add this static block in your main Java file of your web app and the issue will not crop up, hopefully.☺

Did you add JAI and JAI Image IO libraries?

Java framework supports only a few image formats. For converting to other formats, you need to add the Java Advanced Imaging and Java Advanced Imaging Image IO libraries to your project.

You can download the JARs from:

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