Q&A from “File-Format Manipulation in Xamarin.Forms” Webinar

On April 18, Syncfusion hosted a webinar on file-format manipulation in Xamarin.Forms. Product solutions specialist Aaron Melamed gave a thorough overview of the subject. In this blog post, we’d like to address the questions we received from the audience. To see the code samples for this presentation, please visit our GitHub page here. To view the recorded webinar, simply visit our YouTube page.

Why parse a string to set a date value?

It was done this way in this sample, but XlsIO just requires a DateTime object, so you can initialize it as desired.

Do developers use OData RESTful services to populate content in layouts created using the file, creation, layout, and handling capabilities you showed today?

Yes, this will work.

If I am the only developer/tester/etc., the Enterprise license should cover everything, correct?

Yes.

Will the sample code will be available for download?

Yes, you can download the samples from the location below.
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos

Can fonts be embedded in PDFs?            

Yes, this is possible. Please refer to the sample linked below for more details.
http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/FontEmbedding1301799007

Does this library work in .NET MVC, too?

Yes, these libraries are completely supported for ASP.NET MVC, as well.

Is it possible to preview other doc types?

Currently, we only have a viewer for PDF.

Are there functional limitations when using the community license?

No. The community license is a complete license.

When dealing with number formats, is there an enumerable or constants for the common formats, or do we have to use the string representation for all number formats?  

Currently there is no enumerable or constants to set the format. We will look into providing them in the future.

Do you have plans for a Word viewer?

Since we support on the desktop, we will look into adding this to Xamarin as well, but not in the immediate future.

Do you have an image file manipulation library? Do you plan to add it? By this I mean will we be able to create an image file, set its contents by drawing shapes, add effects, etc.?

No, we do not have an image manipulation library and don’t have any existing plans to create one. However, we would love to further investigate if you can share more specific requirements regarding such a library. Please share your requirements through our support system.

Is it possible to convert a Syncfusion SfChart to a PDF?

Yes, it is possible to convert SfChart to an image and then insert the chart image into a PDF document.  Please refer to the sample linked below for more details.
http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/SfChartToPDF348739661

When creating the PDF, is there an ability to create headers at the top of each page?

Yes, you can create headers that will appear on all pages. Please refer to the links below for more details.
https://help.syncfusion.com/file-formats/pdf/working-with-headers-and-footers

http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/HeaderAndFooter1810789399

Is it possible to create a Word document, but save it as a .docx and then as a PDF file?

Yes, this is possible, but you would need to do the conversion on the server using our server-side conversion libraries. Please refer to the sample linked below for more details.
Sample:
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/SampleBrowser/SampleBrowser/Samples/DocIO/WordToPDF.xaml.cs

Service:
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/WebServices/Controllers/WordController.cs

Is there any enumeration for file sizes? A4, A2, and so on?

Yes, we provide support for predefined and custom page sizes in PDF.

Is it possible for a particular version of Syncfusion’s controls to not work with a particular version of Xamarin.Forms?

No, this should not occur.

How often do you update Syncfusion libraries?

We update as soon as new versions are available.

Are there any performance measurements for creating/manipulating?

We can send specific metrics but don't have general metrics available. In general, on mobile devices you should be fine handling several thousand rows.

What are the min phone spec requirements to use this?              

We don't have additional support requirements. As long as Xamarin.Forms is supported, we should be good.

Is it possible to use templates?

Yes, templates are supported for all document libraries.

Do you support Named Ranges in Excel?             

Yes. Please refer to the links below for more details.
http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/NamedRanges-XlsIO1952066452.zip

https://help.syncfusion.com/file-formats/xlsio/working-with-formulas#defined-names

Can I assume that you have native controls that work within the Xamarin framework as well?

Yes, all the file format libraries are .NET standard libraries, so they will work on all Xamarin platforms.

Is it possible to Preview Docx, Excel, or PPTx docs?

We already support this in our desktop libraries, but it is not available for Xamarin yet.

Does the Xamarin implementation of XlsIO still have the same bug/limitation that when the file is closed in Excel, it prompts the user to save the file even if no changes have been made due to the recalculation?

This happens when we write formula values into cells and Excel computes the values on opening the file. However, we evaluate formulas ourselves before writing to the Excel file in Xamarin, so this limitation does not exist in Xamarin. We have also provided the option to evaluate formulas before writing to file on desktop versions of the libraries, so this issue should not exist on desktops.

Is it possible to convert a created Excel file to PDF? Could this be a simpler solution for creating a PDF from structured data?

Yes, this is possible, but you would need to do the conversion on the server using our server-side conversion libraries. Please refer to the sample below for more details.
Sample:
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/SampleBrowser/SampleBrowser/Samples/XlsIO/ExceltoPDFPage.xaml.cs

Service:
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/WebServices/Controllers/ExcelController.cs

Is there any solution that you know of that supports crash reports for Xamarin.Forms applications? Fabric.io doesn't support Xamarin as far as I know.           

Please take a look at Xamarin Insights, linked below.
https://www.xamarin.com/insights

Is all that we saw here in the webinar available in the community license?

Yes.

Is there any benchmarking for performance of PDF creation?

We can send specific metrics but don't have general metrics available.

Does your license allow developers to build reporting solutions, basically reporting servers that render files and send them to clients?

Yes. We have a complete report server product. You can build your own as well.

Do you recommend Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio for professional app development for Mac? Which one will get more frequent updates?

We assume Visual Studio will get more updates going forward. At Syncfusion, we use both approaches and find them both to be good, so it really comes down to using your preferred operating system.

Do the components support insertions of one docx into another docx?

Yes. Please refer to the links below for more details.
Sample:
http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/Sample1131373680.zip 

Help:
https://help.syncfusion.com/file-formats/docio/working-with-word-document#merging-word-documents

When saving the .xls, .doc, or .ppt, the content type is a string. Is there a constant available for these values?

Currently we do not have it, but will look into providing it soon.

Can I read document inputs in the Word documents?

Yes, please refer to the links below for more details.
Sample:
http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/support/directtrac/general/ze/Sample801352971.zip

Help:
https://help.syncfusion.com/file-formats/docio/working-with-word-document

Do you have limitations with the file size in Excel or Word?       

Nothing that we know of.

Can you import xml to Excel files?

Yes. Please refer to the sample linked below.
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/SampleBrowser/SampleBrowser/Samples/XlsIO/ImportXMLPage.xaml.cs

Do the PDFs have some watermark?

No, we do not insert any watermark. However, the library itself provides support for inserting your own watermarks when required. Please refer to the links below for more details.
Sample:
https://github.com/syncfusion/Xamarin-FileFormat-Demos/blob/master/SampleBrowser/SampleBrowser/Samples/PDF/Stamping.xaml.cs

Help:
https://help.syncfusion.com/file-formats/pdf/working-with-watermarks#adding-text-watermark-in-pdf-document

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