Office document rendering is a critical part of ECM infrastructure for large organizations. It provides a way to normalize formats like Microsoft Office documents into PDF, a format better suited to distribution, publishing and cross platform viewing. Rendition services are often deployed as an automated workflow within ECM systems, rendering new documents into PDF when they are added or updated in the system.
FileNet Rendition Engine was originally introduced for FileNet Content Services (also known as Panagon, withdrawn in December 2012). It was made available for WorkPlace/XT but deprecated in P8 CPE v5.2.1 in November 2014. IBM Rendition Engine was never enabled or supported with IBM Content Navigator, IBM FileNet Content Manager, IBM Content Foundation or IBM Case Manager, which has left existing users of rendition services with a gap in their go forward strategy.
The current FileNet Rendition Engine version is 5.2, is due to reach end of support (EOS) on April 30th, 2018. Full details of the product lifecycle can be found here. Since Rendition Engine withdrawal of support is imminent, IBM recommends customers seek alternatives for situations where fully supported applications are required after the EOS date.
One option for Rendition Engine users is Riptide Conversion Services for FileNet from Crawford Technologies. Riptide Conversion Services for FileNet offers a rendition replacement solution for FileNet Rendition Engine and includes a custom “Viewer” and “Cart” plug-in for IBM Content Navigator that allows users to render MS Office and image documents to PDF, PDF/A and HTML.
Riptide Conversion Services for FileNet lacks some of the automation found in Rendition Engine integration with Workplace XT. However, by using event subscription features of FileNet automated rendition can be implemented.
Riptide Conversion Services for FileNet renders the vast majority of common Office format docs but does not support DWG formats such as from AutoCad.
It is worth noting that IBM recommends and supports CrawfordTech Riptide Conversion Services for FileNet as the replacement for FileNet Rendition Engine. To find out more download the product spotlight for details about how you can migrate to Riptide.