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What is the difference in the various versions of PDF-eXPLODE?


I am currently evaluating PDF-eXPLODE to determine which Server product is right for me. Can you provide some insight on how the Server versions differ?



PDF-eXPLODE comes in three Server versions besides a Desktop Single User version. The server versions are Print Server, Terminal or Citrix Server and Report Server. Each server version is sold with a choice of User 'packs'.  Each User pack refers to "Simultaneous Users" processing. "Simultaneous" is defined as the number of users logged into PDF-eXPLODE at any one time and actively sending job requests that are processed by the server.  The number of simultaneous users at any one time, cannot exceed the number of User Licenses purchased.

 Essentially there are NO differences in functionality between the Desktop and Server versions of PDF-eXPLODE. However, the difference is the processing behaviour of the product. Additionally, 

  1. A Server version is accessible to multiple Users (depending on the User-Pack purchased) as they are installed on an in-house ”public” platform whereas
  2. Desktops cannot be installed on a server, and are isolated to use by just the User of that PC where it is installed and this makes it inconvenient for others to access it
  3. Server versions are more economical than Desktops : for instance a 3-User Server pack represents the best value at $1,195 (price of PDF-eXPLODE V4) when compared to 3 x Desktops which would cost $1,635

  The key points to keep in mind about all versions are:

  • Purchasing PDF-eXPLODE is a license to use the software in perpetuity.
  • There are two distinct License choices - Single User Desktop or Single or Multiple User Server license.
  • Server versions has 3 choices – Terminal or Citrix Server, Print Server and Report Server
  • Only ONE License ID is issued with your purchase. This ID must be registered on the Server where the software has been installed.  With Print Server, the workstations do NOT need licensing; your installer includes a fully licensed Print driver software for workstation use.
  • Both Desktop and Server licenses can only be installed on one PC; however Server license entitles you to connect one or more Users (Terminal Server) or one or more PCs (Print Server) or one User (Report Server) that can process through the installed PDF-eXPLODE server copy, depending on the license pack purchased. A license is NOT ISSUED for each connected PC.
  • The License can be moved to another PC during its life; however you must request a “re-activation” and provide a reason for this request. This reactivation takes up to 24 hours before it can be done at our end.
  • The purchase does not come with unlimited support. The price includes 60 days priority support. It is the User's responsibility to purchase support once the Free support period has expired.
  • Support must be purchased on an annual basis. Pricing is available here: https://www.pdf-explode.com/pricing.php#support 

 Welcome to PDF-eXPLODE

System Requirements

  • Operating System: DESKTOP:: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Windows 8.1 (V4), Windows 10 (V4): SERVER: Windows 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016
  • PDF-eXPLODE V4.1.26.97 Dec 2016 installer has been tested and worked successfully in Win 2016
  • Hard Drive: Minimum 52.5MB of free disk space, plus additional space for PDF files created
  • RAM: At least 64MB of available memory, more during PDF creation. The size of the PDF that can be created is limited by the amount of available memory.


Process Method 

 In this graphic below, the single user Desktop is connected to the PDFeXPLODE printer on the User's own PC

PDF-eXPLODE Desktop Processing


A Desktop Single User version is fully installed and contained on a stand alone PC and only available to the User of that PC. The EULA ('End User License Agreement') does not permit this product to be installed on any server or virtual server, except where the virtual server is used consistently by the same /one connection. It is not meant to service multiple PCs within your network. Failure to observe this restriction may render the product unusable and a fee may result to make the product usable again. If you do wish to have a one User Desktop version but accessible to the one or two Users only, then choose  a Terminal Server 1-User which is licensed for use on a physical or virtual Server and (legally) accessible to those external users.

Terminal Server version  works like a Desktop except PDF-eXPLODE is licensed for use on a Server giving multiple users the opportunity to connect simultaneously to one central install. Users connect to the server by making a Remote Desktop login (aka RDC) connection to the server and can interact with the program;  each User can have their own configuration or use one central “administrator” configuration (UseAdminINI found in the registry at HKLM/Software/(Wow6432Node)/PDF-eXPLODE  ) to be managed by an Administrator. In summary Terminal Server is:

  1.  Installed on a Server
  2. Users MUST make a Remote Desktop Connection (aka RDC) which then converts the User’s screen into an “extension” of the server.
  3. The User is able to view all the Server processing activity as this processing will occur in the User’s activity session
  4. Users do not have any PDF-eXPLODE components installed on their PC– they are all installed on the server. 
  5. Users must be given specific access rights to the Terminal or Citrix Server such that they can use the PDFeXPLODE printer installed on the server from their business application or Report Writer software.
  6. Server licenses come in 1, 3,5,10 or 20 (simultaneous) User packs.

This graphic shows how each User is connected directly to the Server via their connection to the Terminal Server and they are processing directly on the server



PDF-eXPLODE Terminal Server processing



Print Server version operates differently to Terminal Server although it has the same outcome i.e. PDF-eXPLODE will process on the installed PC and email and archive from that PC. Additionally:   

  1.  Print Server is installed on one Server and all Users who wish to connect and process, are restricted to sending output to the server for processing from their PDF-eXPLODE printer (installed on their PC)
  2. User does NOT need login access to the server where PDF-eXPLODE is installed. The report output created on a User workstation (known as 'rendering or formatting' the report) is forwarded to the server printer (using the Workstation Port redirection); the Server PDFeXPLODE printer in turn will launch PDF-eXPLODE to commence creating the master PDF, as no report formatting is required or done at the server end.
  3.  Each workstation that requires PDF-eXPLODE functionality has an installed  PDFeXPLODE printer only. All exploding, emailing or archiving is processed from the Server installation.
  4. The User can’t see any processing activity as the processing on the server occurs in an Admin or Local System session and never in the User’s session, so no processing progress meters nor processing dialogs are visible to the User.
  5. Server licenses come in 3,5,10 or 20 (simultaneous) User packs.

In the graphic below, 3 workstation Users are connected to the Server PC via the shared PDFeXPLODE Printer on the Print Server 



PDF-eXPLODE Print Server processing 



Report Server version is specifically targeted to Users of Business Objects (BO) Info. In this version, PDF-eXPLODE works silently under the Local System with the one user - Business Objects. PDF-eXPLODE will receive scheduled report output into its print queue and process this to email and archive the exploded reports. This version comes with the standard 1 User License pack as it works with BO User.

  1. No User has interaction directly with PDF-eXPLODE on the Server
  2. Users will send a Crystal Report process request to BO on the server.
  3. BO schedules the report for processing (either via a PDF Export or Print to PDFeXPLODE printer at some time later
  4. When the time arrives, BO will either export to PDF rto a particular folder on the Server or Print to the PDFeXPLODE printer which will redirect to PDFeXPLODE print queue
  5. If exported as a PDF to a set folder, Client-User can utilize PDFeMONITOR (available free on request for Report Server Licenses- email mail@3000ad.com.au) to automatically launch PDF-eXPLODE and process the exported PDF


PDF-eXPLODE Report Server processing



 Our most popular server versions are the 3-User Terminal-Citrix Server and the 3-User Print Server. Here is a table comparison of how Terminal Server would be deployed as opposed to Print Server




Connection flow

Where is the User Software

Where is the PDFeXPLODE Printer located


User has NO PDFeXPLODE printer installed on their PC  The User connects to the Server using an RDC (remote desktop connection) and then their PC screen is acting like the Server console. They will interact with their Accounting software and print from within the software to the Server (PDFeXPLODE) printer so no Printer sharing occurs -  which is NOT permitted under our Terminal Server license.

On the same Server where PDF-eXPLODE is also installed  and the User connects to the Server, opens their Accounting software and FILE/PRINT from within their Accounting to the Server’s PDFeXPLODE printer

There is ONE PDFeXPLODE printer only and that is installed on the Server ONLY. There is NO Printer sharing done nor is Printer sharing permitted under PDFeXPLODE Terminal Server license. So if you attempt to send print output from a remote PC/workstation via a local PDF-eXPLODE installed printer, the license will reject the output for processing and it will seem like PDF-eXPLODE is not working








User has a PDFeXPLODE printer installed on their PC and its Port is linked to the Server address so all output created on the PC from the User's accounting software is sent to the server for processing – where PDF-eXPLODE is installed. This is PDF-eXPLODE'S definition of Printer sharing within the context of the license. 

Your accounting software is either installed on the User's PC/workstation or on a Server, if the license permits. Print output is "rendered" (i.e. processed and formatted) on the User’s PC when the User prints from their accounting software;  the output is “forwarded” to the Server where installed PDF-eXPLODE program can process, explode, email and archive the report batch.

On the User’s PC as well as on the Server. The Server PDFeXPLODE printer is only used when a "print" is initiated on the server to PDFeXPLODE printer,  and all processing is done on the server. Printer sharing is permitted in this license environment.











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