Old ReplaceMagic vs. new version

As you can notice we did not publish new version of ReplaceMagic for long period of time.

Reason is simple - all our development efforts are on new ReplaceMagic version. Old version will get only bug fixing in case of issues.
Progress on new ReplaceMagic is going good - complete application will be redesigned. ReplaceMagic will not be Microsoft Office dependent. It will be multi-thread enables and totally new is that we will have ReplaceMagic.PDF and ReplaceMagic.OneNote version.

Like names suggest we will support changes in PDF and OneNote documents.

First Beta is already shared with some customers and initial feedback is good :).

All current customers will be notified about new ReplaceMagic when we release it.

Of course, stay tuned to new blog posts as we will talk and share some screenshots from new ReplaceMagic.

Btw. did you watch ReplaceMagic video:



ReplaceMagic video

Hey,

did you watch ReplaceMagic video?

                                                 

Spend 30 seconds to understand what ReplaceMagic is :)

Welcome to BlogEngine.NET

If you see this post it means that BlogEngine.NET is running and the hard part of creating your own blog is done. There is only a few things left to do.

Write Permissions

To be able to log in, write posts and customize blog, you need to enable write permissions on the App_Data and Custom folders. If your blog is hosted at a hosting provider, you can either log into your account’s admin page or call the support.

If you wish to use a database to store your blog data, we still encourage you to enable this write access for an images you may wish to store for your blog posts.  If you are interested in using Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, SQL CE, or other databases, please see the BlogEngine docs to get started.

Security

When you`ve got write permissions set, you need to change the username and password. Find the sign-in link located either at the bottom or top of the page depending on your current theme and click it. Now enter "admin" in both the username and password fields and click the button. You will now see an admin menu appear. It has a link to the "Users" admin page. From there you can change password, create new users and set roles and permissions. Passwords are hashed by default so you better configure email in settings for password recovery to work or learn how to do it manually.

Configuration and Profile

Now that you have your blog secured, take a look through the settings and give your new blog a title.  BlogEngine.NET is set up to take full advantage of many semantic formats and technologies such as FOAF, SIOC and APML. It means that the content stored in your BlogEngine.NET installation will be fully portable and auto-discoverable.  Be sure to fill in your author profile to take better advantage of this.

Themes and Plugins

One last thing to consider is customizing the look and behavior of your blog. We have themes and plugins available right out of the box. You can install more right from admin panel under Custom.

On the web

You can find news about BlogEngine.NET on the official website. For tutorials, documentation, tips and tricks visit our docs site. The ongoing development of BlogEngine.NET can be followed at Github. You can also subscribe to our Youtube channel.

Good luck and happy writing.

The BlogEngine.NET team

Development of new version of ReplaceMagic

After spending some time working and optimizing new ReplaceMagic presentation it is time to go back to normal duties and extension of new ReplaceMagic version.

We still do not have deadline as almost everyday we have new ideas what to add and how to change ReplaceMagic. Of course, this does not make our life easier so we will need to draw the line and split development in different phases.

Our first phase would be to:

- Make ReplaceMagic work with multiple threads meaning that documents will be processed in parallel mode which will increase performances. This is already achieved for scanning of documents and during internal tests we managed to process more than 13.000 documents in less than 5 minutes. To be more precise:

Start: 01.05.2015 13:58:14
End: 01.05.2015 14:02:50
Total time: 276 seconds.
Total files: 13451
Processed documents: 13451

Hyperlinks count: 43095
OLE links count: 132
Link Sources count: 119
PivotTables count: 4
Found Excel document: 4683 with size of 233136 kilobytes
Found Word document: 1376 with size of 313416 bytes
Found PowerPoint document: 52 with size of 9295 bytes
Found Visio document: 19 with size of 5580 bytes
Found Project document: 61 with size of 10303 bytes
Found PDF document: 7121 with size of 807932 bytes
Found Email document: 0 with size of 0 bytes
Found OneNote document: 0 with size of 0 bytes

- Enable that ReplaceMagic does not need Office applications to make changes of documents. Currently it is required to have Microsoft Office installed on computer where you run ReplaceMagic.

- Support all Office application that we support with old version of ReplaceMagic -> Microsft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Visio

- Include as much functionality from old version

PHASE 2:

- Add if something is left our from old ReplaceMagic version

- Add PDF, OneNote and Email/Outlook support.
Above you can see that we already started to work with PDF files but this will be finished in phase 2

PHASE 3:

- Auto repair links after documents migration, server changes, file storage changes or SharePoint migrations. This will take some time but ultimate goal is that ReplaceMagic makes links (hyperlinks, OLE links, Link Sources,...) as much automatically as possible.

Stay tuned...

 

Btw. speed of processing depends on factors like: computer power, complexity of documents, file storage speed,... Numbers are related to our test environment and documents set!

New site published

After long period we found time to create new web presentation. We followed all modern standards so our web site will render in great way on any device (desktop computer, mobile and tablet devices).

Go to www.replacemagic.com, make a check and let us know your opinion.

Your ReplaceMagic team

 

PDF converter to other document types?

As we are investigating PDF document manipulation it came a cross our mind that we might create desktop and online PDF converter.

Goal is to have tool that will scan your PDF documents and convert them into some other (editable) files formats like Word, Excel, rich text, HTML,...).

Yes, there are other similar tools but ReplaceMagic desktop edition will allow you to do mass conversions at once.
Concept will be the same like with ReplaceMagic.Total where you will chose folder(s)/drive(s) where your documents are and then decide into which file format you want to export your PDF.

Of course, we need to keep same formating like in your PDF documents.

Beside desktop edition we will offer also online application with simplistic layout where you can upload your document, we will convert it to chosen file format and send it per email back to you.

Online version will not have mass-conversion options like desktop edition.

What do you think does this make sense?
What else would you like to have (signing documents, approval process, team collaboration and document sharing options...)?

Btw. reason to create something like this is because we also get tons of PDF documents and if we need to make some changes this is difficult task (either some other similar tool or to rewrite text again). By using ReplaceMagic.PDFConverter you will be able to export text, make changes and then convert it back to PDF.

Approch to process docs

 

To process (for example, make replacement in documents) Office documents we can use different approaches:

 

  • Office Automation

  • Open XML (in case of newer Office version)

  • ReplaceMagic.Total

 

Office Automation has disadvantages that it was never meant for server usage. Reasons are like: security, stability, performances, scalability and price.

 

Microsoft quote about security:

Office Applications were never intended for use server-side, and therefore do not take into consideration the security problems that are faced by distributed components. Office does not authenticate incoming requests, and does not protect you from unintentionally running macros, or starting another server that might run macros, from your server-side code. Do not open files that are uploaded to the server from an anonymous Web! Based on the security settings that were last set, the server can run macros under an Administrator or System context with full privileges and compromise your network! In addition, Office uses many client-side components (such as Simple MAPI, WinInet, and MSDAIPP) that can cache client authentication information in order to speed up processing. If Office is being automated server-side, one instance may service more than one client, and because authentication information has been cached for that session, it is possible that one client can use the cached credentials of another client, and thereby gain non-granted access permissions by impersonating other users.

 

Microsoft quote about stability:

 

"Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 use Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) technology to make installation and self-repair easier for an end user. MSI introduces the concept of "install on first use", which allows features to be dynamically installed or configured at runtime (for the system, or more often for a particular user). In a server-side environment this both slows down performance and increases the likelihood that a dialog box may appear that asks for the user to approve the install or provide an appropriate install disk. Although it is designed to increase the resiliency of Office as an end-user product, Office's implementation of MSI capabilities is counterproductive in a server-side environment. Furthermore, the stability of Office in general cannot be assured when run server-side because it has not been designed or tested for this type of use. Using Office as a service component on a network server may reduce the stability of that machine and as a consequence your network as a whole. If you plan to automate Office server-side, attempt to isolate the program to a dedicated computer that cannot affect critical functions, and that can be restarted as needed."

 

Microsoft quote about Stability and Performances:

"Server-side components need to be highly reentrant, multi-threaded COM components with minimum overhead and high throughput for multiple clients. Office Applications are in almost all respects the exact opposite. They are non-reentrant, STA-based Automation servers that are designed to provide diverse but resource-intensive functionality for a single client. They offer little scalability as a server-side solution, and have fixed limits to important elements, such as memory, which cannot be changed through configuration. More importantly, they use global resources (such as memory mapped files, global add-ins or templates, and shared Automation servers), which can limit the number of instances that can run concurrently and lead to race conditions if they are configured in a multi-client environment. Developers who plan to run more than one instance of any Office Application at the same time need to consider "pooling" or serializing access to the Office Application to avoid potential deadlocks or data corruption."

 

On the other side price has also impact – if application utilize Office automation, on each computer where application is installed you need to have Microsoft Office. With ReplaceMagic.Total, which we plan to release during 2015, you will not need to install Office at all. This makes ReplaceMagic a cost effective way to make changes in your Office, PDF, Email and OneNote documents.

 

Open XML SDK will work only with newer version of Office document (for example, docx, xlsx,…) but you cannot process older documents types.

 

Of course, in case of Office Automation and Open XML SDK biggest issue is that you have only SDK and nothing more. ReplaceMagic.Total will offer you full application environment where you do not need to program anything. You can look at ReplaceMagic as graphical interface between you and changes in all document without need to do any programming.

 

Btw. we published ReplaceMagic in 2007 based on Office Automation. This works very well and ReplaceMagic was used in a lot of document migrations but now is time to go to next level thus we will introduce new version of ReplaceMagic which will be thread-enabled and also will not depend on Office Automation or Open XML.

 

What are future plans for ReplaceMagic?

Well, from time to time we are getting questions from our customers and not yet customer what do we plan with ReplaceMagic, how development will go and do we have some roadmaps.

In general, most important for us is to support as soon as new Office version is published document types of that version.

Long term we plan to go away from Office automatisation. It works fine and it makes development easier. Document model is well supported and without too much effort we can support new Office version but ... like Microsoft is saying this is not best way to work with Office document thus long goal is to go away from it.

To make this story short - we are currently building new version of ReplaceMagic that will not need Office applications installed on computer where ReplaceMagic is running.

Second - performances - we think that ReplaceMagic works fast but not fast enough. We you compare time needed to make replacements manually and with ReplaceMagic we are comparing somebody on bycicle and somebody driving fast car :).

No matter to this acceleration this is area where we expects additional improvements and that will be done by multi-thread enablements.

Our initial tests with multi-threads (10 threads during our test) and without Office shown that new ReplaceMagic will run multiple times fast. With out test documents (~12.000 documents) we were able to open them and check for hyperlinks in less than 5 minutes.

Next big point will be document types extension. Currently ReplaceMagic supports replacements in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Project, Visio documents and Windows shortcuts. In the future we will also support replacement of PDF documents, OneNote and maybe also emails (eml and Outlook files).

Almost forgot new version is big jump so we will also change ReplaceMagic design and currently it looks like this:


We cannot provide estimate when this will be finished as we are talking about completely rewritten application but we hope that this will happen during 2015.

Stay tuned...

Welcome to ReplaceMagic blog


What ReplaceMagic can do?

ReplaceMagic is tool used to help you with changes in your Office documents. We support Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Visio files and changes can be done more or less in all document areas:


You can use ReplaceMagic to fix broken links (file, hyperlinks, OLE object links, Link Sources, Connections) or simply to change text in your documents.

Main advantage is that you do not need to open a single document as ReplaceMagic is your interfaces to all documents that are in selected folders.

Scenarios to use ReplaceMagic?

- Fix broken links after document server migration

- Fix broken links after server name change

- Fix broken links after moving documents to SharePoint

- Fix address in header/footer after address/phone/company data change

- You need to fix same VBA module in different documents but you do not want to open every document

- ...

As you can see there are a lot of scenarios where ReplaceMagic can be used.