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Thread: File Viewer Script

  1. #1
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Question File Viewer Script

    I'm looking for a script to allow site visitors to view a file from a website without downloading it. I thought there'd be tonnes of these things around, but after a full shift of Googling, I'm nowhere.

    There's lots of SAAS options where you upload to their server and can view files from there. EG. DropDo, Zoho, box.net, even Google Docs. We've already got the file management part; we just need a way for authorized people to view the files directly on the site.

    I found ONE, Adeptol, that has a script and a cloud-based service to call their script and view a document on your site. The cloud-based service costs $1100/year And for the script, it's "Call Us..." (You know what that means: $$$$).

    Requirements would be:
    • View image files (jpg, gif, etc.), PDF, and maybe Excel
    • Files are viewed only online and not downloaded
    • Files are on client's server, not uploaded to a third-party, a-la DropDo
    • No pre-conversion of files (Scribd, etc.)


    Any suggestions?
    Ray Cambpell
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  2. #2
    Max
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    Default Re: File Viewer Script

    Ray

    No software suggestions - but viewers are only normally required when
    unusual file types are involved. From the file types you mention, this
    is not the case - so I don't understand what you are trying to achieve.

    Max

    ----
    RayC wrote:
    I'm looking for a script to allow site visitors to view a file from a
    website without downloading it. I thought there'd be tonnes of these
    things around, but after a full shift of Googling, I'm nowhere.

    There's lots of SAAS options where you upload to -their server -and can
    view files from there. EG. DropDo, Zoho, box.net, even Google Docs.
    We've already got the file management part; we just need a way for
    authorized people to view the files directly on the site.

    I found ONE, 'Adeptol' (http://www.ajaxdocumentviewer.com/), that has a
    script and a cloud-based service to call their script and view a
    document on your site. The cloud-based service costs $1100/year
    And for the script, it's "Call Us..." (You know what that means: $$$$).

    Requirements would be:

    - View image files (jpg, gif, etc.), PDF, and maybe Excel
    - Files are viewed only online and not downloaded
    - Files are on client's server, not uploaded to a third-party, a-la
    DropDo
    - No pre-conversion of files (Scribd, etc.)


    Any suggestions?



    Ray Cambpell
    Sounds In Sync
    'Unlimited Web Hosting $5.95/month' (http://tinyurl.com/hosting595)


  3. #3
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Default

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. The idea is to display files via the website without having to download the file first. When you click on a .jpg, for instance, normally it is downloaded to your computer and then displayed. This happens in the background, but it is still in the browser cache. Alternatively, you can right-click and save the file to your hard drive.

    For security reasons, we do not want the files downloaded, either into browser cache or deliberately, but still allow site visitors to view various files that have been uploaded. Hence the file viewer idea.

    Hope that is clear.
    Ray Cambpell
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  4. #4
    Senior Member gotFusion's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RayC View Post
    Perhaps I wasn't clear. The idea is to display files via the website without having to download the file first. When you click on a .jpg, for instance, normally it is downloaded to your computer and then displayed. This happens in the background, but it is still in the browser cache. Alternatively, you can right-click and save the file to your hard drive.

    For security reasons, we do not want the files downloaded, either into browser cache or deliberately, but still allow site visitors to view various files that have been uploaded. Hence the file viewer idea.

    Hope that is clear.
    You are looking for this then...... http://www.artistscope.net/
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  5. #5
    Senior Member franko's Avatar
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    Default

    Am I missing something ore am I just behind the times. Surely when a browser accesses a web page, the various files that make up that web page are dl'd to the browser and then the page is assembled for display by the browser. Even if the image is encrypted, what if the program I open it in doesn't recognise that encryption. Say I view the page with Lynx and download the file to my computer. I can then open it with, say Irfanview (or keep trying programs until I find one that doesn't recognise the encryption), strip it of any xml or meta data and save it with a different filename. Can't I?
    Last edited by franko; 05-26-2011 at 01:08 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Default

    Think more like an MP3, or video player, that delivers the content without the user downloading.

    Here's an example: When I log into my bank, I can look at my account transaction history. Beside an entry for a cheque, there is a link called "view cheque". When I click it, I see an image of the front and back of the cheque. From this display I can read the cheque, but I cannot save it. If I right-click and select "View Image", I get a blank screen. If I right-click and select "Save Image As...", nothing gets saved.

    My client site has a custom file manager script where files can be uploaded and organized into folders. From the file list, we would like the ability to display the file in a similar way as my bank. I've seen such things that can display PDFs or that use SWF. Most times, however, the files have to be converted to the custom format before being uploaded. Then using something AJAX-like, the file is displayed in a viewer window when clicked.

    Like Google Books, I guess. Or Scribd iPaper.

    I suppose it would have to either convert to PDF or SWF on upload, or convert on the fly when a view request is recieved. Hmmm... this gets complicateder and complicateder.

    The Adeptol thing is the closest (only) thing I've found -- but it seems total overkill (and over $$).
    Ray Cambpell
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  7. #7
    Max
    Guest

    Default Re: File Viewer Script

    Yes, unless something is downloaded to the client nothing can be seen.
    In this case it's an image of the document rather than the document,
    however I see that ArtistScope encrypts the cached images to prevent
    copying that too, among other tricks. Nothing to stop the screen being
    photographed, however...

    Max

    ----
    franko wrote:
    Am I missing something ore am I just behind the times. Surely when a
    browser accesses a web page, the various files that make up that web
    page are dl'd to the browser and then the page is assembled for display
    by the browser.




  8. #8
    Senior Member Adendum's Avatar
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    Default

    Ray,

    Are these the kind of things you are looking for?

    DEAJA
    WEB FILE VIEWER
    UNIVERSAL VIEWER
    ZOHO VIEWER REMOTE API

    Paul - Aditerum Ltd and AllSortsOfStuff Ltd
    NOF11 (in Admin mode!); Vista Premium 64bit; AMD Phenom IIx4 945 Processor 3.00Ghz; 8.0Gb RAM
    Wouldn't it be great if there was only a single browser to worry about!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member RayC's Avatar
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    Default

    Just to be clear, I'm not trying to protect elements of a site. This is a file manager in a secure, login only area, and will have a list of files that have been uploaded to a personal folder. Here's a screen cap to illustrate:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cabinet-B-comp..jpg 
Views:	375 
Size:	31.9 KB 
ID:	936

    The arrow (which is labeled "View") actually downloads the file. Instead of d/l to open, they would like it to actually open a window to view the file and NOT download. And disallow download, if possible.

    The concern is not with malicious use of the information while being accessed. So no worries about screen captures or decoding algorithms. The concern is with security of the accumulated files stored on the remote computers due to virus, hacking, h/w theft, trojans, etc. So by having an online view available, there is no need to download the files to view.

    @Paul - Thanks for the links. Funny how different people can do the same search and come up with different results.

    DEAJA looks like it's the right kind of thing, but a tad pricey.

    WebFileViewer I'm already familiar with, as it was part of my original research when I created the site. It's more of a file manager with some viewer functionality that still downloads to view. It's basically what we've already got.

    Universal Viewer, IINM, is a Windows desktop program for viewing files.

    The ZoHo Remote API might work, but seems to require that the file is uploaded to their server, and a view link is returned. It seems like it could be a bit cumbersome and slow. But I'll keep it in the back pocket. I've seen similar sorts of schemes using Google Docs in a similar fashion.

    I've sent an email to the Adeptol folks about pricing. The reply was "it depends". So I've clarified, and re-sent the request.

    Why me...
    Ray Cambpell
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  10. #10
    Twayne
    Guest

    Default Re: File Viewer Script

    In news:RayC.4ucj7x@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com,
    RayC <RayC.4ucj7x@no-mx.forums.netobjects.com> typed:
    > Just to be clear, I'm not trying to protect elements of a
    > site. This is a file manager in a secure, login only
    > area, and will have a list of files that have been
    > uploaded to a personal folder. Here's a screen cap to
    > illustrate:
    >
    > 936
    >
    > The arrow (which is labeled "View") actually downloads
    > the file. Instead of d/l to open, they would like it to
    > actually open a window to view the file and NOT download.
    > And disallow download, if possible.
    >
    > The concern is not with malicious use of the information
    > while being accessed. So no worries about screen captures
    > or decoding algorithms. The concern is with security of
    > the accumulated files stored on the remote computers due
    > to virus, hacking, h/w theft, trojans, etc. So by having
    > an online view available, there is no need to download
    > the files to view.


    No browser can display anything on your screen without downloading it. You
    can ONLY see an image after the server has sent it to you; e.g. downloaded
    it to your computer. If what you're trying to do is get the file to display
    faster, then you want to preload it as soon as possible. Or make it a
    reasonable size so it displays in one or two seconds.

    What you seem to be expecting to get to happen isn't possible by definition
    of web protocols that exist today. If it's not downloaded to a computer, it
    cannot be displayed on that computer. Period.
    Security against hacking wouldn't be done on an image basis: You protect
    the entire site for that purpose. And there is no such thing as a 100%
    "secure" web site either. Your description is also rather conflicting in
    places so perhaps you need to substantially clariy what you need.

    >
    > @Paul - Thanks for the links. Funny how different people
    > can do the same search and come up with different
    > results.
    >
    > DEAJA looks like it's the right kind of thing, but a tad
    > pricey.
    >
    > WebFileViewer I'm already familiar with, as it was part
    > of my original research when I created the site. It's
    > more of a file manager with some viewer functionality
    > that still downloads to view. It's basically what we've
    > already got.
    >
    > Universal Viewer, IINM, is a Windows desktop program for
    > viewing
    > files.
    >
    > The ZoHo Remote API might work, but seems to require that
    > the file is uploaded to their server, and a view link is
    > returned. It seems like it could be a bit cumbersome and
    > slow. But I'll keep it in the back pocket. I've seen
    > similar sorts of schemes using Google Docs in a similar
    > fashion.
    >
    > I've sent an email to the Adeptol folks about pricing.
    > The reply was "it depends". So I've clarified,
    > and re-sent the request.
    >
    > Why me...
    >
    >
    > +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
    >> Filename:
    >> &#67;&#97;&#98;&#105;&#110;&#101;&#116;&#45;&#66;& #45;&#99;&#111;&#109;&#112;&#46;.jpg|
    >> Download:
    >> http://forums.netobjects.com/attachm...achmentid=936|

    > +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
    >
    >
    > Ray Cambpell
    > Sounds In Sync
    > 'Unlimited Web Hosting $5.95/month'
    > (http://tinyurl.com/hosting595)





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