Customer FAQ

I'm having problems convincing my boss or my customer to get a commercial iText license. Can you help?

If you are having this problem, download the Convince your boss letter. Let us know if it helped!

Why should I pay for iText? Isn't it an open source PDF library?

"Open source" isn’t the same as "free". Open source just means that the code can be modified because its design is publicly accessible. That is a big plus for developers. Alas, anything involving humans is never free. Software costs money to create and improve.

When can I use iText's AGPL v3 version?

If you release an application that uses iText and release it under an AGPL v3 compatible license, you can use the AGPL version of iText. If in doubt, you can contact sales. We would also like to hear from your AGPL projects and listen to your user cases. You can read more on the specifications of the Affero General Public License here.

Why shouldn't I use iText 2.x (or iTextSharp 4.x)?

We strongly discourage the use of versions prior to iText(Sharp) 5 for both technical as well as legal reasons.

Technical reasons: the MPL/LGPL version of iText(Sharp) dates from July 2009. Many bugs have been solved in the meantime. Industry specifications have evolved as well. For instance, digital signatures in the pre-5 versions of iText are either forbidden (in the PAdES standard) or will be deprecated (in ISO-32000-2), excluding yourself from extending the life of the signed document.

Legal reasons: Older versions of iText under the free model may contain code fragments that infringe other people's copyrights or intellectual property rights. The iText Software Group has done a significant investment in identifying and eliminating all those cases as of version 5.1. which is one of the reasons why it is now a paying commercial version. We do not recommend the use of versions prior to 5.1 for commercial projects as your company could be liable for copyright or IP infringements.

What is the difference between versions of iText?

Please refer to the functionality comparison between iText 2.x and iText 5.x to get a quick overview of the changes.

What will using iText 2.x cost me?

Nothing, but there is a cost to the quality of your application, e.g. we have significantly cleaned code, fixed bugs and solved security, encryption and signature challenges with version 5.x. Most importantly, as of iText 5.x, we are the sole owner of 100% of iText code which relieves your organization and your customers of any and all legal implications.

In addition, versions predating iText 5 are no longer supported or maintained. We have removed these obsolete versions from all official download sites; which means they're only available on unofficial sites. Please be very careful when downloading such a version. It may contain code that behaves differently from what is described in the documentation and might be harmful. No one at iText will be able to help you with problems that arise from the use of an unofficial iText or iTextSharp version. If you decide to use iText 2.x, you don't need to purchase a license but we hope you reconsider!

Why should I pay for support and updates?

95% of our customers renew their iText updates and support agreement. When extending the updates and support agreement every year, you can rest assured that if you ever have an issue with iText, you'll have direct access to our support system and developers.

Our updates and support agreement is mandatory for the first year - read more on our updates and support agreement here.

We continue to invest in the further development and documentation of our product to create the most up to date, fastest processing software. We are confident you and your organization will benefit from the new, expanded functionalities and support in the latest version of iText.

I'm an integrator. Why should I include the iText license in my offering?

Because as an integrator:

  • you and your customer can benefit from reduced quantity pricing (OEM)

  • you have direct access to the PDF expertise of iText Software to make sure our developers make the right design decisions

  • requests for future features will be taken into account by iText Software when making decisions about the technical roadmap

  • you may receive leads from iText Software for future integrations

iText Software is a software publisher. The implementation portion of the business is yours if you are willing to learn and implement iText as a value added reseller. However, we'll always recommend companies to work with an integrator that has a business relationship with us.