preview documents in DMS

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by JTSmeed, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    I am tasked with creating a document management system that our customers and vendors use to view details pertaining to each transaction. Each transaction contains several files (usually pdf and images, but sometimes word, excel, powerpoint) that I need for them to be able to preview in the web browser. The rest of the system is basically complete.

    Since the transactions are confidential, there is a login system and uploaded files are stored outside of the webroot (stored and accessed via php).

    The Question: When a user views a transaction and clicks on a related document, I need for them to be able to preview it in the browser. Since the documents are outside of the web server root, this will likely need to be done with PHP and be as secure as the session based login system. Any ideas on how to work the preview? Even if only for pdf's? Image files are not my concern right now as I already have a lightbox script that should adapt nicely to files served up with PHP.

    Preferably, users on iPhone/iPad as well as Mac/PC should be able to view these files.

    I'm familiar enough with php, javascript/jquery, and html to comfortably use these. All suggestions are welcome though.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Here's one way, complete solution (high level view):

    1) Drupal 7 CMS with responsive theme for mobile support
    2) Files uploaded vis Amazon S3 CDN ( offsite files, secure, Drupal 7 supports S3 as an external private file system seamlessly and transparently intergrate via one simple contrib module: ) - users login to Drupal, you create content type(s) to upload files in whatever folders you wish, each stored on the CDN and retrieved as if it was local. This approach is a professional scalable implementation instead of dealing with local above docroot file transfers, permissions issues, etc. Simplify and externalize, plus enjoy the S3 management console.
    3) Use one of the PDF viewer contrib modules listed here: (I suggest the PDF Reader, last one listed)

    There are numerous contrib modules for S3 support in Drupal such as Views S3 so you can create ad hoc queries and lists accessing your S3 content with ease. Useful for created a fully themed/customized paginated file manager integrated with the preview stuff noted in #3 above. Views is a powerful tool when used properly, and is well supported.


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