Converting word documents (docx) to PDF is a common requirement for many applications.
The docx4j library packaged with Pega allows manipulation of word documents, and is useful, for example to replace variables in a word document.
It also has the functionality to generated PDF documents. Docx4j has two options for PDF generation:
1. Using a commercial library from plutext. This is the default method.
2. Using Apache FOP libraries
For method 1, an OS-level service needs to be installed after purchasing the licence from Plutext. This would be ideal for Pega Cloud to offer as an add-on to cloud customers. Cloud customers don't generally have access to create OS-level services. If it is provided by Pega Cloud team, it is just one line of java code to convert a docx to PDF.
For method 2, Apache FOP library needs to be imported to Pega. There are 18 jars, and although they are included in the docx4j download, they are not packaged with Pega. It would be tedious to import and maintain, and can break with new versions of Pega.
So this request is to provide a clear strategy for docx to PDF conversion using either of the above methods. There are many forum posts and questions regarding conversion, and there are only outdated answers, leading to much confusion and frustration.