Adobe courts developers with two new Document Cloud APIs

Adobe's new PDF Extract API and Document Generation API will be added to its Document Services API and SDK portfolio.

Adobe on Thursday announced two new Document Cloud APIs to bolster its Document Services API and SDK portfolio. Powered by Sensei, the company's AI and machine learning framework, the PDF Extract API and Document Generation API are designed to make it easier for developers to use document data within their applications and workflows.

The PDF Extract API lets users take PDF documents and turn them into JSON data, a readable data type that computers can understand. That data package can then be imported into content management systems or databases for a range of use cases, such as republishing content, extracting data tables, or eliminating the need to re-key information from PDFs into data systems. 

The Document Generation API lets developers design custom Microsoft Word templates, as well as generate Word and PDF documents injected with dynamic data. The API includes an out-of-the-box integration with Adobe Sign, and is also available with the Adobe PDF Services connector in Microsoft Power Automate, which lets Power Platform users automate document preparation  for things like invoices and agreements. 

Adobe is counting on its Document Cloud, which includes Adobe Sign, as one of its growth pillars in the years ahead as it takes on DocuSign in digitizing paper-based processes. The company has been building out its Document Cloud ecosystem over the last two years with new services and capabilities, including the launch of Liquid Mode, a tool that can understand the structure of PDFs and automatically reformat text, images and tables for consumption on small screens.

Adobe said Liquid Mode was the first step in its multi-year vision to fundamentally change the way people interact with digital documents. The PDF Extract API builds on Liquid Mode and supports Adobe's overall vision for Adobe Document Services.

To date, Adobe said it has seen strong adoption of Adobe Document Services among developers, with over an 80% increase in developer sign ups, as well as over a 50% increase in active integrations since last quarter.

"We're still only scratching the surface of delivering great services for developers to deliver seamless, delightful, and consistent PDF experiences across all of their web and mobile apps," Adobe said in a blog post. "Pushing the boundaries of PDF is in our DNA; after all, we created the standard all those decades ago.For example, there are even more frontiers for machine learning and artificial intelligence in PDF that Adobe Sensei will help drive."