>That's because you're starting a new VM for every document you're
>creating. First the VM is started (expensive operation), then all
>classes have to be loaded which also takes a long time. Processing in
>Cocoon was faster because all FOP classes were already loaded after the
>first call. 

I figured that might have at least contributed to the problem, but I did not
realise that it would be such a big factor. I'm not a Java programmer by a
long shot and this is the first time I've tried to use it in the real world
(outside of Uni).

>How to improve your situation depends on how FOP fits into
your project.

The PDF component of the app is very small, it creates only a single report
and the app does much more than this. What happens is the user requests a
hard copy of a particular report, which we then have to create on the fly
and stream to the browser. FOP works brilliantly for this, but for the
processing time.

>If your application is written in Java...

Unfortunately it is not. It's written in ASP/Visual Basic. This is not the
place to discuss the relative merits of development platforms, but for some
very good reasons, this was a good choice for us. At least here in
Australia, COM based apps, and programmers who can write them, are common
enough. The problem is, no-one in the COM world has done what you guys have
done with FO. 

I'm aware that it is possible to compile java classes as COM components, but
even if I knew where to start on this, I'm not sure it would help much. The
cocoon approach was looking good for us, but we discovered that the version
of FOP that is installed with cocoon does not have the level of FO
compliance that we need.

It may be that I need to bring on board a Java programmer to sort this out
(I'm getting too old to learn new tricks). I guess I was hoping that someone
might have already achieved a COM installation that works, or that there
would be some other easy resolution.

Thanks for the pointers anyway. 

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