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Client Portal Pro: Automatic Thumbnail Generation

As of v1.5 of Client Portal Pro, you can now have Zero BS CRM automatically generate thumbnails for each of the files you upload, which makes browsing files super-easy for your client, (note, currently supports; pdf, jpg, png, gif).

This guide explains the pre-requisites for this feature, which it’s worth noting, are sometimes inaccessible on shared hosting, (this feature may require your own server).

Automatic thumbnails of PDF and image files are great for professionally displaying files via the client portal, for example:

Read about Client Portal File Views here, or continue on to see what’s required:

Pre-requisites for Auto Thumbnails

To generate PDF and other thumbnails ZBS CRM needs access to ‘Ghostscript’, which is an open source server tool available for reading PDF files. As a result, unavoidably, the generation of PDF thumbnails is limited to installs where ZBS can access GS. We’ve done our best to supply ‘it-just-works’ support for this, but in many cases you may need to change a setting on your server, or ask your host to do so. In some cases (shared hosting) the host may not allow this.

Requirements:

Zero BS CRM requires access to the PHP function exec. If your server PHP ini setting disable_functions has exec included, Client Portal Pro will still work, but your thumbnails will not be generated. Further if your server has theĀ suhosin security extension installed and exec is either not whitelisted or is blacklisted, this won’t work.

In short: To use this functionality of Client Portal Pro, you’ll need the above set up. We can guide you via this guide, but ultimately if your server hosting company does not allow this setting there is no other ‘valid’ and ‘safe’ workaround.

Security Concerns

Zero BS CRM sends your PDF files to Ghostscript via the PHP function exec. The reason many server companies have exec disabled is that unchecked use could present an attack vector. In our code we thoroughly check the filename and filetype before executing, as well as only allowing such files to be uploaded by valid ZBS TEAM users.

All that being said, we cannot be held responsible for other plugins/scripts use of the exec function if enabled, please note that enabling this setting is done so at your own risk, and we cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from changing server settings.

How to tell if your server has GhostScript

You can, at any time, go to ‘Zero BS CRM->System Status’ and look under ‘Server Environment’ where you’ll see a line ‘Ghostscript PDF->IMG’. If this line says “Installed” that means your thumbnails should be getting automatically generated:

Updated on September 25, 2018

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