Bruno Lowagie

Bruno Lowagie is the original developer of iText, an open source PDF engine that allows developers to enhance their applications and web sites with PDF functionality. By importing iText into their project, developers can write Java or C# code to create PDF documents from scratch, or to perform operations on existing documents, such as filling out forms, splitting and merging documents, adding watermarks, or applying digital signatures. Bruno is also the author of the "iText in Action" books, and he's the CEO of the iText Group.

Bruno graduated as a civil engineer in architecture in 1995, but he started his career in software development working as an employee for different integrators before taking a job as a software engineer at Ghent University in Belgium in November 1998. He released the first version of iText in February 2000 as an open source project licensed as MPL/LGPL. The success of iText resulted in the publication of the first "iText in Action" book in 2006, selling more than 11,500 copies. Bruno wrote a second edition in 2010, and he's currently working on a series of free books about PDF and iText.

After a thorough review of the source code in 2007, Bruno founded a group of companies: the company to which the IP of the software was transferred, iText Group NV (formerly known as 1T3XT, incorporated in Belgium in 2008) and two operational companies, iText Software Corp. (ISC, incorporated in California in 2009 with offices in Massachusetts since 2013) and iText Software BVBA (ISB, incorporated in Belgium in 2011). ISC is responsible for sales in the Americas and the Pacific Rim; ISB is responsible for sales in the rest of the world.

In 2009, Bruno relicensed the code under the AGPL and the project flourished. The core library has been downloaded millions of times from different repositories; the iText web site gets 750,000 unique visitors a year and 4,500 visits a day. Every two years, there's an iText summit in Europe in the Spring. The company has a booth at JavaOne in San Francisco in the Fall each year. Starting in 2015, there will also be an iText Summit in the US.

A large part of iText's customers are technology vendors such as Oracle, HP, IBM, Microsoft, but also integrators such as CSC, Cap Gemini, CGI, Northrop Grumman. Among the customers from the Fortune 500, you'll find Coca Cola, Walt Disney, Nike, Sears, Ford. Looking at the different sectors that are interested in iText, you'll discover that the financial sector is #1 (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab), followed by the public sector (IRS, US Navy, the Belgian ministry of Justice) and the Healthcare sector (GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche Diagnostics). In 2013, iText Group NV was recognized as number 53 on Deloitte's EMEA Fast 500, ranking the fastest growing technology companies in Europe, the Midle-East and Africa.

The healthy mix of community users and customers allows the continuous innovation of the iText products. Today, Bruno is a member of the PDF Association and he's an active member of the ISO committee responsible for the PDF standard (ISO-32000) and related standards such as PDF/A (for Archiving) and PDF/UA (for Universal Accessibility). He is also a regular participant at the Open Source Think Tank conference in Northern California.

When asked about his expertise, Bruno always answers that he's an engineer and a developer at heart, but circumstances have allowed him to gain experience in other fields of expertise such as technical writing, copyright and IP law, business development and corporate governance. In short: Bruno is a passionate entrepreneur.

Bruno contributes blog posts about technology on the iText blog and he shares his personal views on open source on Bruno Lowagie's Online Gazette (B.L.O.G.).