Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Produce PDF Documents Within PROIV Logic Using SSO (No XML & XSL)


5 replies to this topic

#1 Ross Bevin

Ross Bevin

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 226 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:47 PM

*** I reposted this under an amended title to make it clearer ***

On December 5th last year I attended a ProIV Webinar showcasing different Server Side Objects (SSO) Northgate were offering. To my surprise they demoed a SSO that allows us to create PDF documents from within logic. The timing couldn't have been more perfect because the following day we were going to place an order for another solution.

Last week I received an evaluation copy and got to work creating a function to produce PDF Invoices. Instead of working with the existing report function (old and messy) I decided to create a new update function. I just added the same files and copied over the required logic. I was given 5 demo functions that highlight all of the PDF features available. After running them and reviewing their logic I went through and started to build the logic to produce my PDF. All I can say is WOW !!!. This has to be the best new ProIV feature in the last 10 years. Basically it took me 3 days to learn the syntax and complete my function.

To give you a comparison, we were looking at purchasing a solution from Antenna House called XSL Report Designer & AH Formatter. I obtained an evaluation copy and it took me a month to learn and produce my PDF Invoice. With this solution I first had to create a function to produce an XML file containing the invoice structure and data. I then had to learn Report Designer to produced the XSL Style Sheet. You then pass the XSL and XML files through AH Formatter to produce the PDF file. A lot of steps!

If you need to produce PDF documents you will definately want to look at this solution !!!

I have included a copy of an invoice to give you an idea on what's possible. Below are the current features of this SSO.

Regards

Ross

PS: I will post this to the ProIV Forum website as well.

***********************************************************************************
Version 1.0 Features:
***********************************************************************************
- Set PDF File Name
- Set PDF Meta Tags Names (title, subject, author)
- Set Page Size (A4, LETTER, LEGAL, LEDGER)
- Set PDF Page Orientation(Landscape, Portrait)
- Set Font Name (Times Roman, Helvetica, Courier, Symbol)
- Set Font Size & Color
- Set Font Style (normal, bold, italic, oblique, underline, line-through)
- Add Paragraph with or without Indentation
- Add Simple Text
- Add Text At Absolute Place
- Add Images with or without Border
- Add Anchor Links
- Add Basic Tables
- Draw Vertical Lines
- Draw Horizontal Lines
- Draw Rectangle and Round Cornered Boxes
- Add Annotations
- Setup PDF Document Version
- Add Watermark Text or Image
- Encrypt PDF with user or/and owner password
- Set PDF Document Permissions
- Add lettered/alphabet ordered or unordered list (with or without indentation)

Attached Files



#2 Richard Bassett

Richard Bassett

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Location:Rural France

Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

That is really nice. I suspect SSOs have a lot of untapped potential and I keep meaning to try and understand them fully but there doesn't seem to be any single comprehensive explanation of how it fits together, at least that I found so far.

Is that capability standard ProIV v7 then? Are there any licencing implications? Does it in fact rely on any third-party Java software?
Is there a list anywhere of what SSOs as supplied as standard (bundled) now? And what capabilities they have?
Are the demo functions you mentioned freely available?
How did you get the list of features of this SSO?

I often think this ought to be a frequent hot topic on this board but it doesn't seem to be the case!
Nothing's as simple as you think

#3 Ross Bevin

Ross Bevin

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 226 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hi Richard,

Yes you are right, SSO's have a huge potential to expand the functionality of the ProIV environment. What's really great is that Northgate is using internal Java talent to develop core SSO's to provide solutions we have all been crying out for years. I just don't have the time to learn Java to develop these solutions. It's much more cost effective for us to purchase them off the shelf. ProIV 7.1 (I think 6.2 as well) comes with the following free SSO's:

EmailSSO
LDAPManager
SSOHTTP
SimpleMathsDemo

Available for purchase are: (You can request demo versions from Northgate to evaluate. They come with demo functions and HTML help files)

WordSSO
ExcelSSO
PdfSSO

I have just been demoing the PdfSSO but will be purchasing it later this week. This SSO uses (interfaces with) a 3rd party API from iTextPDF that does the PDF creation. There is a small licensing fee for iTextPDF if you use it commercially. The list of features I published was listed in the installation document.

The other SSO we have purchased is the ExcelSSO. We currently use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) to create Excel documents on the Client side; it has it's pluses and minuses. The bigest drawback with DDE is that it takes time to populate the spreadsheet, the user can't do anything while it's building and you can't build it behind the scenes. We are in the process of transitioning to the ExcelSSO so that we can build, save and distribute Excel spreadsheets on the server side.

Regards
Ross

#4 Richard Bassett

Richard Bassett

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Location:Rural France

Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

Thanks Ross, that's very helpful.
Nothing's as simple as you think

#5 Matthews Estrice

Matthews Estrice

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Henley-on-klip

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

Hi Ross,

I am interested on the JavaDoc and the architect documentation of those API's.Do you have them?

Matthews Estrice

#6 Ross Bevin

Ross Bevin

    ProIV Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 226 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

Hi Matthews,

The documentation is in a number of html files and I'm not sure if I should be posting them. If you e-mail PROIVSupportUS@ngahr.com I'm sure one of the guys there can send the documentation and even an evaluation copy of the SSO to you.

Regards
Ross



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users