Evaluation Questions

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dapellegrini posted this 10 November 2014

We are currently evaluating Docentric to replace our current Forms Generation software - invoices, checks, etc.

Having just put together a Word Template and following a simple example we are able to create a Docx file based on the merged data. We are hoping for some quick help / answers to keep our evaluation on track:

  1. There is a note from a year ago about supporting PDF generation - when will this be released?
  2. How do we deploy the Word plug-in to our customers? Ours is an ASP.NET Web Forms application.
  3. How do we deploy our datasources embedded in default templates - to give our customers a working example / starting point?
  4. Can you please provide an example code block that uses a template to create a multi-page output? For example we have a template for an invoice - and now want to create a batch invoice run - which would generate one document including each invoice within it, with page breaks between them.

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jles posted this 10 November 2014

Hi,

Thank you for posting a question to this forum. Let me answer your questions:

  1. Our Cloudox service (Docentric Toolkit in cloud) has been technically completed for some time now but it won't see public release for some time. Instead, we have been focusing on bringing PDF/XPS/bitmap output directly to Docentric Toolkit. The pre-release is already available and if you want to try it, just send us an email on "support" or "info" (at Docentric).
  2. No standard license allows you to distribute the Add-In. Basically every user that installs the Add-In and designs template documents needs to be covered by a license and basically your clients will need to buy licenses from us if the will want to design templates. If this model doesn't suit you, and we will try to offer you a Custom License. Write us an email and we will discuss the possibilities.
  3. I'm not sure if I understand your question correctly. When you import the schema for a particulat data source from a .NET assembly, that schema becomes part of the template, so whenever you are someone else (e.g. your client user) opens that template (doesn't necessarily have those assemblies in his/her machine), he sees exactly the same schema as it was when it was imported the first time.
  4. This is pretty easy to achieve. You actually already answered yourself. You will need to use a LIST tagging element (data bound to the Invoice collection) and put a Page Break inside it as its last content. When you installed the product, "Example Browser" application installed along it. It contains a lot of different examples showing different scenarios/techniques. There is a example called OIPP (One Item Per Page) that shows exactly how to achieve this. I suggest you to go through those example in order to get an idea of you can accomplish with the toolkit.

Let me know if this helps.

Cheers, Jure Leskovec

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dapellegrini posted this 11 November 2014

Thank you for the quick reply Jure.

I have sent an email to info@docentric.com to further points #1 and #2.

On #3 - To be clear: if we link to a datasource from one of our DLLs - then a customer opens this template from a machine that does not have access to that DLL - the datasource mapping is still there? If that is the case - perfect.

On #4 - To be clear again: If we want to create an Invoice template that can be used for generating single and multiple invoices: a. Would we use the same template - or would we be better creating two different templates? b. You are saying we would need to map the collection of List object as the datasource (currently we just mapped the Invoice object directly), and then create the individual invoice templates within a list control - right?

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jles posted this 11 November 2014

3) Yes, the selected type (and all dependency types) metadata gets written into a template. The assembly file is only needed when importing the schema for a data source.

4) Good point. With Docentric Toolkit you need to create two templates because the tagging element structure is different for these two cases. Unlike many other reporting toolkits, Docentric Toolkit distinguishes between single objects (Invoice) and collections (IEnumerable<Invoice>). When you create a template that renders a single Invoice, then your placeholders (invoice number, date...) are root elements, but when dealing with a template displaying a list of Invoice objects, you start with a LIST element (that multiplies the content for each Invoice object in the collection) and the LIST element contains the placeholders and other elements (nested LIST elements if your data is hierarchical - in your case it probably is (InvoiceItems)). This might look like a limitation, but it means (at least for an end-user designing a template) a much better user experience because a designer (user) knows exactly what kind of data he/she deals with. If this is a serious limitation for you, you could use the SUB DOCUMENT element and programmatically generate single Invoice documents and merge them together within a master template - but this involves some programming and you will probably avoid it unless it is necessary.

Last edited 11 November 2014

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