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Den

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, 
Has anyone been able to create a Generic Metastorm Form Print functionality? Something based on ECL for example. A functionality that could be attached to any form to be able to produce a printable version of that form, that can be converted to PDF or even printed directly. I know SWIFT had this functionality but we had to stop using it as it was not working with 9.xx + Oracle. I know that it's possible to create a .net form per each Metastorm form as a printable version, but when you have over 30 large forms - it does not seem to make sense as the labor for creation and maintenance (keeping them in-sync) is too much.

Thanks in advance,
Den.
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JoeOmerta

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Reply with quote  #2 
***Using .NET***
Check out the iTextSharp libraries http://itextpdf.com/ (also available on sourceforge).  Create the pdf forms on form save, then use another form/action to select which ones you want to print out.  It is a lot of work to start out with but once it's created it's very easy to maintain.

***Using a button***
I have a print button on the header of all forms for certain processes that calls "window.print();"
But the forms are all sized to 8.5x11 to properly print and can be printed directly to pdf.

***Use a report***
Seeing how you'll want to print out a certain request/folder/form you could make a report that brings up the forms and use the built in pdf/export/print functionality in reporting.  Setup a filter to select the form(s) and enter the folder name/id or similar.
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Den

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Reply with quote  #3 

Thanks for the reply, I got a few followup questions though:

1. Using .NET with itextpdf solution. Wouldn't I have to tell the itextpdf how each form should be created - meaning placing text fields, etc. So recreating the Metastorm forms in .NET and then feeding them to the pdf library?We actually have an HTMLtoPDF converter - but it won't render the forms properly.

The problem is forms are somewhat complex and there are a lot of sections that get hidden/shown based on user selections, all this logic would have to be implemented as well in the printable logic.

2. Using a button solution won't work in our case as the forms are larger then the print size, plus the grid data may be 2-3 pages, so it won't be visible

3. Using report would mean creating a report per form - somewhat like the first solution.

I am trying to avoid duplicating the effort (i.e. create a printable version of each Metastorm form that has already been created) In case form's layout/logic/grid selection changes - it needs to be duplicated in the corresponding printable form. 

Somehow BRD guys (SWIFT) were able to have that nice Print button that would produce a pdf version of any form it was placed on.

Thanks,

Den.

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JoeOmerta

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, with itext you would have to define the forms with all necessary logic.

I still haven't found a good way of getting the actual "What you see" forms to print to pdf nicely with expanding the grids to view everything.
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BMellert

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Reply with quote  #5 
We use SSRS for this as its the tool we use internally and the only one to support output even close to what is desired.  It does entail additional development though.  (Which reminds me, we changed our form so now I have to change SSRS to match -- oops.)
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Den

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #6 
Yeah it's like that - we have a couple of "print version" .net forms now and it is not uncommon for them to be outdated if someone modifies Metastorm form.

It seems to me that the ECL response comes back with all the necessary data within FolderView (visibility, location, values etc), it just needs to be rendered properly on a page and converted to PDF if necessary. Then it can be applied to any form.
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