9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2006 10:08 AM by (Andrew_Purdy)

    VTE & Central - Lots of doubts

    Level 1
      I have a text file in overlay format. I want to generate a output pdf file having this overlay file as the input using the cenral.
      This is how i think it works. Please let me know if im right.

      VTE can take the input overlay file and generate a field nominated file.
      This FNF file will be used by central to generate the output pdf file.
      But the job name is not given in the input file so we will use the job JFNOJOB.

      The output of the VTE is a .out file
      I placed this file in the data folder. I modified default.def to specify the job details. I specified the mdf file name in the JFNOJOB.
      But my output pdf file is not generated.

      Where am i going wrong?
      What is the use of the tdf file then?
        • 1. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
          _MDI_ Level 1
          Hi Gurunath. I think you should refer closer to the documentation. In order to get a document with Adobe Output (alias JetForm), you should:

          1. design your layout with Output Designer (an .IDF file which, once compiled, becomes .MDF)
          2. define your transformation/mapping with the Transformation Builder or producing it manually (much harder), thus producing a .TDF file
          3. define your transformation and merge tasks in Central Control
          4. define your JOB (using the JFNOJOB is not a good solution) in Central Control, using the tasks you created (see above)

          Every step involves a good knowledge of each product and the general document construction knowledge, so my advise is to get familiar with all this before trying. Since it's not so intuitive, you risk to waste a lot of time!
          • 2. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
            Level 1
            Thannks a lot Marco...

            I have worked earlier with Adobe Output Designer. But then we used to generate the .dat(FNF) file using an application. (XSLT transformation was used to get the dat file).
            We then created a central job which would pick up the MDF file and read the dat file and generate the output PDF file.

            We want to skip the step of using xslt transformation and generation of fnf using the application.

            Current scenario:
            1. I have a text file in overlay format. No job name is mentioned in this file.
            2. I understand that VTE can take an overlay file as input.
            3. Layout is designed in output designer and the mdf is also generated.
            4. On transformation the .tdf and an output file .out (field nominated format) file is generated.

            Manual says: "Visual Transformation Editor creates a transformation definition file (.tdf), which Adobe ® Central Output Server (Central) passes to Transformation Agent, along with the data file. Transformation Agent then reads the input file, applies the instructions from the definition file, and writes the reformatted data to an output file."

            Im not clear on how this can be done in Central.
            • 3. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
              _MDI_ Level 1
              Ok. So the problem seems to be only the transformation with VTE instead of you XSLT procedure.

              Well, starting from the file you want to print, you should define with VTE a mapping of data. So in VTE you take an example of your original file, define some "extractions" (portion of file to be cut and used as field-data) and assign each extraction a name.
              This name usually correspond to a field defined in the layout (.IDF/.MDF).

              In Central Control, then you define a TASK which will call the program jftrans with correct parameter that will run the transformation you previously defined on your file. You'll obtain a temporary file that will be the FNF used by the merge.
              • 4. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
                Level 1
                Thanks Marco,
                Okie this is the current status of my analysis:

                I have a sample overlay input file SampleOverlay.in
                I have definition file SampleOverlay.tdf

                Since my input file does not have a job name, i have updated the Default.def to search for a string in my text file and also specifed a job name as 'SampleOverlay'

                This job 'SampleOverlay'is included in the job management database.
                To this job i have added the task 'JFTRANS'
                JFTRANS has the program name as jftrans
                and program options as "@InFile." "@OutFile." @JobName..tdf -afp"E:\Program Files\Adobe\Central\Server\forms" -asl@SkipLines -aii"@IniFileName."

                I have placed this SampleOverlay.in file in E:\Program Files\Adobe\Central\Server\data which is my collector directory

                I have placed the tdf file in E:\Program Files\Adobe\Central\Server\forms

                Am i right till here?
                • 5. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
                  _MDI_ Level 1
                  I don't clearly understand if your SampleOverlay JOB is being triggered when you put SampleOverlay.in in the collector directory, but this is part of the installation and up to you (I don't want to cover it here).

                  In the JFTRANS task you should define "A" as output file (or another letter). This way, Output Central, will start the JOB, invoking the JFTRANS task which will perform the transformation by the SampleOverlay.tdf definition and generating a temporary xxxxx.jf A file. This B file will be kept in the working directory (usually the same as the collector directory) because it will be used later by the merge task. If you define also a MERGE task (calling jfmerge program) then you will be able to map your graphical layout to the transformed data in file B.

                  This is a very short summary of the logic, but you have to rely on the documentation and examples to have it clear.
                  It seems to me that you already know Output Central, so I cannot explain further because it will take SO long to start from these basics, I'm sorry. You can try to refer to someone who developed some documents or an Adobe consultant.
                  • 6. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
                    Level 1
                    Thanks a lot Marco..
                    That was exactly what i was looking for 'how to give the jftrans
                    output file as input to jfmerge'.
                    I also referred to the sample files.
                    When i put the question first...it was a huge mess in the head.
                    Now its perfectly clear.
                    Thanks a lot Marco... :)
                    • 7. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
                      _MDI_ Level 1
                      Glad if I have been helpful :)
                      • 8. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts
                        Level 1
                        You can set up a unique job of two tasks and not be concerned about the incoming file not including a job statement as well as not using JFNOJOB or the DEFAULT task. Both of those are a very bad idea unless this is the only thing that Central does.

                        First set up two tasks, one to run JFTRANS for the transformation and another to run JFMERGE to create the PDF file. Use the supplied JFTRANS task and the supplied JFPVMRG task as your examples. The trick is - instead of using
                        b "@InFile."
                        in the JFTRANS task you need to hard-code the location and file name where your overlay file would be.

                        Then set up a unique job that references these two tasks. In the first step specify a letter for the output file. In the second task use that same letter for the input file.

                        Last, create a plain text file that contains the ^job statement with the created job name and any other desired parameters.

                        Now all that has to be done when an overlay file is ready for processing is to get the "job" file into the collector directory.
                        • 9. Re: VTE & Central - Lots of doubts

                          Very basic steps are as follows.
                          1. Use the VTE to transform the overlay data to Field Nominated.
                          2. In Output Designer, use the Scan Schema to scan the .out file that you created when testing your file created in step 1. This gives you a kind of database list of all the fields that you created in step 1.
                          3. Design your form using the fields that are shown in the schema window described in step 2.
                          4. compile template (*.ifd) to (*.mdf) copy to your forms directory.
                          5. copy the TDF file that you created in step 1 to your transformation directory.
                          6. create a task in Adobe Control to transform the data.
                          7. create a job with two steps in it to
                          a. Transform the data.
                          b. Print the form, using the transformed data.

                          If you have any doubts on how to create a TDF file, there are many examples in the \program files\adobe\transedit 5.6\sampleprogjects

                          Also for examples of templates you can go to \program files\adobe\central\samples

                          if in doubt email me at ar.purdy@btinternet.com