9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2006 5:18 AM by (Darryl_E_White)

    Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML

    Level 1
      Hi,

      We are using Adobe Central Pro Sever (along with Adobe Output Designer) to generate customized PDFs. The question is: Is it possible to generated multiple PDFs from sinlge incomming data file. Say, an incomming XML has 4 ... section, then the output from the adobe should be 4 different PDFs.

      Also, what are the design issues that one should look at while developing the above solution.

      Thanks in anticipation!

      Regards,
        • 1. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
          Level 1
          We use "field nominated" format for our data files so I'm not sure how what we do can be related directly to XML format. One data file can create as many output forms as you want it to. All you need to do is include the references to the forms. In field nominated format, there are field references and form references. For every form reference, the merge process will include it in the output. Very simple to do in field nominated format (see sample below); there is probably something similar when the file is in XML format. The ^XXXX is the command part, usually followed by a label or name with the data on the next line. I don't know how to represent the command entries properly in XML or I'd provide an XML example.

          ^JOB xyz
          ^GLOBAL field_1
          data-for-field-1
          ^GLOBAL field_2
          data-for-field-2
          ^FORM form1.mdf
          ^FORM form2.mdf
          ^FORM form3.mdf
          • 2. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
            Level 1
            Thanks for your response Tom. Let me redo the problem for you in "field nominated" format.
            Lets say we have 1 mdf with 1 field FIELD_1. The dat file would be:
            ^JOB xyz
            ^field FIELD_1
            data-for-field-1
            ^field FIELD_1
            another-data-for-field
            ^field FIELD_1
            yet-another-data-for-field
            ^FORM form1.mdf

            Now in the above example, i would want to generate separate pdfs for each set of data (here it is only 1 field per dataset), so in this case we would have 3 pdfs, one for each dataset.

            Hope this clarifies!

            Regards,
            • 3. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
              Level 1
              In addition to the above post, it would be nice to do the processing concurrently i.e. generate all the pdfs at the same time. Also, is there a mechanism to control the concurrency, things like max. number of concurrent processes, etc.?
              • 4. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                Level 1
                I don't know about separate PDFs for each but you can create a PDF that contains a unique copy of form1 for each of the values of field_1. In field nominated format this would look something like:

                ^JOB xyz
                ^FORM form1.mdf
                ^FIELD field_1
                data for field 1
                ^FORM form1.mdf
                ^FIELD field_1
                another data for field 1
                ^FORM form1.mdf
                ^FIELD field_1
                yet another data for field 1

                If you are wanting totally separate PDFs, I think you would have to separate the data into separate DAT files. In the above, the field_1 definition within form1 would not have the "global" property set. We are currently using the above for having a single form designed that has a different graphic image placed on it and we plan on using it in the future for the same concept (single form) that would have different data values (such as recipient address) placed on it (say, main recipient and a courtesy copy to someone else). It also works for placing a watermark on one copy but not on another (by using a graphic field on the form and defining the location & name of the graphic in the DAT file).

                Currently, all our jobs & forms are designed using the GLOBAL capability. We define all data values as ^GLOBAL (not ^FIELD) first and then at the end of the file we have all the ^FORM statements (like the following).

                ^job xyz
                ^global field_1
                data-for-field-1
                ^global field_2
                date-for-field-2
                ^global first_address
                recipient-mailing-address
                ^global second_address
                different-recipient-mailing-address
                ^form form1.mdf
                ^form form2.mdf
                ^form form3.mdf

                This allows us to define the data just once but does require multiple MDFs with slightly different field names (mailing address) on each. As I said, in the future we want to have only a single MDF so our DAT files are going to look something like the following:

                ^job xyz
                ^global field_1
                data-for-field-1
                ^global field_2
                date-for-field-2
                ^form form1.mdf
                ^field mailing_address
                recipient-mailing-address
                ^form form2.mdf
                ^form form1.mdf
                ^field mailing_address
                different-recipient-mailing-address

                Hope this helps.
                • 5. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                  Level 1
                  Central works sequentially, not concurrently. It completely processes each individual step that is defined for a job in a linear fashion. This allows one task to modify the data slightly for use by the next task. You can set it up for "multiple instances" where it is actually running multiple copies of Central, each with their own input folder, but each job is still serial.

                  I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "all the PDFs at the same time". Central runs the JFMERGE agent and places in the output file the result of every ^FORM statement. You get a single output file (print or PDF) that has every defined form in it. If you are looking for 3 files instead of 1, you will probably have to separate the data into 3 DAT files.
                  • 6. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                    Level 1
                    Thanks for your respose Tom. As always its been really helpful.
                    • 7. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                      If your input file is XML, you might have trouble generating the ^forms lines. As far as I know, 'xmlimport' can only generate ^field, ^global and ^group.

                      Please tell me if I'm wrong. I'd like to be able to generate many other ^-commands from an XML file without writing a custom agent doing so.

                      Vegard
                      • 8. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                        This cannot be done. Jfmerge produces one output file for every data file it processes. That said, Jftrans can split data into multiple files so they can be processed individually creating multiple output files (not great for XML data though).
                        • 9. Re: Multiple PDFs for sigle incomming XML
                          We are an outsource billing company which used design and Central.
                          We are looking for someone who is currently doing the same and has a way to CASS certify the addresses on a bill through a postal software.

                          Is anyone currently mailing statements or collection letters and is certifying the address to get postal discounts?
                          Darryl White