1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 2, 2012 1:38 AM by John Hawkinson

    XML to InDesign, multiple versions of the same document


      Hi everyone,

      I have a small project that I need help with.

      I am working on an online survey for a client of mine; which consist of 10 odd pages of questions as well as free text entry on some of the questions. Some of the questions requires number input which then converted into charts (bar graphs etc.) Survey is done as a web app (using .NET and C# and MySQL) and resulting data converted into XML format in order to generate a report based on the answers that the members provide.

      Currently XML data is imported into MSWord and report is generated as .docx file.

      Client is not happy with the presentation of the word so I suggested that we can use InDesign to have a better look/feel of the report, using the same XML structure.

      There are 1000+ members that need to take this survey, which means that report has to be generated for each client individually (different answers, total page numbers, branding and so on.)

      I understand the basics of generating a book from XML to InDesign but I can't figure out how can I apply this workflow into producing 1000+ different copies.

      Do I need to have 1000+ InDesign documents with SAME XML structure but DIFFERENT branding (different heading colours etc.) or is there a way to generate the reports with using a single InDesign template, supplying each member's survey results as a separate XML file and generate the report.

      It would be great to know if the process can be automated such as :

      - Saving all the XML files (Survey answers) in a folder

      - Save all graphs for each client in a separate folder (e.g. /client_name/graphs)

      - Open InDesign and select the XML source file <- This is where I stuck. I can only imagine doing this work for every single member

      - Generate reports (saving as PDF documents)


      I'll be happy to answer if you have any questions or need clarification.

      Any suggestions welcome