22 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2016 6:32 PM by Prasad Bhonsule

    xml/xsl based ECO to PDF

    Lukasz Rybacki

      Dear All,

       

      I'm trying to set up a ECO form procedure for our Vault. After having a read about what are the options for now I'm sticking to using xml/xsl type form. I have the form itself already set up, I have a workflow for it. One thing that I can't find is how to get this xml/xsl based form converted into a PDF (or other format?) file that can be sent using emails or saved to a non Vault location?

      Any ideas, or maybe discussions that I missed while looking for this issue?

       

      Best Regards

      Lukasz

        • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
          Michael Dekoning

          I haven't done this, but I would look at writing a program using the itextsharp library.

          • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
            Steve Ostrovsky

            Not sure if you're wanting to do it in an automated fashion through a workflow task or manually, but I've done this plenty just by RMB in the Preview and selecting Print. Might matter what print driver you're using (I just tried Bluebeam and it worked good).

             

            What do you get when you try to Print from the Preview?

              • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                Lukasz Rybacki

                Hi Steve,

                 

                Yes I would prefer to have this automated as a part of ECO Workflow.

                I was not expecting that you can just right RMB and Print! That will be a bit painful, as people who work in MRP system would have to log in to the Vault only to get these printed out. It wouldn't be the on the world just a bit annoying for them. Thanks!

                Just tried printing from RMB, and I'm getting everything except the background colors that were set up for table cells backgrounds.

                 

                Best Regards

                Lukasz

                  • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                    Steve Ostrovsky

                    Yeah, I lost the colors as well. In order to have this run through the workflow, you'll need to create a custom task or add-in. Not being a programmer, I would have to defer to someone else. Most of my customer who use XML based ECs don't need them PDFed on a regular basis - or I at least convince them otherwise

                     

                    Another direction would be use SQL Reporting services (or any other tool that can connect to your SQL Server database) to create a search web page. Input the EC number, part number or whatever and then get a list of ECs. Click on it and you can re-create the XML form right there. At this level, you're dealing SQL code instead of API so all you need is something that can connect to the SQL Server database and present the EC info back to the user.

                      • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                        Lukasz Rybacki

                        I was expecting that this will a task / add-in / dispatch macro. I'm not a programmer so anything beyond what EPDM comes with I will have to ask someone to write for me. I'm aware of this, and we don't mind spending a few pounds for it. Anyone any ideas how this should be written? I'm not asking about the code, just a rough sketch which road to take

                         

                        I also like the idea with a website base report, that would be actually a website, on our internal server. This can mirror the ECO in the Vault using the same variables, this can be sent to a user as a link so they can view it without logging into the Vault... am I getting this right? I have to investigate this, as it might work.

                         

                        If anyone have any comments, other ideas... please join to the discussion!

                         

                        Best Regards

                        Lukasz

                          • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                            Steve Ostrovsky

                            I'll let you find a local source for the programming, but a Task that runs during a workflow transition would be ideal. I haven't gone the route to convert XML to PDF, but I would like to assume it's fairly straight forward. We convert so many other things to PDF...why not.

                             

                            The web page would certainly be internal and yes, the user would NOT need to log into the vault since you will be reading directly from the SQL Server to pull the database info (basically the same info that's sitting on the XML Data Card). There are lots of options so look into the best for your business scenario. Best of luck!!

                              • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                                Lukasz Rybacki

                                Hi Steve,

                                 

                                I'll keep on exploring both options for the PDF conversion! Thanks!

                                In the mean time I had a chat with people more involved in EFACS MRP implementation, and another option appeared on the horizon. If I will be able to write a dispatch that on a transition to a state will copy a XML file with ECO into a folder that MRP will watch (MRP imput folder), then this will trigger continuation of ECO procedure in MRP on the manufacturing side of the company. After actioning the ECO recommendations they will change its state to "completed" and this will export a XML file (MRP output folder) that will be sucked back into PDM, and used as a trigger to close off the ECO on EPDM (Engineering) side. This will cover all ISO traceability requirements, and will also eliminate the need of transformation to PDFs

                                 

                                I'll let you know when I have some news about how did we resolved this in the end.

                                 

                                Best Regards

                                Lukasz

                              • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                                Lee CS Young

                                Lukasz,

                                 

                                I can help you out if you're looking to convert your XML/XSL to PDF on a transition via a task.

                                 

                                I also have an ECO add-in that you may want to see a demo of. Shoot me an email or private message me here and we'll work out a time to talk.

                            • Re: xml/xsl based ECO to PDF
                              Stephen Lapic

                              Just so you know, SolidWorks 17 will allow the conversion task to work with office files.  This means that you will be able to automate creating pdf files from your xlsx and docx files within the workflow.