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Generate PDF documents

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 25 November 2011]

Hi there,

Using the Micro Focus eXtend product range, has anyone done anything around generating PDF documents? Ultimately we are looking for a solution that does NOT require distribution licensing ie. we can run distribute the solution to our clients without an additional license cost.

Is there any inbuilt mechanism within the extend range ?

Is anyone using any third-party controls ?

Any feedback would be great. Thanks in advance.
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Hi

I have always used a product by Synactis called "PDF In-The-Box" (http://www.synactis.com/pdf-in-the-box.htm). This is a one-off purchase with royalty free distribution.

I have not tried it from Extend, but it works well from RM/COBOL WOW. RM/COBOL also supported PDFLib, but for the price, this was far easier to use.

The product comes as an activex or dll, so it can be run at the client - removing problems with server OS and produces the report at the client - where you want it for printing.

It has a very easy to use interface and produces excellent looking PDF documents.

The product is very reliable (never had a problem with it) and progressive, with regular updates and new features being introduced.

You can download an eval version for free.

I hope this helps

Cheers

Nigel
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RE: Generate PDF documents

We build our own tool using C# / VS2008. The program is based on the public domain iTextSharp library. The C# program receives instructions and a text file with the report data from COBOL, than builds the report by calling functions in the iTextSharp library. We started of with ACU making direct calls into .NET but quickly realized that many of our customers can not run the required .NET registrations to make this work (security). We than added a command line utility which is simply called from the COBOL program. That works fine. Once the PDF file is build, we "run" the PDF file which launches the PDF viewer. We also display the PDF inside the application via the webbrowser control.
It is not perfect (multi-step-process) but it does work.
We were unable to make the .NET interfacing work in an ACU 8.2 + 64bit environment and Microfocus was not able to help us out.
-Peter-
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Thanks guys. I will review both of these. The stand alone activex looks appealing at this stage,
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RE: Generate PDF documents

We currently generate PDF documents using CutePDF and this appears to work fine for us.
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Back onto this 🙂
CutePDF is good but requires a printer driver installed, same as win2pdf. We are looking for a solution where we can distribute just a file(s) with our install etc.

Does PDF-in-a-box also convert documents etc to a pdf with security e.g. cannot edit, cannot print etc ?

I think converting a document of any type to PDF is really our main focus at this stage with creating our own PDF's to come later.
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Hello Nigel,

I want to use PDF-in-the-box. Could you send me an example of your source how to use this?

Thanks,
Andre
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Hi,

In the archived COBOL-Threads you can find some possibilities to produce PDF files.

We actually use a Windows-DLL for generating PDF files from standard COBOL programms.

We use one COBOL programm which allows the functions to opening, closing and writing.
All Programs use this special program for generating PDF-Files. Normaly the program uses a buffer in which all lines for one page are stored. This buffer will be printed into the pdf-file.

Peter Dörrenbächer-Alles

Peter Dörrenbächer-Alles

KISS GmbH Pesonalsysteme

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RE: Generate PDF documents

Hi Peter,

I have searched the Archived threads and come across a variety of solutions relating to PDFs.

Would I be able to get a sample of your COBOL program which produces a PFD?

Thanks

Geoff Hashman
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RE: Generate PDF documents

Hi Geoffrey,

please contact me by email via info@kiss-personal.de
Than i can send a sample program to you.

thanks

peter

Peter Dörrenbächer-Alles

KISS GmbH Pesonalsysteme

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RE: Generate PDF documents

hi,

a demoversion of our DLL to print normal COBOL-Listngs into pdf file will be available at zthe following link: Demo Create PDF-FIles

This demo is limited to May, 01 2012.

The demofile includes the following files:

CBLCONFI a sample cblconfi-file

gencrpdf.acu the excutable of the printhandler
testprt.acu a testprogram which creates a pdf-file
GenCrPDF.dll the windows-dll for creating the pdf-files

gencrpdf.cbl the interfacemodule between the application an the windows-dll
testprt.cbl the testprogram

TESTPRT.PDF the generated example pdf-file

Annotations:
- The cobol programs have compiled with acucobol-gt-compiler v9.1.1
- The cobol programs can be compiled with any ccbl32-version greater 6.1
- The dll runs on MS-Windows 2000 an above (not tested with Winodws 😎


Peter

Peter Dörrenbächer-Alles

KISS GmbH Pesonalsysteme

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RE: Generate PDF documents

In our software all reports can be either sent to a printer, viewed, archived for later reference, or created as an MS Word document. I just added the ability to produce it as an PDF, by outputting it as an MS Word document, then having it "Saved As" a PDF.

The logic to output to MS Word is done with Active X calls, so it was an easy solution to just introduce a new "Save-As" option. (It already had the option to Save As Office 2003 or 2007 formats).

The nice thing about this approach is when the Word Document is opened, I also provide for a Template to be assigned. This means you can define your Headers with assorted text, and logo's etc, and embed a watermark if you wish.

LarryGeeked

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