· Nov 16, 2015

PDF printing from Roll-and-Scroll application

What types of solutions are out there for terminal based applications to output reports to a PDF document?  This is a roll-and-scroll application that has its own scripts for generating reports.  

In times past, terminal emulations have supported the concept of slave printing which seems like it should still be a viable solution.  I know that in previous lives I have been able to do slave printing with software such as ProComm+ by Symantec (not available anymore).  This terminal software worked very well with the VT emulation codes for enabling and disabling slave printing as well as worked very well with the Windows Print Manager as far as allowing the output to be redirected to any printer device (both physical and virtual).  If ProComm were still available I'd just suggest installing a virtual PDF print driver and using slave printing.

Curious what others are doing in the area of PDF printing?

Discussion (3)1
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Assuming you can output the report to an array or text file first- you could create .fdf files paired with a 'blank' PDF file that you would fill using the report data.  You would need to use an external utility to combine the pdf and fdf files to build a page (using $ZF(,-1, command)).    I've done something similar for a client in the past using a Windows environment.   However, there may be utilities for other OS's that do the same thing (ie- take a PDF and fill it using the .fdf file then output as a new PDF).      Please message me if you'd like to discuss further.

At Grapevine Solutions we have successfully implemented a project for one of our Caché customers who had a requirement to add barcodes to some legacy character-based reports.  This requirement meant moving to a modern reporting format with page-layout and graphics capabilities, along with support for generating barcodes.

We provided a custom solution using Caché and some third-party development tools that reproduced new versions of the reports in PDF format alongside the current reports.  Both versions of the reports are created from the existing menu option within the legacy character-based application.  Additionally, the new report layouts can be easily modified by non-developers if needed.

If you think our services would be of benefit to you please feel free to contact us.