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Integration of internal database system


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  • 1. Integration with Enterprise Database Systems Tim Sullivan activePDF, Inc.
  • 2. The Examples
    • Real problems we’ve encountered
    • Solutions use real products
    • The solution may not be the one they chose
    • The names have been changed to protect the innocent
  • 3. The Apparel Manufacturer
  • 4. The Problem
    • 2,500 page catalog
    • Thousands of resellers
    • 100 “area” managers
    • Need to target sales
    • No digital assets
    • Reduce costs in delivery of materials
  • 5. How they did it manually
    • Area manager would look through a copy of the catalog for merchandise to target
    • Cut the pages and/or pieces out
    • Paste them onto new pages
    • Send to printer for reproduction into saddle stitched books
    • Mail to all resellers in the area
  • 6. What they wanted to do
    • Let area manager search for merchandise to target
    • Select via a web page the pieces they needed
    • Assemble the pieces into a PDF booklet
    • Add a table of contents with hyperlinks
    • Email to all resellers
  • 7. How they did it
    • Scanned all catalog pages into TIFF images and saved into Oracle database as blobs
    • Wrote web page that permitted searching and selection from the database
    • Looped through once to retrieve part numbers, descriptions and determined page numbers
  • 8. How they did it (pt 2)
    • Used PDFlib ( to generate a PDF page with hyperlinks to pages
    • Re-looped through dataset and for each part number, downloaded TIFF as blob and used PDFLib to import into the PDF
    • Emailed the resulting PDF using ASPMail (free from
  • 9. The Business Card Company
  • 10. The Problem
    • Handled customers with 10,000+ employees
    • Unable to effectively handle different versions of digital assets
    • Turnaround time was 2+ weeks
    • Orders would get lost
  • 11. How they did it manually
    • Customer would call or fax in an order with the employee’s information
    • Find the folder with the correct “template”
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Generate PostScript
    • Send to the printer for output
  • 12. What they wanted to do
    • Permit versioning of logos and other digital assets
    • Let customer enter employee information via web page
    • Generate proof PDF
    • After acceptance, send to printer in PDF format
  • 13. How they did it
    • Implemented Microsoft Visual SourceSafe as versioning tool
    • Rendered digital assets as EPS files
    • Wrote web page to accept employee input
    • Wrote PostScript code to select font and print employee information
    • Injected PostScript code to embed EPS assets (via “Run” command)
  • 14. How they did it (pt 2)
    • Called JAWS PS to PDF Library to convert PostScript to PDF (
    • When PDF was completed (checked via exclusive file access), sent to customer via email
    • When customer accepts via web page, emailed PDF to printer
    • Saved PDF onto file system for billing and audit purposes
  • 15. The Movie Studio
  • 16. The Problem
    • Many independent production companies on the lot
    • Centralized scheduling of studio facilities
    • Production companies need all information for scheduling on a daily basis to adjust (and fight for) their schedules
    • Production assistants do not want to run reports
  • 17. How they did it manually
    • Written as HTML report using Active Server Pages
    • Manually ran report at 3AM using Internet Explorer
    • Printed 1,000 page report to the high speed printer
    • Sent for reproduction and reproduced as many copies as needed
    • Distributed manually to each production office
  • 18. What they wanted to do
    • Automatically run the HTML report in the morning
    • Convert to PDF
    • Email to all production offices
    • Permit searching and HTML report generation on a subset of the data (ad-hoc reporting)
  • 19. How they did it
    • Added page break tags to the HTML generation code
    • Added front end interface for report generation
    • Used activePDF WebGrabber ( to render HTML to PDF
    • WebGrabber automatically emailed to distribution list
    • End user Ctrl-F to find their production company and reviewed schedule
  • 20. The Ticket Seller
  • 21. The Problem
    • Millions of tickets sold annually
    • Thousands of venues to print tickets for will call
    • Non will-call tickets need to be mailed (and could get lost)
    • Credit card companies require pickup to be same person that purchased tickets
  • 22. How they did it manually
    • If venue supports it, tickets and receipts printed locally after data transmitted
    • If not, tickets and receipts must be printed remotely and then delivered
    • Requires special ticket “printers” and data lines
    • Have customer produce identification to match against ticket
  • 23. What they wanted to do
    • Let customer select and purchase tickets online
    • Generate tickets as a PDF
    • Download data only to venue
    • Let venue scan ticket (one scan, one ticket)
  • 24. How they did it
    • Let customer select and purchase ticket online as usual
    • Use Adobe PDF Library to dynamically generate a “ticket” with a unique barcode
    • Customer prints out PDF using free Acrobat Reader
    • Data only is sent to venues that support technology
    • Any customer holding the ticket is permitted entrance upon scan by venue personnel