Integration of internal database system


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Integration of internal database system

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