Wednesday, August 13, 2008

PL/PDF 2.0

It appears that the folks over at PL/PDF have released version 2.0 of PL/PDF.  According to their documentation, this is the list of new features for 2.0:

 - SetDocDisplayMode: doc extended
- native PNG support (PrintImageCell, PutImage p_type)
- use without InterMedia
- PrintFlowingTextLimit: bad charter handling fixed
- PrintMultiLineCell: bad charter handling fixed
- compress: LZW without Java
- SetCompress: new parameter: p_method
- plpdf_const package: new entries
- PutImage: new parameter: p_type
- PrintImageCell: new parameter: p_type

Check out PL/PDF, as it is an excellent way to generate PDF files from the Oracle Database without requiring any middle tier hardware/software, as it's mostly PL/SQL.

3 comments:

Stew said...

FYI - The latest version is 2.1. Their website says it adds the following features:

* XHTML to PDF converter package - supports most XHTML tags
* TTF (True Type Font) loader GUI - to replace the manual loading of True Type Fonts
* Doc-XML - document your PL/SQL packages by putting XML tags in the package headers. With Doc-XML the XML tags are converted to a PDF document.

From my limited experience with it (3 reports, including 1 complex form), you can create a simple report pretty quickly. But be prepared to spend a lot of time creating complex reports (i.e. text wrapping, drawing graphics boxes, shading, positioning). I found some of the documentation to be concise to the point of useless.

The tool does the job for much less than Oracle Business Intelligence would (though that obviously does more), but it can take a lot of time to create sophisticated reports.

Scott said...

Stew,

Thanks for the update.

The new PDF template feature is really nice if you need to have some fixed background formatting. You can use any tool you like, save it as a PDF, and then render that PDF as a background for your documents. Has saved me a tremendous amount of time!

- Scott -

Stew said...

Scott,

Happy to add to your content. I wish I'd known to use the template feature when used V1.7 this past winter. By the time I realized it was available, I'd already invested many hours, so felt like it couldn't take that much longer to hand-code it. Wrong! :-(