Project Mechanics

XML2PDF

Generating PDFs

How to deliver on the promise of XML? For years I have been thinking about how to leverage XML to be able to publish multiple documents from a single complex XML documents.  XML makes sense as a tool for publishing.  In the project management world, we deal with a myriad of formats for basically the same data.  Proposals, Statements of Work, Status Reports, Requirement Documents, Issue Logs, Design Documents, Test Documents. . . the list goes on and on. 

All of these use the same set of information over and over again.  Yet, most solutions that I have found are locked in the world of Word Templates with a separate document template for each type.  This means massive reproduction of data and lots of opportunity for things to get lost.

Can XML->PDF be the answer?

Here are some resources I am used to explore this topic further:

 

For the project that had the immedate needs, I went with a two part approach. First, I created the complex XML document by creating data classes, populating then and then saving them as XML. I then used XSLT to convert the XML to presentation HTML for viewing on the Browser. For the PDF, I found a great utility which allows me to convert HTML to PDF. While this solution did not give me as much control over the output as an XSL-FO solution, it was easier to implement and can be used throughout the organization to create PDF of existing HTML

While the solution worked for the current project, I am still hopeful that the quality of tools will continue to improve and make this task easier.

Loading

Blog

Amazon Picks

Bookstore

Find the resources you need to help develop your skills.
Explore The Store