An architecture problem.

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An architecture problem.

Postby rmo1938 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:17 pm

Welcome beginner. What is your question or comment?
Please try to briefly and clearly tell us: What you want, What you tried, and What happened.

I want to generate a document from two data sources.

The first data source is variable data. (names, addresses, etc.) The second data source is text snippets, graphics, etc.
The document created is a legal document, constructed from a merge(?) of the two data sources.
A new instance of the legal document is created by using a different variable set( the first data source).
A new legal document is created by using both new first and new second data source.

The questions are:
1. What OO modules should I use to create the data sources?
2. What methods, tools, etc., should I use to generate the end legal document?
3. Is there anyone willing to give me online tutoring on subjects related to this problem, for a reasonable fee?
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OOo 3.0.X on MS Windows Vista + Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux
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Re: An architecture problem.

Postby acknak » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:20 am

OOo provides a lot of flexibility: there are several features that support this kind of task. However, it is not really possible to make it easy to do--it will require some expertise to set it up initially, as well as to use it afterwards.

Since your work product is going to be a text document, that will be the platform. You can insert data from different sources into a text document (OOo Writer).

I would suggest, for names, address, and other variable information, that you use database fields. You can set up a data source with this information (which could be a spreadsheet, or an actual database), call up a specific record, click on a button to transfer the data from the record into the document.

This is referred to as a "merge" or "mail merge", and you can get a good walk through of the process from this article: Mail Merge in Openoffice. More information is available here: http://openoffice.blogs.com/openoffice/.

For the text snippets, you could go a couple of different ways, depending on exactly how you need to put the document together.

You could use a data source for it, but that may not really give you any advantages if each snippet is independent.

Writer also provides "AutoTexts", where you can define your text passage and assign each one an abbreviation. To insert a passage, you would type the abbreviation, then press F3 to insert the passage. You can also pick passages from a list rather than use the abbreviation. You can see the pre-defined AutoTexts under Insert > AutoText.

AutoTexts can contain graphics, tables, formatted text--anything you can do in Writer can be defined as an AutoText.

Once the AutoText is inserted, it's just normal content--you can edit it if you need to tweak something.

The AutoText can contain database fields, so you could set it up to include the client's name that will come in through the data source--you just have to do the operations in the right order.
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