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Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates & populated with Teamcenter data

Creator
Creator

I am looking for recommendations from experts in this group on technologies to use to achieve the following:

 

- Have a pre-defined template which needs to be filled with values from Teamcenter. e.g. Part Number, Revision & some custom attribute values. Template has some attributes ( labels & values ) at the top without a table format. There is also a table with two columns, one of which is populated in template itself, while other has to be populated with values from Teamcenter attributes.

- This custom data-sheet should be generated in PDF format and has to be appended to the drawing PDF which gets generated at the end of a release workflow. 

- In one other report template there are two tables. One is to be filled with BOM information while the other will contain the BOM delta w.r.t. previsou revision. This means that these tables will be pouplated with variable amount of data i.e. table size would grow or shrink. There is some content below the tables which should dynamically shift based on the number of rows in tables. 

 

If you anyone has implemented any such solution, please share your experience. 

 

Traditional way of stamping a string of text at desired location on PDF template is turning out to be very very tidious as each stamped entry need to be positioned on the PDF template with  X-Y coorinates. WIth more than one template of different sheet sizes & multiple values to be stamped on each of these templates, it is not possible to follow the stamping approach through a dispatcher service. Hence, looking for some elegent solution for PDF generation which can be plugged into to dispatcher framework.

6 REPLIES

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates & populated with Teamcenter data

Solution Partner Creator Solution Partner Creator
Solution Partner Creator

Hello , 

 

I think you could modify the excel template with the proprieties and objects you need. 

Then you could manually save the excel as a pdf , or create a dispatcher request  .

 

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates & populated with Teamcenter data

Solution Partner Phenom Solution Partner Phenom
Solution Partner Phenom
Actually, you can determine the position (X, Y) based on the sheet size (A, B, C, D, E). Ghostscript is the simplest while iText is the most capable PDF converter. I follow a two-step process: first attach a "Preliminary" stamp diagonally across face in fat gray font when the PDF is initially created (crucial) second, alter the definition of the existing stamp at the end for instance, "Released Date/Time by Whom" in small red font along the drawing border. You can change position, orientation, font, color, etc.

Your use-case sounds like a Form where some data is static while other data needs to be populated (default value, compound property, manually entered, whatever). The Form can be attached to the Item Revision along with the drawing or it can be attached to the Change Revision depending on the business requirement.

Randy Ellsworth, Teamcenter Architect, Applied CAx, LLC
NX 11.0.1.mp01 | SW 2016 | TcUA 11.2.3
Evaluating:AW 3.2

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates & populated with Teamcenter data

Creator
Creator

Randy,

 

We are already using iText and stamping a template PDF with attribute values from Teamcenter. Problem is positioning each of these stamped text using X-Y coordinates is cumbesome. Hence, we are looking for a much elegent solution. I am exploring AcroForm based PDF template. iText provides APIs to access & fill the data in form fields ( text boxes, radio buttons etc ).

 

Another option I am looking at is directly updating MS Word template ( Content Controls & table objects ) from a C# program and then saving that as PDF. For this it is required to use Interop / OpenXML SDK  both of which are a little complicated.

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates & populated with Teamcenter data

Solution Partner Phenom Solution Partner Phenom
Solution Partner Phenom
I guess that depends on your usage. I use stamping to put the release status, date and person along the edge of the document. It sounds like you may be trying to fill out a field in a title block (or simulating it) which is a much harder task. You've gone beyond stamping.

Another option for you is from SEAL Systems. It is very powerful, capable and expensive. I know people who use it for almost all of their conversions, including PDF/A.
https://www.sealsystems.com/plm-solutions/siemens-plm-teamcenter/document-management/

Randy Ellsworth, Teamcenter Architect, Applied CAx, LLC
NX 11.0.1.mp01 | SW 2016 | TcUA 11.2.3
Evaluating:AW 3.2

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates

Creator
Creator
Yes Randy, these use-cases are beyond simple one or two word stamping. Hence, stamping approach is not convenient. It is more of a Form or template population with Teamcenter attribute values & generating a one page or multi-page report in PDF format.

One page use-case is simple as the size of the data to be filled in template / form is fixed in size. But, in multi-page report use-case size of the data is not fixed e.g. first level child components in one table in the report and BOM delta w.r.t. previous revision in 2nd table.

We already use iText so would prefer to continue with it. I wanted to learn from others whether is it easy to follow a PDF Form / template approach OR work directly with MS Word template. If MS Word then which libraries to use for manipulating template ( Interop / OpenXML / or any other ).

Also, is there any direct solution available in Teamcenter that can be exploited for these use-cases ?

________________________________

Re: Generating custom PDF based on pre-defined templates

Solution Partner Phenom Solution Partner Phenom
Solution Partner Phenom
I don't know of any direct Teamcenter solutions for what you're describing. A Report can be run during a workflow. Stamping can be achieved through configuration and third party apps. Combined printing can be achieved with another, like BCT EasyPlot.

For complicated use-cases you'll likely need ITK to determine page-size and stamp placement. Although "stamp" probably isn't the right word with form data. Maybe "fill-out"?

Randy Ellsworth, Teamcenter Architect, Applied CAx, LLC
NX 11.0.1.mp01 | SW 2016 | TcUA 11.2.3
Evaluating:AW 3.2