Here is another ODS PDF question. I can't find a thread having an answer.
Suppose we have a form in pdf and it is currently filled out for each customer manually. If we customer data in sas dataset and want to automate this process, how to do this in ODS so that it can output the exact same form in pdf with customer information filled in by SAS. An form example here:
I believe that to populate an Adobe Form, you need either an FDF file or an XDF file. It is my understanding that both file formats are XML-based. So that means you would need to translate your SAS dataset into whatever FDF or XDF "flavor" of XML you needed for your form.
When you talk about SAS And XML, in general, you are either talking about tagset templates and the SAS XML Libname Engine to convert SAS datasets to XML format or about ODS to create XML output from SAS reports. Also, since it has always been possible to create ASCII text files with the DATA step and FILE/PUT statements, you could write a DATA step program to create your flavor of XML (which is the topic of one of the papers).
But before you pick a method to create your XML file, first, you have to understand what your flavor of XML looks like. The SAS XML Libname Engine has a few pre-defined XML formats that it can create -- such as ORACLE "flavor" of XML -- but my guess is that the FDF or XDF XML is highly tied to a specific form and doesn't lend itself to a "pre-defined" specification.
To see what kind of XML the SAS XML Libname Engine can generate, run this program. It exports the first 3 obs from SASHELP.CLASS into 2 different types of XML:
libname xmlout xml 'c:\temp\classout.xml';
libname oraout xml 'c:\temp\oraout.xml'
If you had a 3rd party product that could "distill" or convert an HTML file to PDF form, you could use an X command from a SAS program to convert from HTML to PDF by issuing the command line for the 3rd party application. Of course, you could run the program in batch mode from a DOS prompt, too. So SAS wouldn't bring much to the party in this regard.
Otherwise, while you -might- read the HTML file with SAS, you would have to convert the HTML file's information to a SAS dataset in order to use ODS to create a PDF file. This means that the PDF output might not look like a distilled version of the original HTML page.
Can you explain a bit more about what's in the HTML file and how you would envision the part that SAS would play in performing the conversion -- would SAS just be an alternative to issuing a DOS command? Are you trying to avoid using Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Distiller???