Ab Initio Consultancy Limited

ERP Consultancy designed to maximise the return on your investment.

XML Document Generation – Progress database to word document

I worked on a project recently to replace a manual system of cut and paste whilst creating customer quotations to one where the quote documents are automatically generated using an XML extract of relevant data and an openXML routine to generate a word document.

It reduced the effort required to create a quote document from typically three days (they are big quotes) to 1 second.

How is it done? Read on.

This was done for an Epicor 9 customer on a Progress database (For Epicor 10 and SQL databases see the next post). So we wrote some Progress ABL code to produce an XML file which was triggered by a Business Process Manager (BPM) script when the quote was updated in a certain way. The XML file contains data from the Quote Header, all of the Quote Lines, the Manufacturing Assemblies under each quote line, the Material records under each assembly, the Customer, the sales reps, the customer contacts and the project that the quote is related to.  Then, using the document builder from the Office Open Powertools 4.0 toolset we combine the XML with a template document and save the result as a docx or a pdf or even an odf file. This all happens in under 1 second. Interestingly, you don’t need a copy of MS Office for this to work, although if you want to open this resultant docx file in word then of course you should have a licence. If you want to know why this is the case, see my post on Office Open XML and the difference between .doc and .docx files.

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