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From Henning von Bargen <>
Subject AW: SQL->XML->???->PDF transformation
Date Mon, 20 Nov 2000 07:46:50 GMT
> -----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: []
> Gesendet am:	Freitag, 17. November 2000 22:08
> An:
> Betreff:	SQL->XML->???->PDF transformation
> We are not yet users of Cocoon but are exploring using it at present.  The
> above sequence
> simply represents the transformations we forsee occuring in generating
> business reports.
> That is, an EJB will run a SQL query against our database (Oracle), format
> the ResultSet into
> XML, and then the XSLT processor will apply a stylesheet to transform the
> report into a PDF
> document, which will be accessed by our users.  (I'm leaving out steps
> don't bear on the
> XSL question I'm asking.)
> Currently, we generate the PDF by having the output of a non-Java report
> generation tool print
> its output to a PDF "printer simulator" which results in a PDF file.  We
> would like to check
> out some software which can be used to format the reports styling and
> them to the data
> in XML.
> Does anybody have any suggestions about which 3rd-party apps to either
> or avoid?  For
> example, MS Word 2000, Adobe Framemaker, Corel Wordperfect.  Are any of
> these just perfect for
> what we want, or do any of them really fall way short?
> TIA for any help,
> Michael McDonough
The question is: what exactly do you need?
A) on-the-fly generation of PDF for viewing on the screen?
B) batch generation of PDF for high-quality printing?

Well, if you're using Oracle Developer 6i Reports server (I guess you do),
keep using it.
We are using it together with Adobe Acrobat Distiller, because Oracle
Reports built-in
destype=PDF does not display some east-european characters correctly.
Oracle Reports is suitable for A) with destype=PDF and for B) with Acrobat

If you want to make it more dynamic, you can for example
1) generate XML output directly with PL/SQL (very fast for
database-intensive reports)
using iAS or DBPrism and let Cocoon convert it to PDF (but I guess it's hard
to create
cool-looking PDF with FO).
This is suitable for B) and (depending on how fast your machine is) for A)
as well.
2) same as a), but generate latex source and run latex and corresponding
tools to create PDF.
This will usually be faster and the result will look very good.
Can be used for A) and B)
3) For less-database-intensive reports: use a java program and JDBC to
create the intermediate format,
then format the results with cocoon or latex.

Keep away from all the programs you listed. They are too memory-consuming
and unstable,
you can only use them on a client workstation, not on a server IMHO. 

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