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Using Minisoft eFORMz in a QAD Cloud Environment

For background information on integrating with QAD, view: QAD ERP Integration

Introduction

With the current release of the Channel Islands project (March 2019), QAD Web UI now is generally available to users in organisations using QAD Cloud ERP.

For users of on-premise QAD ERP (Enterprise Edition), an Early Adopter program is under way since September 2018 (Channel Islands Release San Miguel 2).

All users on Web UI continue to have access to the traditional .NET UI interface.

In QAD Web UI, identical reports can be run both from a Browse (e.g. by selecting ‘Sales Order Print’) or in the Report Viewer. Both support PDF, Excel, and Plain Text as output formats.

Settings for eFORMz Processing

In the QAD .NET UI environment, the Printer Setup Maintenance Menu (36.13.2) offers two features that are essential for eFORMz processing:

a. a field by the name of ‘Initialize Control’, the contents of which will be inserted as the first row of the data file. eFORMz will retrieve and use this specification for outputting the formatted document or label. Example: ‘Printer ROADRUNNER’

b. the address of the server to which the QAD Print file should be sent (= eFORMz server)

Printer Setup in QAD Web UI does not possess these features.

Customization for eFORMz Processing

In cooperation with QAD Channel Islands R+D, a substitute solution for QAD Web UI has been developed. It reproduces the above features:

a. by specifying the eFORMz server address in the ‘Report Output’ settings, for all the reports that are generated in .TXT (Plain Text) format

b. by adding a ‘eFORMz Printer Name’ Filter in the Report Printing menu and a list of eFORMz printer names in the Generalized Codes. These elements require customization of each report type, in accordance with the documentation that has been provided by QAD Channel Islands R+D.

Text-to-XML Conversion

Web UI Reports are built with PDF/Document (image-based) modes in mind. For Plain Text output, the underlying render engine tries to convert the graphical layout design into an approximation of the graphical output. The result is a file that contains the same data as in output from .NET UI, but in a different layout. As a consequence, for each report type, the Text-to-XML conversion has to be reworked.

Conclusion

Printing reports from QAD Web UI for processing by Minisoft eFORMz is possible. As detailed above, it requires the customization of a few elements in each of the report types (Progress programming). For existing eFORMz customers, the Text-to-XML conversion has to be adapted to the changed format of the text file (eFORMz Composer designer).

Alternative Approach

Running a Report in a QAD Web UI is similar to Running a Report in a QAD .NET UI. If they wish to avoid the effort and cost of implementing a new solution, eFORMz customers can continue to use .NET UI print menus or chose to do so in a new installation.

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