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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Question Generating a print catalog from website DB

    Many of my potential customers have a sever aversion to the web. We get countless requests for some form of a print catalog.

    We do not need a fancy catalog - I think I can gat a way with a well formatted color print-out that we bind in-house.

    I am currently exporting our entire online product offering to xml - does anyone know of a program that can import the xml into a templated catalog and export it to pdf or similar document?

    All help is greatly appreciated.
    Experience is one thing you can't
    get for nothing. - Oscar Wilde



  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    What DB are you using? If its MSSQL you should be able to use Access (2000 and up I think)as a front end to the remote DB. You can then use its report generator to produce your cat.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist lirux's Avatar
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    php can create PDFs... If you already have it in a db (like mysql) you wouldn't even need to export to xml (of course, php also works very well with xml).

    Anyway, you might wanna keep it in mind in case of emergency, tho I'm sure there must be a better option that this!! (I just have no idea what!)
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard ChrisRoss's Avatar
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    If your going to print it you don't want 72dpi images and use PDF's, it will look pretty bad. Its fine for viewing on a screen but printing it will look rough from the low res of the files.

    I did this type of thing for a couple different companies. A little more complex but I used Quark Xpress and Xdata (extension for Quark) or Avenue (another extension). This would be to make it fancy and to be able to make easy changes. The easiest way (not pretty) is to do what sowen said or a similar program.

    Either way you should replace the web graphics with higher resolution print graphics if you want it to look good.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks everybody - got some real good stuff.

    I'll be looking into Xdata today.
    Experience is one thing you can't
    get for nothing. - Oscar Wilde



  6. #6
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    Surf to http://www.modelsport.com/issues/info0503.htm or
    http://www.modelsport.com/issues/info0101.htm and printing it using the browser works OK for us . . . but I too would very much like a way to just have a button that a client pushes and it prints a complete catalog (as opposed to their having to go page by page and printing). These graphics are very compact and print very nicely on a typical laser printer . . . for what it's worth.

    John Beech


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