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CSV vs PDF

Using Enterprise One's RDA, you can create fashionable PDFs or extensible CSVs.  However, many of our users don't understand why they can't have a Pretty PDF and a Functional CSV at the same time.  Below is an example of the issue.

By Default, Report Design Aid opens in layout mode for a PDF.  The columns can be snapped to 'the grid' and laid out in such a fashion that should be more eye-appealing on paper

Snap-to-Grid is set at 8

When the UBE is run, the PDF looks similar to:

However, if the user selects 'CSV' at run-time, the Spreadsheet's columns, often, have skips or can be missing:
Notice the two columns between Name and PDBA Code and between PDBA Code and Gross Pay.

The actual CSV looks like:
Notice the multiple commas between values.

This occurs because of the distance between the start of each column.  For every 52 units of spacing between the beginning of each column, a comma is inserted into CSV output.  Also, to note, if there are more than one column per 52 units - only one column in that space will be presented within the CSV.  To correct the CSV Spacing issue, we set the Grid Alignment to 52 and move the columns accordingly.  Often, developers have to create an ugly PDF with columns / fields sitting on top of each other or are spaced awkwardly.

Set Horizontal Units to 52 and Adjust layout - not skipping any columns:
Yes - it is Ugly; However - it will make for a properly formatted CSV / Spreadsheet

The PDF will now look ugly:
Notice the 1 is overwritten by Michael

However, the Spreadsheet is properly formatted (no empty columns)

And, when you look at the CSV - there is only one comma between each value


Generally, Most UBEs are created in PDF Format.  Later, Display Overrides are created at the Version to Override the layout, defining the CSV.  The sad thing is - the users cannot have the best of both worlds.  This is the simplest means to creating Spreadsheet Data for the users. 

When users need both a 'Pretty PDF' and a 'Functional CSV' there are really two options.
  1.  Create Two Versions (PDF and CSV) - this creates an issue with replicating Data Selection and / Processing Options between the two versions.  There is that chance that the Data Selection and Processing Options might not be in sync - and erroneous results can be reported.
  2. Use Flat-File Processing to Create the CSV - Flat File Processing is not difficult, however it does require additional setup and understanding.  The user can't open the CSV in Work Submitted Jobs - and would have to know the location 'where' the Flat-File is created and the Naming Convention.
As always - let me know if there is anything I missed and feel free to make suggestions to the FAQ

(db)








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