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Generate a PDF and attach it to an email

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
A client of mine is using VFP 7.  They had a request from one of their clients to send an email with the invoice attached in PDF format.

This will have to be accomplished form with the existing FoxPro app.  For another purpose we already have logic in the Foxpro app to generate an email from within Foxpro(VFP) and attach a file or files to the email.  The real question here is how to do it with a PDF.

We have played with CutePDF and successfully created a PDF from FoxPro.  With the free version of CutePDF the process is cumbersome and not acceptable.  Each time a PDF is being created you have to name it and tell the system where to put it.  For this process to work in production it has to flow without prompting.  We purchased the $50 version of CutePDF and that didn't have the functionality that we were looking for.  A call to tech support had them suggesting that we buy the $500 version of CutePDF.  At that point we stopped.  Time to investigate alternatives or at least verify with non-CutePDF employees that the $500 version will accomplish what we want it to.

Ideally the application would know where (which directory) to put the generated PDF and would fabricate a name of the file based on the client name, date etc..  Once the PDF was generated the app would create an email, attach the PDF file it just created and then move to the next invoice to do the same thing.

Has anyone worked with the pricey version of CutePDF to know whether it will accomplish our goals.

Even if it will, are their alternatives to creating PDF's from VFP that allow the app to direct the generated PDF to a specific directory with a specific file name?
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Question by:mlcktmguy
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Expert Comment

by:suvmitra
ID: 37718522
There is no point purchasing Cute PDF or other third-party softwares ... Your program can only able to send the request to the printer driver ... then if the COM not supports further to give you options like saving it with name and path ... you can not use it.

Instead try http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~Print2PDF ... old and good solution.
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Expert Comment

by:pcelba
ID: 37718590
Print2PDF looks as a good option.

Another alternative is to switch the invoice creation into VFP 9. Its extensible Report engine allows to create PDFs and send them via eMail on the fly. You will need the extension, of course - FoxyPreviewer is free (http://foxypreviewer.codeplex.com/), XFRX is a paidproduct (http://www.eqeus.com/).
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Accepted Solution

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Olaf Doschke earned 1200 total points
ID: 37718704
For 500$ you can also buy VFP9, true. BullZip PDF is another solution allowing configuration, see http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/doc/info.php

Bye, Olaf.
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Assisted Solution

by:jrbbldr
jrbbldr earned 800 total points
ID: 37720090
As Olaf has suggested above, one of my clients sends out 200+ PDF's each day with their VFP application using Bullzip (its free) to create the documents.

Bullzip can be pre-configured on the workstations to ALWAYS create a PDF with a fixed file name and location.   By using it in that manner, the user is not interrogated for a file name and the VFP application always knows where to initially find the resultant PDF file.  

From there the VFP application can easily rename it and move it to any other location it needs.

And, finally it can send the now re-named PDF file out as an email Attachment.

Good Luck
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Author Closing Comment

by:mlcktmguy
ID: 37749939
Exactly what I needed
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