Automate Printing Reports as PDF documents

Modified on Wed, 5 Jul, 2023 at 3:53 PM

Omniscope allows you to generate PDF documents out of your reports and automate the whole content delivery process, e.g. by sending emails with PDF attachments.

This article will guide you through the configuration steps required for printing a report tab as PDF, together with a project example that demonstrates the functionality.

1. Setup Python and Chrome

Python is required on the machine where Omniscope is running, as the block manages some Python packages to perform the printing to PDF.

Chrome as well is necessary to be installed on the machine where Omniscope is running, unless your server is configured to use Docker to run custom Python / R script.s

2. Workflow setup

The image shows a simple workflow where the Project metadata and Report tab to PDF  blocks are used in combination to print the Report block tab as a PDF document.

An example IOZ is attached to the article.

2.1 Project metadata

The Project metadata block extracts project metadata components, such as Report name, Tab name and Report tab URL, which will be used to print a particular tab as a PDF.

2.2 "Report tab to PDF" block

The Report tab to PDF block, albeit being a custom block (soon to be a core one), is the block responsible for producing a PDF document for each record of its input data, and saving the file in a specified output folder.
It also handles the Google Chrome process to print the Omniscope report/dashboard behind the scenes.

It comes with several options - some mandatory, some optional.

To configure please follow the instructions provided by hovering on the information icon ("i"), next to the option name.

In general, you have to specify which input field contains the Report Tab URL to print, an optional file name you want to give to the PDF file, and the output folder where the PDF files will be stored.

Optionally you can customise the page size (width and height in pixels), or leave it blank to print the PDF in Letter standard size, or in the size the Report is built in (if in "Fixed size" layout mode).

Advanced option is called Chrome loading delay. Use it if your PDFs are partially printed, to give more time to Chrome to fully load the page.

3. Let's print!

Once the workflow is set up, you just need to execute the Report tab to PDF block. You can do this manually, through the Scheduler application, or through a REST API call. 

You can now open the output folder to view the newly-created PDF document.

This image shows the result when printing at a custom XGA resolution:

Multi-tab report 

If you wish to append all PDF pages generated into one PDF document - see the blocks in the "Community section" and look for the "Append PDF files" block.

If you are a publisher and want to deliver content in PDF format to your users by leveraging a standardised report template, generating variants depending on a scenario, customer or condition, then see this post .

See the attachment below and test it on your machine. Should you need further assistance - please contact our support team.

N.B. Data driven batch publishing of reports as images / PDFs, etc. requires an Enterprise licence / plan.

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