“Some reporting periods come in bursts of over a million documents in a couple of weeks.”
Department of Education
Government of Western Australia
10 April 2013
At the Department of Education, we develop and maintain many different information systems to support schools and the administration of Education in the state. These systems provide a reporting capability with varying complexity and compliance requirements.
A typical requirement is to have current “hand written” documents automatically produced containing the data which resides in the Web/Java/Oracle systems we have built for them. Emphasis is on reproducing the layout and formatting of the existing documents and quickly altering the specification of the data sets that are merged into them.
We have satisfied this reporting requirement over the years by using iText and iReport (with Jasper Reports under the hood), however, it involves a lot of the developer’s time when it comes to the layout and formatting. Also, post-production editing of the output is not possible as they do not have the tools or experience to edit PDF or HTML.
With Docmosis we were able to improve the user experience for our users and develop the typical report much faster.
The business staff can specify the layout and formatting exactly by giving us one of their existing Microsoft Word documents and we can use them as a Docmosis template. When content or styling changes, they send us the version and we can usually copy/paste it into the template directly – job done.
Docmosis also means we can (where a strong business need dictates) produce Word doc format and allow users to “tweak” their reports.
For the most complex reporting, such as highly dynamic student reports with multiple nesting tables, developers are responsible for maintaining the templates.
When the choice came to develop the student reports in iText or Docmosis, Docmosis was chosen because some quick protoyping proved it could manage the highly complex formatting and performance requirements. Some reporting periods come in bursts of over a million documents in a couple of weeks.
Our users love that they have more control over their reporting and that the output looks exactly as they expect it to. Docmosis isn’t the answer to all our reporting requirements but as a developer it gives me another useful tool in my arsenal.