C.R.O.S.S. PDF Generation Suite
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The C.R.O.S.S. PDF Generation Suite is a set of programs and subroutines which allow programmers and users to create Adobe Portable Document Format files. The suite is written in BASIC for IBM UniVerse and IBM UniData (U2).

The suite does not require any additional libraries or programs to be installed on your computer as it is written completely in BASIC. This makes the suite highly portable as it has no dependencies other than U2 (it has been tested on various flavours of Unix and Windows and on several releases of U2). The suite is delivered as a set of compiled objects which can be run under U2 without compilation.

Pricing (Unlimited Users) Based on U2 Licence type
Workgroup Edition AUD 1,500
Server Edition AUD 2,000
Enterprise Edition AUD 5,000
Prices exclude GST for Australian Purchasers
If you wish to redistribute the suite with your own application or software, contact sales@cross.net.au to discuss our licensing and distribution requirements.

Features Top
Text Conversion
The C.R.O.S.S. PDF Generation Suite has been designed to make it easy to convert existing text reports into PDF documents. To do this it gives you precise control over paper size, paper orientation, character pitch, characters/line and lines/page. The suite comes standard with ISO and Imperial paper size definitions and you can create custom paper size definitions just by adding an item in the PDFFORMATS file.

Precise control of paper margins, line leading and type size allows you to take a report designed for a 132+ column lineprinter which currently prints on large format paper and generate it as an A4 or Letter size PDF that your users can print on their desktop printer.

For new text based reports, you can print out a debugging grid in your PDF so that you can easily see which rows and columns your output is using. This also makes placing fixed text in relation to artwork much easier.

Forms and Artwork
Artwork is defined using a simple XML format. This format allows you to place graphics elements such as lines, curves and rectangles as well as JPEG images on a page.

The XML format allows you to specify the page or range of pages to which the artwork will apply. This allows a PDF document to be generated as a multi page form or to have letterhead on the first page of a generated letter.

Forms allow you to define art work containing named fields which are filled in at run-time from data you supply.

The suite gives access to the 14 Standard fonts defined in the PDF specification and allows additional Adobe Type 1 fonts to be added to the system and used in artwork and forms.

The suite supports embedding JPEG images. Images can be scaled, rotated and skewed.

Images are supplied at run time, so it is possible to generate PDFs with varying images in a standard form.

For Users
Users with access to TCL can use the CROSS.SPOOL2PDF program to convert a spooler item or text file into a PDF. Format and layout is controlled by items in the PDFFORMATS file which allows a system administrator to set account defaults and create multiple generation formats.

For Programmers
The C.R.O.S.S. PDF Generation Suite has been designed to make integration of PDF generation into your existing code as easy as possible. You have control over page and line breaking conventions as well as a choice between in memory and sequential generation.

PDFs can be generated in memory with a call to a single subroutine (CROSS.TEXT2PDF) to which you supply text input, formatting options, art work and graphics. This returns a PDF in a string which you can write to disk or attach to an email.

Alternatively you can choose to generate your PDF a line or page at a time by passing in a sequential file handle to which the PDF will be written. This approach is designed to mimic writing to a printer and will allow you to generate large PDFs even if your memory resources are limited.

All the image, font and lineart processing programs are also provided as subroutines so that you can perform every step of the PDF and resource preparation and generation process in code.

For System Administrators
After you install the suite into an account (we recommend a separate account) making the routines available in other accounts requires only an MD or VOC entry pointing to the routine you wish to use (all of which are compiled complete and without other subroutine dependencies).

Type 1 fonts are stored as compiled subroutines. In order to use a font, it needs to be cataloged globally or in the account in which the generating process is running.

If you are using the TCL utilities you will need to give access to a file of formatting information (PDFFORMATS), but you can specify an alternate file at TCL if necessary.

Default formatting conventions and paper sizes can be set by creating entries in the PDFFORMATS file.

Production accounts are not required to use any particular file type (although we recommend type1 or type19 for large image records) so that the suite will fit in easily with your current backup and file sizing strategies.



Documentation Top
Documentation for the PDF Suite is available for download from the link below.
    CROSS PDF Suite Version 1.0 Documentation  
 


Samples Top
The links below are for sample PDF files demonstrating the capabilities of the PDF Generation Suite.
    Plain Text with Pitch Grid  
    Report with Pageart  
    Graphics Operator Sample Page