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Document Generator Basics

Document templates give your users a quick and easy way to generate documents using data from TeamConnect. In order to create a document template, you must learn how to use the various tags available to automatically retrieve the correct data.

Important: In your design process, keep in mind that, while using Document Generator, the user must finish work ing with the document created during the current session. If the user navigates away from Document Generator before finishing, all work done on the document is lost.

You may even define screens in which the user selects relevant data and manually enters values when generating a document. This definition becomes a part of a document template.

Generated Letter Example

The following image is an example of a finished letter that was created by a user with the Document Generator. Everything from the date, to the salutation, to the Contact phone numbers, are dependent upon a document template.


Object Model Structure for Identifying Data

It is important to know the areas in TeamConnect from where Document Generator can retrieve information. Knowing where to retrieve information, and the object for which you are creating the template, helps you select the appropriate fields, sub-objects, related objects, XML files, and so on, in order to design a functional document template.

TeamConnect's Object Model is your guide for identifying data that must be retrieved by your template. TeamConnect data is organized in a structure called the Object Model. Each object in the Object Model has its own attributes, and the objects have specific relationships with one another through certain attributes.

When you construct the tags that identify the data that will be inserted into generated documents, you use the relationships and object attribute names that are found in the Object Model to "navigate" to the data you need.

See Object Model: Read This First and the reference tables in later appendixes, for explanations of each attribute in the Object Model. You may use these references to help you construct the tags in your template. The reference tables familiarize you with the relationships between objects.

You may also find it helpful to become familiar with the Object Model by exploring it using the Object Navigator tool. For more details about using Object Navigator, see Using Object Navigator.

Object Dependency

Each document template used by Document Generator is based on a single object. Upon finishing a document template, you must upload the template into the Document Templates folder of a specific Object Definition within the Documents area of TeamConnect.

The object to which the template belongs is the point of origin for all tags that you use in the template to retrieve data. You must be able to identify the data that you want to be populated in the document through relationships between objects in the Object Model.

Information Retrieval

Depending on what you specify in the document template, Document Generator is capable of retrieving information from the following sources:

  • TeamConnect Object RecordsDocument Generator can get information from custom fields, system fields, sub-objects, related objects, user accounts, and the system date.
  • Document Generator UserDocument Generator can get information that the user manuallyenters into input pages or selects from filter pages. These screens appear in the user interface of Document Generator and are created by you within the document template.
  • Other XML files - Document Generator can get information found in XML files stored in the Documents area of TeamConnect.

Document Template Structure

The document template is composed of three major sections. Each of these three sections are created with Document Generator tags that tell TeamConnect exactly what information to include in the generated document. The three sections of the document template and their respective tags are:

  • Content - Provides the necessary data that appears in the generated document, such as text that you writ, and specific information extracted from TeamConnect system and custom fields.
    The content section of the document template is made up of:
    • Text
    • Document Generator tags
  • Header - Provides data that asks the user, through filter and input pages, to make a choice (for example, choose a record, item, or enter information) that will be reflected in the generated document.
    The header section of the document template is composed of the following Document Generator tags:
    • tc:header
    • tc:filter
    • tc:input
    • tc:inputForm
  • Document - The content and header of the document template are enclosed within the following tag:
    • tc:document - This tag has attributes that specify what application to launch in order to open the generated document, as well as the name of the template as it will appear to the user in Document Generator.

Overview of Template Creation and Usage

When a user creates a document from the Document Generator, the procedure is very simple and straightforward. After invoking the Document Generator, the user is prompted by the user interface of the Document Generator to manually enter information into input pages, such as initials, paragraphs of client-specific information, and so on, and/or to select already existing TeamConnect information from filter pages, such as a Contact's name and address. The information that the user enters/ selects appears in the final generated document.

Document Generator templates are created and put into use in the following way:

  1. You (the Solution Developer) write a preliminary version of a template, or a preliminary version of the template is provided to you by an individual who is familiar with the business requirements for the template. This document includes placeholders identifying where data must be dynamically populated when a user generates a document based on the template.
  2. You go through the template, replacing each placeholder with actual tags that can be read by the Document Generator, and then upload it to TeamConnect.
  3. You test the template to insure that the tags used in the template are retrieving the correct data.
  4. When the end user wants to generate a document based on the template, he or she will probably be working with a particular record. The user goes to that record's Documents block (or tab), opens the Document Generator tool, selects the template, enters any information required by the template, and clicks a button to generate the document.
  5. The Document Generator reads through the template and retrieves the correct data to replace the tags in the template, and generates a document.
  6. The user can then view, save, or print the generated document.
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