That would do me ...
Thanks for confirming that. I have zero skills in that area, and could waste a huge amount of time figuring out the "how" part.
I can't help thinking that I should just outsource this job, but little enough time to Spec it, let alone find someone suitable
That's a bind then, not worth me spending the money on Enterprise just because this one feature would be handy ...
That's fine, in practice I don't suppose Accounts can generate more than one invoice within a minute, so a scheduled task that says "Anything available" and then "Print the first one, and change its status to DONE" would be just fine.
Thanks for the thoughts on HTML-to-PDF routes. They are still very appealing to me, as it plays to my core skills. Not too bothered about "HTML" to PDF specifically, any markup to PDF would do me - so maybe there are better starting points? (I'll elaborate below)
I've spent some time trying Google Searches - along the lines of "Dynamically Generate Invoice as PDF file" and pretty much all the results start from HTML, or PHP-generating-HTML, for conversion to PDF.
So I might spend a bit more time trying the HTML->PDF route before I bite the bullet on SSRS (this just comes back to my skills being SQL and HTML-generation, not SSRS).
Re: Alvar Carto url-to-pdf-api
It kicks off with stuff like:
To get this thing running, you have two options: run it in Heroku, or locally.
The code requires Node 8+ (async, await).
being an old fart I have no idea what that means ... I under standing things like "Run this XXX.msi" - but I can see a whole lot of time spent just figuring out HOW to do the install, before I get anywhere near discovering whether it is fit for purpose. Anything I've ever come across that targets Unix starts off like that "Only rocket scientists need apply" type thingie.
However, the Example description talks about the fact that it uses Headless Chrome - can't I just do that, without installing anything else?
This bug report seems to be suggesting that that is possible (albeit with some "coming soon" / "Wishlist" features) [using Headless Chrome]
I can definitely render a nice looking Invoice, with all the sections and Brouhaha that are needed, so that's a start. However, that is just as a single, scroll-able, page, and I think I'm likely to need:
- No regular Browser Physical-page Header/Footer stuff (as can be included on printouts, depending on current browser settings)
- Page Breaks
- Page numbers (and Total Pages would be handy)
- Sub totals and Carried forward totals is fairly important (but not essential)
- Widow and Orphan control is fairly important (but not essential)
- Column heading repeat, on additional pages, would be nice
If all those things are NOT possible with SSRS then I might as well go ahead with Browser-route and HTML-to-PDF, even if they are not solvable there either!
That would leave me with the issue
Alternative Document Generation Routes:
I could generate XML or maybe RTF / Postscript (provided that they don't need integral layout-calculations for word-wrap etc.) or perhaps a publishing markup language like TEX which would then (Batch?) convert to a PDF document