Document customization

There is an easy way to customize documents in LexiFi Apropos: LexiFi Apropos’ Template Technology. Users have full control over the documents’ content as well as the layout and visual aspects.

The creation of documents is template-based and relies on HTML/CSS language enriched with an expression sub-language (primitives to access data from the application, and some “programming” constructions such as conditionals or loops), which are standard technologies available in all organizations.

The application instantiates the templates either to final HTML documents (for direct use on a website), or to high-quality PDF documents (using a tool shipped with the application that interprets “CSS3 Paged Media” directives for headers/footers/page numbering/unbreakable sections).

Templates can include shared fragments of texts (such as disclaimers) and support code reuse through shared definitions of code fragments and functions. The general layout (including color themes, logos, etc.) and shared text fragments can thus be defined only once and then re-used in each instrument-specific template. Since templates are based on known web technologies (HTML/CSS), it is only required to learn the expression sub-language.

LexiFi can provide training: one or two days would be enough for someone familiar with HTML/CSS to maintain existing templates or create new ones. As the expression sub-language is used in other places of the application, such as the definition of customized reporting (tabular) views, training needs are reduced and expertise shared between all these uses. Templates can also be used to specify the content of generated emails for instance.

To simplify the customization process, we have developed a user-friendly “studio” with all necessary tools to edit, debug and preview changes in real time.

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Figure: Real-time preview of document customization: changes in the template are immediately reflected in an HTML or a PDF preview

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