[FX.php List] Precision Printing alternatives

Jonathan Schwartz jschwartz at exit445.com
Tue Oct 2 09:09:42 MDT 2007

Hi Folks,

(There's a question at the end of this long email recap)

I'm still going in circles on my school progress report project.

The problem goes back to printing report cards after teachers enter 
student data.  There are 200+ teachers in 6 schools.  The input side 
has been intended to be web based using fx.php.  No problems there. 
The output side is the real challenge.  I didn't originally think so, 
but I do now.

Earlier on this list, I inquired about using FPDF and I received good 
reviews for that method.  However, in attempting to set that up, I 
now see the expertise in FPDF required and time involved in getting 
the template set up. It could take 100 hours...or more....just for 
the template.

If you'd like to see the test, it appears below.  I have placed the 
same simplified sample "cell module" in 4 places on a page.  Have not 
figured out how to wrap text inside a cell. That's what the 4th 
example was trying to do, and where I gave up...


The SECOND alternative is to distribute a runtime FMP file that 
allows teachers to import data from the server and then use it to 
print the Progress Reports.  (You can't use a runtime to connect to 
the server)..  I guess I could use the Excell spreadsheet php class 
to do the export.  This alternative is lousy in that it involves 
input in one place and output in another....with steps in between.

I thought of a THIRD alternative.  I believe that all the school's 
printers are networked and visible on the network across the 
district.  Perhaps if I used a single FMP CLIENT connected to the 
Server at headquarters. and then script the printing of progress 
reports from the FMP client to the remote printers. There's a recipe 
for disaster.

Of course, a FOURTH alternative is to purchase 200 copies of 
FileMaker.  There's not budget for that.

That being said...how do php and mysql systems print data to paper? 
I must be missing some huge piece of the puzzle.  Without better 
alternatives, I'm thinking of walking away from this "opportunity".

Jonathan Schwartz
Exit 445 Group
jonathan at exit445.com

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