Try the New PDF Creation Facility

AppSheet allows you to include PDF attachments via a Workflow or Report Email action. It also allows you to archive PDF files via a Workflow or Report SaveFile action.

PDF attachments and files are created as follows:

  1. You normally begin by creating a Google Doc or Microsoft Word doc template file.
  2. When the Email or SaveFile Workflow or Report runs, it reads the Google Doc or Microsoft Word doc template file in HTML format.
  3. It replaces any “variables” you have included in your template file with data from your AppSheet data tables.
  4. It calls an HTML to PDF conversion web service to convert the HTML from step 3 into PDF.
  5. It retrieves the PDF from step 4 and either attaches it to the email, or saves it to a file, or both,

We will shortly begin upgrading the mechanism we use to convert HTML into PDF. You can get early access to this new PDF creation facility, if you wish. To do so, simply reply to this post and supply your AppSheet account id.

If you wish to try the new PDF creation facility, we suggest you use an AppSheet test account containing the applications you wish to test. We recommend this, because we enable the new PDF creation facility for an entire account. By using a test account, you can try the new PDF creation facility without affecting your existing applications.

11 Likes

Oh, I’m down to try it. I’ve been holding off because I can’t generate what I want yet.
ID: 1058995

Please sign us up.
steadglobal.com entire domain.
grantstead@steadglobal.com (GOOGLE) Account ID: 297211

@Phil would it be easy to also convert HTML to an image? We’re currently using https://htmlcsstoimage.com/ to create dynamic gantt charts, and other fun things like XY maps with multiple pins marked on them… Just a thought :slight_smile: We’re playing with this more and more to include these images into reports… But also to display directly in the app.

Also curious, if an app is shared with us as a co-author will it apply to those apps as well?

1 Like

So All our currant PDFs and crazy insane templates won’t be affected when this rolls out right?

This is good news to me. The more Google can replace 3rd party dependencies for in-house solutions, the more stable the entire platform will be.

Hopefully this upgrade will enable page headers, footers, and numbering with it!

But even if it is identical in features it will likely be a lot more stable, in the long run. The AppSheet <-> PDF Rocket integration has had a few outages this year alone.


I wish I had time to signup and test. Thank you to those that are assisting with these efforts!!

4 Likes

Hi @Phil
Sounds like you will give an end to Mandrill shortly.
I wish to get onboard for testing. ID : 473552

Than you.

I’d like to test.
ID: 546920

Me too please… 1425098… :slight_smile:

Happy to test this out also :slight_smile:

I´ll be happy to test this.
ID 1801016

Thanks!

Thanks @Phil ! It has taken me a lot of time to investigate how to set the previous way of file saving. Surely this new way its more efficient and I would like to know how to do it.

ID: 1374727

Thanks in advance!

1 Like

Hi Green Flux,

Unfortunately, no change with respect to page headers, footers, and numbering.
We are hoping for higher availability and more stability.

2 Likes

Yes, Mandrill will be replaced soon also.

3 Likes

Hi Guillermo,

This is intended to be a plug compatible replacement for the existing HTML to PDF conversion step list in my original post as step 4. The intention is that your templates will continue to work as before with no changes.

The HTML to PDF conversion process is relatively complex so testing may reveal problems. We are enlisting your help to find those problems early and make the transition smoother for those that follow.

4 Likes

Hey, @Phil, is there anyway for us to tell within the editor or anything if/when its been rolled out to us?

Perfect @Phil Just let me know when I am able to test it and I will do it!

Thanks!

Sounds nice and better choice! No more downtime in service.

In the meantime I noticed recently that mutuale column in google docs is not working. For incetance, we generate report template with two column for the part of the body.
Workflow would work but the output PDF is turned to be single column meaning the outline of template is broken up. Hope new service will be bringing a fix to manage multiple column template as well.

1 Like

This is great!, I would be happy to test, I opened a topic about this last year! I hope this would be feasible now :smile:

I’m happy to test also

160816 & 184800

We hope to get started with testing early next week, right after the Labor Day holiday here in the US.

2 Likes