Generating PDF PostOffice Output
Before you can start generating PDF documents with PostOffice, you must enable PDF PostOffice processing in Elliott and designate eligible recipients for the emailed PDF documents. The procedures to do that are documented in the Knowledge Base article, Feature: PDF PostOffice in Elliott V8.2, Part 1, which also provides an overview of PDF PostOffice capabilities.
This article describes the steps necessary to send a business document to PDF PostOffice recipients.
By default, once PDF PostOffice has been set up globally, all Elliott users have the ability to generate PDF PostOffice emails of their own design for PostOffice-enabled reports:
- Invoices (normal, duplicates from history and pickup)
- Purchase Orders
- A/R Statements
- Order Acknowledgements (Laser Form Option)
- Order Quotes (Laser Form Option)
- RMA Acknowledgements (Laser Form Option)
The nature of PDF PostOffice printing is that a potentially large volume of individual emails can be generated. Of course, you will want to make sure the email content is correct and the recipient email addresses are correct before you process a live PDF PostOffice. To help facilitate that, we have specified a global switch and a global testing email address that you can use during testing so that all your PDF PostOffice emails will go to a test email address instead of to live customers and vendors. We recommend you use the global testing switch and testing email address until you are certain that the emails are correctly formatted and sent to the appropriate recipients:
- Make sure no users are in the system trying to send out any PDF PostOffice documents.
- Go to Utilities/Global Setup/PDF PostOffice and set filed 13 to Y and enter a test email address, probably your own, in field 14.
- Start the task that will use PDF PostOffice and prepare the fields.
- Place some text in the body of the email, such as "(would be sent to $ContactEmail$)", so that you can see the normal email address of the recipient.
- Run your tests until you get the desired results.
- Go to Utilities/Global Setup/PDF PostOffice and enter N to field 13.
- Now all PDF PostOffice documents will go to your real customers and vendors.
Selecting with PostOffice
First, login to Elliott as "SUPERVISOR." Then go to any task that is eligible for PDF PostOffice printing -- for example Order Entry, print-order-Quote, Laser form -- and fill out the parameters for the report. When you press Enter at the bottom, the Report Output Options dialog will be presented. If a report is eligible for PDF PostOffice processing, you will see a checkbox labeled with PostOffice. First, select the Disk or Email tab to enable the Print to PDF checkbox. Select the Print to PDF checkbox to enable the with PostOffice checkbox. Then select the with PostOffice checkbox:
Selecting with PostOffice does several things:
- It selects the Printer checkbox on the Printer tab. PDF PostOffice processing requires at least one printer destination because if a document has no eligible contact to receive it and no available fax to send, it gets printed to the number 1 printer instead. If more printers are selected, they will receive all the normal second, third, etc., printed copies.
- It deselects the Screen checkbox and disables the Screen tab. This is because printing a single document on the screen is inconsistent with emailing multiple documents.
- You can optionally print PostOffice documents to disk and it can be a valuable auditing tool. If the Disk checkbox is selected and the Description field is blank, a default description is provided. There could be many PDF files created on disk when a PDF PostOffice report is run, and the default description, using PostOffice variables, helps identify each PDF document individually.
- It deselects the Defer checkbox and disables the Defer tab. PDF PostOffice is not available for deferred processing. This is because the system needs to print to a physical printer when email and fax are not possible, and the defer process does not support printing to a physical printer directly.
- It selects the Email checkbox on the Email tab and, for many fields on the email tab, default values are provided when the field is blank. It also disable the To: field and its browse button.
- Notice the first red box. The default value for the From field comes from the global PDF PostOffice setup field number 11. You could change it here, perhaps to something like $SalesmanEmail$, to make the email come from the assigned salesperson (field "8. E-Mail" in salesman file maintenance). You may also leave this field blank so that the sending user's email address will be used here.
- The second red box, the To field, contains the PostOffice variable $ContactEmail$. This variable is required and the field is disabled. During printing, the $ContactEmail$ variable becomes the recipient contact's email address. You may add additional email addresses in the cc, or the bcc field if desired (e.g., for auditing purposes).
- Many of the remaining fields have default values with one or more PostOffice variables, which start and end with the dollar sign ($). Before each email is sent, the actual value of the variable is replaced. When there is no actual value, the variable is replaced with a single space.
- The third red box, next to the Attach... button, is a new field that allows you to attach an additional file to the email. This could, for example, be some boilerplate terms and conditions.
Using PDF PostOffice Variables
The fields on the Email and Disk tabs may contain PDF PostOffice variables. These are a predefined collection of names that vary by printing task. For example, if you want to place the order number from the quote in the body of the text, you can position the cursor somewhere in the body of the text and type $OrdNo$ -- the case of the variable is not important. When the email is generated, the variable, $OrdNo$, will be replaced in the text with its value.
If you position the cursor within a field and press the right mouse button, you will get a context menu showing all the available variables for the report you are printing. Select one of the variables, and it will be placed in the text, surrounded by two $ characters:
Note that additional variables may be added to this list over time.
Support for Collectors
A newer feature of Elliott is limited support for Collectors. That feature is discussed here:
If you use this collector feature, that means the collector in customer file will be validated against the salesman table. The following additional variables will be supported in PDF PostOffice:
- $Collector$, the name of the collector associated with the Customer
- $CollectorEmail$, which can be specified in the From: field if desired.
Once you have tested the report and you see that the variables are all working, emails are being sent to the correct destinations, etc., you should enforce these settings for all your users. Otherwise, each user, when printing the business document (e.g., an invoice), will have the option to override the print options and possibly not email or fax the PDF documents to customers or vendors. This will create inconsistent results and is not desirable.
To ensure that PDF PostOffice works consistently for all users, select the Destination enforced checkbox on the Email tab. If you have chosen to also write the PDF documents to disk, you may select the Destination enforced checkbox on the Disk tab so users cannot turn off the enforcement of auditing. Press Go to run the report again and save the enforcements. During the printing of the PDF PostOffice document, the enforced tab will appear as grayed out and user will not be able to override the contents on that tab.
While it is important to enforce the PDF PostOffice options for all users, in some situations you may wish to allow certain users to override the enforcement. For example, a user claims he did not receive the email invoice and requests to receive a hard copy instead. You may easily print a duplicate invoice from the invoice history in Elliott. However, due to the PDF PostOffice enforcement, that will email the invoice through PDF PostOffice once again. Therefore, you should consider giving people like accounting managers the right to override the enforcement. You can do so by going to Password Setup -> Global Security -> User Global Security. In Screen 6, answer "Y" to the following flag:
15. Allow Override Print Option Enforcement Rule?
See example below.
Note that allowing a user to override the enforcement also overrides any restriction on the user's ability to email PDF PostOffice reports.
Type of PDF PostOffice DocumentsWe support the following business documents with PDF PostOffice:
InvoicesThere are two type of invoices - a regular invoice or an invoice history invoice:
(1) The regular invoice based on order - The regular invoice can be printed by going to COP -> Processing -> Print Invoice, or COP -> Processing -> Print One Invoice, or can be printed immediately via the order entry, sales desk, shipping verification and shipment confirmation process.
(2) Based on invoice history - You can print this type of invoice by going to COP -> Processing -> Print Duplicate Invoice.
Before Elliott V8.2, both type of invoices are implemented with task CPINVPRT. Starting with V8.2, we implement the regular invoice with task CPINVPRT and invoice history invoice with CPINVPRH. This allows user to individually turn on PDF PostOffice invoice printing functions. If you enable the PDF PostOffice Invoice feature, you need to decide whether to enable one of these types of invoices or both of them.
Some do not want to send an invoice PDF as soon as the invoice is printed because they prefer to have the ability to void the invoice before posting. In that case, do not implement the PDF PostOffice invoice feature task CPINVPRT. Instead, implement the task CPINVPRH. So the day after the invoice is posted and someone chooses the "Print Duplicate Invoice" option, the invoice from the previous day will be printed. If this is useful for you, you should implement the PDF PostOffice invoice feature for the task CPINVPRH only.
We also support a DYO Invoice with PDF PostOffice. However, with a DYO invoice, regardless of whether it is a regular invoice or a printed duplicate invoice from invoice history, the system uses the same task -- XCP0106 -- so you don't have the option of regular invoice above.
Purchase OrdersYou can print a PDF PostOffice Purchase Order by going to PO -> Processing -> Print Purchase Order. We support regular PO printing (task name POINVPRT) as well as DYO PO printing (task name XPO0106).
A/R StatementsYou can print a PDF PostOffice A/R Statement by going to AR -> Processing -> Print Statement (task name ARSTMNTS).
Order AcknowledgementsYou can print a PDF PostOffice Order Acknowledgement by going to COP -> Processing -> Order Entry -> Print-Order-Ack -> Laser Form. We support regular Order Acknowledgements (task name CPORDPRT) as well as DYO Orders (task name XCO0106)
Order QuotesYou can print a PDF PostOffice Order Quote by going to COP -> Processing -> Order Entry -> Print-Order-Quote -> Laser Form. We support regular Order Acknowledgements (task name CPQUOPRT) as well as DYO Orders (task name XCO0106)
RMA AcknowledgementsYou can print a PDF PostOffice RMA Acknowledgement by going to COP -> Reports -> Print RMA Acknowledgement -> Print RMA Ack -> Laser Form (task name CPRMAPRT).
We do not include a WYSIWYG editor for HTML. However, you may design an HTML file with another tool, copy the text of the HTML into the clipboard and paste it into the body of the email message. Then, if you send email using an SMTP server, it will be sent as a rendered HTML message. Note that we do not support HTML when you use MAPI instead of SMTP.
In the example below, we have copied proper HTML text into the body of the email. Now, when you position the cursor somewhere in the body and press the right mouse button, you will see an additional context menu, Preview HTML. If you select that, the HTML text will be sent to your default HTML application, allowing you to see how it would look (without replacing the PostOffice variables).
Notice the red box in the image below. The body of the text has a limit of 65,000 characters. This area displays the number of characters used and the total allowed. You will not be able to enter more than 65,000 characters in this field.