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  • Manual Entry

Submitting Document Data via Database

Submitting document data via database lets you create multiple documents at once using the same template. This is useful if you need a large batch of documents created as a regular operation, such as producing monthly invoices for customers, or you need to produce a one off communication, such as notifying clients of an upcoming event in a letter.

To submit document data using a database, click on the template you want to use in your Workshop, then select the Upload a Database tab at the top. You will be presented with a form to upload your database for document creation.

Each document produced from a database of document data is charged to the billing group of the account making the request and costs the same number of credits as creating the document manually.

Database Structure Specification

The database you upload must be in a specific format for Creodocs to read it. Primarily, the database must be a *.tsv tab-delimited file where each column is an individual variable and each row contains the document data for a separate document. This structure means that each cell in the database contains the document data for a specific variable within a specific document, with tab characters separating variable content.

The first row (line) of the database must contain variable ID names for all variables in the template selected. Variable IDs are the internal identifiers for each variable and are not the friendly variable names seen in the manual entry form. For multi-groups where multiple sets of the same variables can be submitted per document, you can specify each set by entering the group's variable IDs next to each other multiple times. For example, VAR1 VAR2 VAR3 VAR1 VAR2 VAR3 can make up 6 columns of the database where these three variables are in a multi-group.

The table below is laid out in the format of an example database to illustrate the requirements written above. It uses the variables from the example letter template created in the Creating a Template section.

Cindy Kim Senior Property Manager Martin Jones 388 Pleasant Lane City, State July 21 at 1pm January 18 021 123 4567
Cindy Kim Senior Property Manager Rebecca Smith Apartment 221 5 West Street City, State July 22 at 10am January 11 021 123 4567
Cindy Kim Senior Property Manager Hinata Adachi Apartment 638 5 West Street City, State July 22 at 10:30am December 8 021 123 4567

Download the database above

Optional variables can be left blank in the database but must be present as columns. You can see this in the table above for the optional EXTRANOTES variable where all three document rows have no data for this variable.

Multi-group variable sets that are required can be left blank, but only if at least one set has been entered for the row. This is because other rows in the database have content, so additional columns are required to accomodate it. An example of this is the multi-group containing the required TENANTADDR variable in the table above, which is present as 3 sets (columns) because the second and third rows have 3 sets for this variable each. However, the first row only has 2 sets of data for this variable and the third set is blank. The general rule is that all empty sets for multi-groups will be ignored in databases, but otherwise normal rules apply.

Variable data in your database must adhere to the corresponding variable types and lengths. This means data entered for a variable that only accepts boolean data can only have values of 'true' or 'false', a variable that only accepts integer data can only have values of whole numbers and so on. Maximum lengths of variables must also be respected.

Downloading an Automatically Generated Empty Database

To make the process of creating a database easier, you can download an automatically generated database file for every template. To do this, click on the template you want to use in your Workshop, then select the Upload a Database tab at the top. You will find a link to download a database template on the resulting page which will provide you a TSV file ready for populating with document content.

The first row of the database template file contains all the variable IDs in the document template in the required format. The second row contains an indication of whether each variable is required (must have content entered for it), to aid you in entering your document content on subsequent rows. This second row should be removed before submitting your database.

Multi-grouped variables are output 3 times side by side in the example database template. This is to indicate how to submit multiple sets only, you can increase or decrease the number of sets for each group as required.

Downloading Documents Produced Using a Database

Documents produced using a database are downloaded the same way as those produced using the manual entry form. The key difference is that the download itself will be a zip file containing all the documents produced instead of a single PDF file.