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Windward

Creating PODs

Overview

Create POD files in order to reuse items you have created in other templates, and to make updating them across multiple templates easier.  Once you create a POD file, you will need to follow the instructions to Load and Use the files.

What are PODs?

PODs are a way to save something you have created in Microsoft Office which can be reused later by a simple drag and drop. POD is a term specific to Windward products that defines group of items in a template as defined by the report designer. Portable Object Doclets (PODs) are snippets of Microsoft Word objects, and these are portable, meaning that they can be moved and used in other templates.​ The stored PODs of information can be helpful in a number of circumstances. 
 
PODs can be saved and used in any template and may contain
  • Windward Tags
  • Data source connections
  • Variables
  • Blocks of Text
  • Tables
  • Images and more.

Note: Creating PODs is typically done by you or your database administrator (DBA).   

 

When you create a POD, you're creating an XML file that defines all the tags and the associated data source connection information. You can create this file coding it by hand, but a faster and easier way is to use AutoTag's built-in functionality shown below. 

Video

In this video, we will walk you through how to create a POD in AutoTag.

Creating PODs Tutorial Video

Workflow

This section describes the general steps you need to take to successfully create a reusable POD file containing PODs.

 

  1. Create at least one data source POD.  This must be done first as all PODs have to be associated with the data source from which they will retrieve their information.  You need to create a data source POD for each data source that will be used in your template.
  2. Select sections to create PODS from a pre-existing template or a newly built template.  Once selected create a Standard POD from the Create PODs Ribbon icon. Repeat the process for as many PODs as needed.
  3. Save your POD file.
  4. Proceed to Loading PODs to load your newly created POD file(s). 
  5. Then go to Using PODs to start creating templates with your newly created PODs from your loaded POD file(s).

Instructions

Step 1 - Create the Datasource POD and POD File

Before you get carried away and start making all your doclet PODs, you need to make your data source POD first!

 

1. Open the Datasource POD window in the AutoTag Ribbon, and select Create PODs. Choose Datasource POD. The Create POD Datasource(s) window will appear.

Version 15.X and later Version 14.x and earlier
pods_1.png

 

 

2. The Create POD Datasource(s) window displays all the data sources that are connected to the specific template you are viewing.

 

You'll need to create a .RDLX version of your data source.

  • If your data source is a file on your machine, you can make a copy of the file and change the extension to .rdlx, then Browse to the location where you saved that file. 
  • If your data source isn't a file on your machine, the interface will complete that step for you -- you just need to browse to or insert the location that you want your file to be saved to. 

Example using SQL

In the images below, there are two data sources named MSSQL (a SQL database) and Southwind. To create a data source POD for connecting to MSSQL:

 

  1. Click MSSQL to highlight the data source in the left pane, then click Browse.
  2. In the dialog box, rename the file(e.g. POD_Example.rdlx). The default filename is "SampleDataSource.redlx"
  3. Choose a location to save the POD, and click Save. Note: All PODs are saved as .RDLX files.
  4. Close the dialog box.
  5. Click OK to close the Create POD Datasource(s) window.
Version 15.X and later Version 14.x and earlier
poddatasources.PNG

 

 

A pop up notification will appear on your screen (shown in the image below) confirming you have successfully created a data source POD.

 

Step 2 - Create a Doclet POD

Create a New Template or Open an Existing Template. For this example we will open the existing sample template Variable Invoice Sample - Template.docx.

 

1. Create the POD Doclet by selecting the area around the address block in the template.

 

 

2. Go to the Create POD icon in the AutoTag Manager Ribbon. This time select Standard POD to launch the Create POD Doclet window.

 

3. In the Create POD Doclet window:

Version 15.X and later Version 14.x and earlier
pods_6.png

A description of each of the properties in the Create POD Doclet Interface is detailed in the Advanced section below.

 

  1. Choose Selected for the doclet option in the left pane. We use this option because we have highlighted and selected several items in the template as opposed to the whole document or other elements.
  2. Assign the name "Address" to your POD under Pod name. 
  3. Next, click the dropdown menu for the Pod file (either browse or the dropdown) and pick "new" to make a new POD. This will bring up a screen to name and save your new POD file to a specific location.

IMPORTANT - make sure that you do not write over an existing POD file:

 

 

d. In the new window, select new and enter the filename POD_Example.rdlx for your POD filename, click Save.

 

  1. Back in the Create POD Doclet window, enter a description. In this example, we'll add the text "Address block including Company and Contact Name" in the Description field (which is optional). (See image for Step 2.4)
  2. Click OK to save the POD file.

 

Congratulations! You have created your first POD! 

To use your newly created PODs (Database POD from Step 1 and Address POD from Step 2), you will need to follow the instructions for Loading and Using PODs. 

 

 

 

 

More about the Create Pod Doclet Properties Interface

Version 15.X and later Version 14.x and earlier
pods_6.png
  • POD Type - defines the type of selection made in the template to be created as a POD
    • Selected - Creates a POD for the region you have highlighted before selecting Create PODs.
    • Tag on -  Creates a POD for the specific tag you have highlighted.
    • Paragraph on - Creates a POD for all selected items before the tags before the end of the paragraph (I.E. paragraph return character.)
    • Cell on/Table on - Creates a POD of a table or cell within the currently selected a table or cell.
    • Entire document - Creates a POD that will copy the entire document including all Windward tags.

 

  • POD name - The nickname for a POD. This will be used in the POD Bin.
  • POD file - The path and filename of the POD file used to store the created POD.  
    • Currently Loaded POD File - displays the path and name of the current POD file that is loaded.
    • Browse - Launches a browser window to navigate to an existing POD file.  The window only shows .RDLX files.
    • New - Launches a browser window allowing you to create a new POD filename.

 

  • Description (optional) - A description of the PODs contents or purpose to help users identify the PODs use.

 

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