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Send PDF to fax

Is it possible to have the workflow send a PDF to a fax machine, by chance? (I currently don’t have access to my work station so forgive me if this is an easily answered question.)

It needs to be a PDF/VT, so that the Fax connector will know how to extract the Recipient’s information.

Refer to http://help.objectiflune.com/en/planetpress-connect-user-guide/2018.1/#designer/Output/Print/Generating_Fax_output.htm?Highlight=fax for more information.

@Phil - The method described in the link appears to require the PDF to be run through a Connect template to add recipient information. If I’ve got a PDF and a corresponding XML file with the recipient information is there an easier way to generate the PDF/VT to PlanetPress Fax?

I see there’s a separate plug-in called Create PDF/VT that may take in a native PDF without having to create the Connect template first. Would I first need to create metadata on the PDF and then insert the recipient information in the metadata prior to running through this task?

One reason I’d like to avoid the Connect template route is the PDFs often have A4 and Letter size pages mixed. I’d rather have the downstream fax system handle the paper size issue. I’d prefer to just pickup the PDF, insert the recipient metadata and create output that PlanetPress Fax can properly send to the fax system.

Thanks!

Actually, now that Workflow’s Execute Data Mapping task has the option of bypassing content creation, you can tick that option and simply forget about creating a template: your original pdf will be used without having to map it onto a template.

So the Workflow process will be:

  • Execute Data Mapping
    • Make sure your DM config extracts the FaxNumber and Faxinfo values for the document
    • Tick the Bypass content creation option
    • Set the Output Type to Output IDs in Metadata
  • Job Creation
    • Make sure to create both FaxNumber and FaxOption metadata tags at the Document level, and set them to the corresponding fields from your DM Config
  • Create Output
    • Make sure your Output Preset is set to output PDF/VT
    • In the Output management section, tick the Through Workflow option
  • Fax Connector
    • Set the document to None to run in passthrough mode.

Thanks @Phil , this was a huge help in putting this all together!

I’m starting with PDF and a separate XML file that contains the fax number, fax info and PDF filename data.

Here’s how I was able to get it all to work as of version 2021.1

  • Input task
    Capture XML file
  • Set Job Infos task
    Set workflow variable “FaxNumber” to value from XML
    Set workflow variable “FaxInfo” to value from XML
  • Load external file task
    Load PDF from filename value in XML
  • Change Emulation
    Switch to PDF emulation
  • Data Mapping config
    Added FaxNumber parameter
    Added FaxInfo parameter
    In extraction step created a FaxNumber field and set value to automation.parameters.FaxNumber
    In extraction step created a FaxInfo field and set value to automation.parameters.FaxInfo
  • Execute Data Mapping task
    Select my DM config from above
    Check Bypass content creation
    Set Output Type to Output IDs in Metadata
    In runtime parameters set FaxNumber and FaxInfo values to workflow variables
  • Job Creation Settings
    No parameters
    In Document Tags tab add FaxNumber tag with source type as Field and source FaxNumber
    In Document Tags tab add FaxInfo tag with source type as Field and source FaxInfo
  • Create Job task
    Select my job preset from above
    Check Unselect unused Content items in Metadata
    No runtime parameters
  • Output Creation settings
    Set PDF VT as type
    Accept all other defaults
  • Create Output task
    Select my output preset from above
    Select output through Workflow
  • PlanetPress Fax task
    Select None for document passthrough

This process works correctly for faxing out the PDF.

One thing odd is that when running in debug I’m not seeing the FaxNumber or FaxInfo tags created at any level in the metadata file. I thought for sure I’d see them in the metadata file after the create job task, but they’re not at the Document level (or any other level). But once the document is sent to the PlanetPress Fax output it definitely uses the fax number and fax info.

Well that’s partly our fault because our naming convention is slightly confusing. The Workflow metadata and the Job metadata are 2 different beasts that do not share the same physical support. In other words, metadata tags you add to a job are not reflected back in the Workflow metadata.

In this instance, the Job’s metadata is embedded directly into the PDF/VT file, which is what allows PlanetPress Fax to know which fax number/info to use.