Creating PDF documents from Lotus Notes

iText is a free JAR file that uses Java code to create PDF files on the fly from a back-end Lotus Notes database.

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I had to convert purchase order invoices to PDF documents from a Lotus Notes database. However, my company did not want to buy a third-party product to do this.

After some Web searching, I found iText -- a free JAR file that gives you the needed code in Java to create PDF files on the back end.

You do not need to buy any additional software for this to work. If you have Lotus Notes R6 or above (it may work in R5, I am not sure) and know how to develop in Java, the iText JAR file works great.

Here is one method of doing this. I am sure I could have done it easier but this works.

MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS TIP

I find it difficult to read and understand this code. It would help if the author could attach comments where he is calling different methods. It would be much easier for us to understand what he intends with each specific line of code.
—Md S.

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Here is a smaller, simplified code that does the same thing as the above, just with different data. I hope it helps out anyone who is having trouble with my code.
—Michael Marcavage, tip author

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When trying to save and compile the above code, I receive the following error: "createPOPDFAgent.Java:11:Package com.lowagie.text not found in import." Could you help me find a solution to this?
—Yoseph M.

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The error message above indicates that the user did not put the iText jar file in the classpath, nor did they put the iText jar file into the agent. If the user does either one, that should fix the problem.

I would recommend putting the iText jar into the agent since it is easier to deal with. To do this -- while in the Java agent -- click on 'Edit Project,' which is located on the lower left. A window will pop up (on the left side) and you need to tell it where the jar file is. Once you find it, click the 'Add/Replace File(s)' button to add it to the right side, then click 'OK.' Once that is done, try to recompile the agent. This should fix the button.
—Michael Marcavage, tip author

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I believe you can also accomplish this by just using OpenOffice. Simply export your Lotus Notes data to an OpenOffice document, like you would have done with a Microsoft Word document. OpenOffice has the functionality to save these as PDF documents.
—Jannie M.

Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.

This tip was submitted to the SearchDomino.com tip library by member Michael Marcavage. Please let others know how useful it is via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Lotus Notes, Domino, Workplace or WebSphere tip or code snippet to share? Submit it to our monthly tip contest and you could win a prize.

This was first published in April 2006

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