ProcessMaker 4.2
ProcessMaker API Documentation
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Deprecation Notices
PDF Generator Connector
Automatically generate PDFs of Display-type Screens in a Process.

Overview

The PDF Generator connector is part of the PDF Generator package that can automatically generate PDFs of Display-type Screens during Requests. Use the PDF Generator connector in your Process models when you want to provide a printable copy of a Display-type Screen, such as for Request summaries or purchase order receipts.
When the PDF Generator connector successfully generates the PDF during an in-progress Request, the PDF output can be downloaded from the Files tab in its Request summary. The PDF Generator by default names the PDF output the same as the Screen from which the PDF was generated unless the name is configured via text or by referencing a Request variable using mustache syntax. If the PDF Generator successfully generates the PDF, the PDF output remains available from that Request's summary regardless of that Request's status.
Test the PDF Generator connector output prior to production use. The third-party PDF library that this connector uses is limited in scope. Ensure that the output presents as you intend.

Package and Permissions Required

The PDF Generator package must be installed to use the the PDF Generator connector.
Furthermore, your user account or group membership must have the following permissions to configure a PDF Generator connector to the Process model unless your user account has the Make this user a Super Admin setting selected:
  • Processes: Edit Processes
  • Processes: View Processes
See the Process permissions or ask your Administrator for assistance.

Add a PDF Generator Connector to the Process Model

Follow these steps to add a PDF Generator connector to the Process model:
  1. 1.
    View your Processes. The Processes page displays.
  2. 2.
    Create a new Process or click the Open Modeler icon
    to edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.
  3. 3.
    Locate the PDF Generator connector in the Elements and Connectors palette that is to the left of the Process Modeler canvas. If the Hide Menus button
    is enabled, the Elements and Connectors palette displays the PDF Generator connector's icon
    .
  4. 4.
    Drag the connector into the Process model canvas where you want to place it. If a Pool element is in your Process model, the PDF Generator connector cannot be placed outside of the Pool element.
PDF Generator connector
After adding the PDF Generator connector, consider adding the following Boundary-type Process model elements to design business solutions when your best-case scenarios don't happen:
After the connector is placed into the Process model, you may adjust its location in the following ways:
Moving a PDF Generator connector has the following limitations in regards to the following Process model elements:
  • Pool element: If the PDF Generator connector is inside of a Pool element, it cannot be moved outside of the Pool element. If you attempt to do so, Process Modeler places the PDF Generator connector inside the Pool element closest to where you attempt to move it.
  • Lane element: If the PDF Generator connector is inside of a Lane element, it can be moved to another Lane element in the same Pool element. However, the PDF Generator connector cannot be moved outside of the Pool element.

Customize the Appearance of a PDF Generator Connector

Customize the PDF Generator connector's appearance in the following ways:
After a PDF Generator connector is added to a Process model, optionally customize these aspects of its appearance. Each PDF Generator connector's appearance may only be changed individually.

Change a PDF Generator Connector's Color

The PDF Generator connector and label are black-colored by default. After a PDF Generator connector is added to a Process model, its shape and label color can be changed. Element and connector colors may only be changed individually.
Follow these steps to change the color and label for a PDF Generator connector:
  1. 1.
    View your Processes. The Processes page displays.
  2. 2.
    Click the Open Modeler icon
    to edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.
  3. 3.
    Select the PDF Generator connector to change its color. Available options display above the selected connector.
  4. 4.
    Click the Open Color Palette icon
    . The color palette displays.
  5. 5.
    Do one of the following to change the color:
    • Select a color swatch: Select one of the color swatches from the color palette. The PDF Generator connector and label change to that color.
    • Specify a custom color: Click the
      icon to display the color selector, and then select a color, enter the Hex color code, or enter the red, green, blue, and alpha color values for the custom color. The PDF Generator connector and label change to that color.
    • Reset to the default color: Click the
      icon to reset the PDF Generator connector and label to its default color.

Change a PDF Generator Connector's Icon

PDF Generator connectors display the
icon in the shape by default.
Follow these steps to change the icon for a PDF Generator connector:
  1. 1.
    View your Processes. The Processes page displays.
  2. 2.
    Click the Open Modeler icon
    to edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.
  3. 3.
    Select the PDF Generator connector to customize. Available options display above the selected connector.
  4. 4.
    Click the Open Color Palette icon
    . The color palette displays.
  5. 5.
    Click the
    icon. The Select a custom icon screen displays.
  6. 6.
    From the Search drop-down menu, select the icon to display. The PDF Generator connector's icon changes to the selected icon.
  7. 7.
    Click OK.
To reset the PDF Generator connector to its default icon, click the Reset to Default button from the Select a custom icon screen.

Copy a PDF Generator Connector

Copying a PDF Generator connector copies the original along with its current settings, making it easier and faster to continue designing without adding default elements or connectors with their default settings.
The copied PDF Generator connector displays below the original. Any Sequence Flow and/or Message Flow elements incoming to or outgoing from the original are not copied.
Follow these steps to copy a PDF Generator connector in your Process model:
  1. 1.
    View your Processes. The Processes page displays.
  2. 2.
    Click the Open Modeler icon
    to edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.
  3. 3.
    Select the PDF Generator connector to copy. Available options display above the selected connector.
  4. 4.
    Click the Copy Element icon
    . The Process model connector copies.

Delete a PDF Generator Connector

Deleting a Process model connector also deletes any Sequence Flow and/or Message Flow elements incoming to or outgoing from that element. For example, if a Process model connector is deleted that has both incoming and outgoing Sequence Flow elements, the Sequence Flow elements must be reconnected for the remaining elements/connectors.
Follow these steps to delete a PDF Generator connector from your Process model:
  1. 1.
    View your Processes. The Processes page displays.
  2. 2.
    Click the Open Modeler icon
    to edit the selected Process model. Process Modeler displays.
  3. 3.
    Select the PDF Generator connector to delete. Available options display above the selected connector.
  4. 4.
    Click the Delete icon
    . The Process model connector deletes.

Settings

The PDF Generator connector has the following panels that contain settings:

Configuration Panel Settings

Edit the Connector Name

Follow these steps to edit a PDF Generator connector's name:
  1. 1.
    Select the PDF Generator connector from the Process model in which to configure its settings. Panels to configure this connector display.
  2. 2.
    Expand the Configuration panel if it is not presently expanded. The Name setting displays. This is a required setting.
  3. 3.
    In the Name setting, edit the selected connector's name and then press Enter.

Enter the File Name for the Generated PDF

Enter the file name for the PDF that a PDF Generator connector generates. Optionally use mustache syntax to reference a Request variable as the PDF's file name. Using a Request variable to determine the PDF file name allows one PDF Generator connector to generate multiple iterations of a Display-type Screen in a loop without each PDF named identically.
If this setting does not have a value, then by default the PDF Generator connector uses the Screen's name as the PDF file name.
Follow these steps to enter the file name for the PDF that a PDF Generator connector generates:
  1. 1.
    Select the PDF Generator connector from the Process model in which to configure its settings. Panels to configure this connector display.
  2. 2.
    Expand the Configuration panel if it is not presently expanded, and then locate the PDF File Name setting.
  3. 3.
    In the PDF File Name setting enter the text for the file name or use mustache syntax to reference a Request variable for the file name. Use characters that Windows operating systems support.

Select the ProcessMaker Screen from Which to Generate a PDF

Follow these steps to select from which Display-type Screen to generate a PDF:
  1. 1.
    Select the PDF Generator connector from the Process model in which to configure its settings. Panels to configure this connector display.
  2. 2.
    Expand the Configuration panel if it is not presently expanded, and then locate the Select a Display Screen setting.
  3. 3.
    From the Select a Display Screen drop-down menu, select which Screen to generate a PDF. Only Display-type Screens display from this setting.
Test the PDF Generator connector output prior to production use. The third-party PDF library that this connector uses is limited in scope. Ensure that the output presents as you intend.

Loop Characteristics Panel Settings

Specify Characteristics to Perform Multiple Instances of the Task

Use the Loop Characteristics panel settings to specify how to perform multiple instances of this element. The following loop modes are available for this element:
  • No Loop Mode: Select the No Loop Mode option to perform this element's Task only once.
  • Loop: Select the Loop option to sequentially repeat this element's Task multiple times until an exit condition is True. This is useful when a Task should be performed multiple times with the same set of data, such as, processing a credit card payment. This loop mode has the following characteristics:
    • The element's Task is repeated until the exit condition is True or the maximum iterations limit is reached.
    • At any given time, only one instance of the Task is active. The subsequent instance does not begin until the current instance completes.
    • The same exit condition evaluates at the end of each instance; however, value(s) of the Request variable(s) used in the exit condition can change during an instance resulting in the exit condition to eventually evaluate as True.
    • If any one instance of that Task does not complete, workflow pauses.
    • All active instances are terminated if an interrupting boundary-type event element triggers.
    • An element configured in this mode shows the Loop icon
      in Process Modeler.
  • Multi-instance (Parallel): Select the Multi-instance (Parallel) option to perform this element's Task multiple times in parallel a fixed number of times. This is useful when performing any action in bulk, such as sending an email to several people. This loop mode has the following characteristics:
    • Instances of the Task are governed by the size of an array-type Request variable where a new instance is created for each item in this variable. For example, an array with 10 items will create 10 parallel instances of this Task that each contains data from its respective array index.
    • All instances begin simultaneously when this element triggers; however, they perform their Task independently of each other.
    • The Task as a whole completes when all instances are complete.
    • The output from each instance can either be saved in the source Request variable or a new array-type Request variable.
    • All active instances terminate if an interrupting boundary-type event element triggers.
    • An element configured in this mode shows the Multi-instance (Parallel) icon
      in Process Modeler.
  • Multi-instance (Sequential): Select the Multi-instance (Sequential) option to perform this element's Task multiple times sequentially a fixed number of times or until an exit condition is True. This is useful when sequentially repeating a Task multiple times but with a different set of data each time. This loop mode has the following characteristics:
    • Instances of the Task are governed by the size an array-type Request variable where a new instance is created for each item in this variable. For example, an array with 10 items will create 10 parallel instances of this Task that each contains data from its respect array index.
    • At any given time, only one instance of the Task is active. The subsequent instance does not begin until the current instance completes.
    • At the end of each instance an exit condition evaluates and the loop activity halts if the exit condition is True.
    • The Task as a whole completes when all instances are complete.
    • The output from each instance can either be saved in the source Request variable or a new array-type Request variable.
    • All active instances terminate if an interrupting boundary-type event element triggers.
    • An element configured in this mode shows the Multi-instance (Sequential) icon
      in Process Modeler.
‌Follow these steps to specify characteristics to perform multiple instances of the Task:‌
  1. 1.
    Select the element from the Process model in which to specify multiple instance characteristics. Panels to configure this element display.
  2. 2.
    Expand the Loop Characteristics panel. The Loop Characteristics setting displays. By default, Loop Activity is set to No Loop Mode and the Task is performed only once.
  3. 3.
    From the Loop Mode setting, select one of the following options to perform this element's Task more than once.
    • Loop: Select the Loop option. The settings for this loop mode display:
      Follow these steps:
      1. 1.
        In the Maximum Iterations setting, enter an integer value representing the maximum number of times this Task should be performed.
      2. 2.
        In the Exit Condition setting, enter a condition in FEEL syntax. When this condition is True the loop activity is halted.
    • Multi-instance (Parallel): Select the Multi-instance (Parallel) option. The settings for this loop mode display:
      Follow these steps:
      1. 1.
        In the Request Variable Array setting, enter the name of an array-type Request Variable. The size of this array will determine how many times this loop iterates.
      2. 2.
        In the Output Data Variable setting, enter the name of an array-type Request variable in which to store the results of all instances. Each instance of the loop saves to a separate JSON object within the array of the specified Request variable. If the Output Data Variable setting is not configured, then the output data replaces the source data in the Request Variable Array.
    • Multi-instance (Sequential): Select the Multi-instance (Sequential) option. The settings for this loop mode display:
      Follow these steps:
      1. 1.
        In the Request Variable Array setting, enter the name of an array-type Request Variable. The size of this array will determine how many times this loop iterates.
      2. 2.
        In the Exit Condition setting, enter a condition in FEEL syntax. When this condition is True the loop activity is halted.
      3. 3.
        In the Output Data Variable setting, enter the name of an array-type Request variable in which to store the results of all instances. Each instance of the loop saves to a separate JSON object within the array of the specified Request variable. If the Output Data Variable setting is not configured, then the output data replaces the source data in the Request Variable Array.

Documentation Panel Settings

Edit the Connector's Description Displayed in Process Documentation

If the Documentation package is installed, describe the connector's purpose and how it functions in the Process. This description does not affect Requests for the Process, but may be useful for Process model maintenance such as how the connector is configured. Edit information by using the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) rich text editor.
A Process's entered documentation displays by selecting the View Documentation icon for that Process.

Package Required

The Documentation package must be installed to view or edit the documentation for a Process element or connector. Use the Documentation package to view documentation for Processes that includes an image of the Process map and entered description of its elements and connectors.
Follow these steps to edit the description for a connector:
  1. 1.
    Select the connector from the Process model in which to edit its description. Panels to configure this connector display.
  2. 2.
    Expand the Documentation panel if it is not presently expanded. The Description setting displays.
  3. 3.
    In the Description setting, edit the information to display when viewing documentation for this connector and then press Enter. Alternatively, use the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) rich text editor to stylize your text by clicking the More icon
    .
    Follow these guidelines to use the WYSIWYG rich text editor to stylize your text:
    • Undo changes: Click on the
      icon to undo the last action.
    • Redo changes: Click on the
      icon to redo the last undone action.
    • Insert/Edit Link: Click on the
      icon to convert the selected text into a hyperlink. Follow these steps to create a hyperlink:
      1. 1.
        Select the required text from the Rich Text control.
      2. 2.
        Click on the
        icon. The Insert/Edit Link screen displays.
      3. 3.
        In the URL setting, enter the destination URL.
      4. 4.
        In the Text to display setting, edit or enter the text displayed in the Rich Text control.
      5. 5.
        In the Title setting, enter the text to display when a user hovers over the displayed text.
      6. 6.
        From Open link in… drop-down menu, select one of these options:
        • New window: Select this option to open the destination page in a new browser window.
        • Current window: Select this option to open the destination page in the current browser window.
    • Insert/Edit Image: Click on the Insert/Edit Image icon
      to insert an image. Follow these guidelines:
      1. 1.
        Click on the Insert/Edit Image icon
        .
      2. 2.
        The Insert/Edit Image screen displays:
      3. 3.
        In the Source setting, enter a URL for the image.
      4. 4.
        In the Alternative Description setting, enter the text to display if the source URL of the image is not accessible.
      5. 5.
        In the Width setting, enter the maximum width for the image.
      6. 6.
        In the Height setting, enter the maximum height for the image.
      7. 7.
        Toggle the Constrain Proportions icon
        to maintain the width-height ratio of the image to its original proportion.
      8. 8.
        Click Save.
    • Insert Page Break for PDF: Click on the Insert Page Break for PDF icon
      to insert a page break when a PDF document is created for this documentation if your browser supports this feature.
    • Format text: Follow these guidelines to format text:
      • Headings: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Headings and then select a heading size.
      • Bold: Do one of the following:
        • From the editor toolbar, select the
          icon.
        • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Bold.
      • Italics: Do one of the following:
        • From the editor toolbar, select the
          icon.
        • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Italic.
      • Underline: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Underline.
      • Strikethrough: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Strikethrough.
      • Superscript: From the Paragraph/ Formats menu, select Inline and then Superscript.
      • Subscript: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Subscript.
      • Code: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Inline and then Code.
      • Paragraph: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Blocks and then Paragraph.
      • Blockquote: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Blocks and then Blockquote.
      • Division: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Blocks and then Div.
      • Preformatted: From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Blocks and then Pre.
      • Change text color: Use the Text Color drop-down to change text color. Click on the
        icon. The color palette displays. Do one of the following:
        • Select one of the color swatches from the color palette. The selected text changes to that color.
          • Click the
            icon to select a custom color from the Color Picker.
          • Click the
            icon to reset the text to its default color.
      • Align text: Follow these guidelines to align text:
        • Left align: Do one of the following:
          • From the editor toolbar, use the
            icon to left-align text.
          • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Align and then Left.
        • Center align: Do one of the following:
          • From the editor toolbar, use the
            icon to center-align text.
          • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Align and then Center.
        • Right align: Do one of the following:
          • From the editor toolbar, use the
            icon to right-align text.
          • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Align and then Right.
        • Justify: Do one of the following:
          • From the editor toolbar, use the
            icon to justify text.
          • From the Paragraph/Formats menu, select Align and then Justify.
      • Insert a bullet list: Use the
        icon to format text as a bulleted list.
      • Insert a numbered list: Use the
        icon to format text as a numbered list.
      • Indent text: Click on the
        icon to increase text indenting.
      • Outdent text: Click on the
        icon to decrease text indenting.

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