Friday, 13 June 2008

ETEXT Templates for Check Printing - Part 1

There has been a few questions on the BI Publisher OTN forums recently around creating cheque (check) print files in ASCII format:

This is because many 3rd party cheque printing solutions (e.g. Bottomline / Paybase) only require an ASCII file of cheque data. The 3rd party software then takes care of the layout of the cheque, signatures and security markings etc.

Unfortunately for us, the Oracle Payments team have only delivered BIP cheque printing templates in RTF format.

If you try and set the output type to TEXT for these, the resulting file will be full of pesky control characters and other such symbols.

Trust me, however hard you try... your standalone check printer is going to spit this file out!

Don't panic!!! There is a solution - ETEXT templates.

ETEXT templates were originally developed for creating fixed position or delimited format Text files for EFT and EDI transmission.

However, their uses should NOT be limited to EFT and EDI.

WHENEVER you need to generate a fixed or delimited text file from an XML Publisher data source, think 'ETEXT'.

You define the structure, format and logic of your TEXT file in RTF format (i.e. using Microsoft Word) and when this is applied against your XML data file, the appropriate TEXT file is produced.

In my next post, I'll take you through the steps to build an ETEXT template for cheque printing.

Before that, take a look at my previous posting on adding new fields to the R12 Funds Disbursment XML file:

It is important to understand the 4 level structure of the Payments XML document in order to correctly build the ETEXT file.

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