You can create mail merge letters with the FO Designer as you do in
Microsoft Word. For this you need:
An XML file with, for example, addresses and names.
An a XML field which contains the letter text.
At runtime the designer will add the names and addresses by replacing
placeholders in the letter text. There are 5 placeholders which are
identified by using the text $1,$2,$3,$4 and $5.
We deliver 3 examples:
Letter.xre: uses plain text for the letter contents
LetterHTML.xre and LetterHTML2.xre: use HTML code
within the XML file which provides rich text formatting features. Note
however this will work at runtime only if you use the J4L FOP Printer
server (or the WAR file in your own server).
The Letter example
As all 3 letter example the format is
A report header with the addressee data, note the new page flag to make
sure each letter will be printer in as separate page:
And a detail area which contain one very large field which has been
associated with the XML element /InteresetLetter/Memo
Note here the Preserve LF setting:
This setting is required, since the line feeds within the XML element
need to be preserved. See XML element below:
Note the placeholders $1 and $2 in the XML file. At runtime these will
be replaced by the content of the variables defined below:
This will be the output in the first page (note the placeholder
The HTML fields
Warning: the HTML conversion is only available if you use the
J4L FOP printer server.
The two Letter HTML example work in the same was as the plain text example
with 2 minor differences, the content of the XML file and the flags in the
designer. A use case for this is the Oracle APEX Rich Text editor. A
business user can utilize the editor to enter text, this will save the
HTML data in a Oracle table. Later on a XSL-FO can be created based on the
stored HTML field.
The LetterHTML example takes an input field an CDATA element which
contain HTML code.
In this case you only need to set this flag:
The LetterHTML2.xre example has a
different input element, there is no CDATA type therefore the HTML data
has been escaped otherwise the XML file would be invalid
if this is the case you need to select these
This is for example what happens if you use
Oracle APEX Rich Text Editor and generate a the XML file for the field.
Please note only the following HTML tags are
supported in the HTML conversion:
<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4> , <h5> headers
<strong> or <b> bold text
<em> or <i> italic text
<u> underlined text
<big> or <small> text size
<br> line feed
color , font-size, font-style, font-family ,text-align attributes
(for <p> and <span>)