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Printing from a Web Interface


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I would do it like this:

1. Make the necessary database

2. Make the necessary html pages (format files)

3. Make a simple script which starts everytime someone adds a new person to the DB, the server will print a copy of the designated layout (preferably the badge).

4. Make another script which prints the badge everytime you alters the information of an entrant.

This solution would require you to have a centralized printing place. That's the down-part of it, it should work fine otherwise.

[if this really is a stupid suggestion, plz ignore me, I'm too tired to think straight]

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Or you could make a nifty little format file which enters the entrants information into a html-table with GIFs or JPGs with the logo, borders and stuff.

Just use standard CDML for accessing and adding the entrants in the database.

Then use the browsers printing settings and you could use a lot of different printers, all over the convention centre.

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I have a database set up to assist in a conference registration. It holds all of the usual registration data and certain fields will be used to print the badges for admission to the conference along with the welcome letter. The piece of paper that the badges are printed on has a 3" high by 4" wide perffed area at the bottom that the badges will be punched out of by the user. You can see the layout here http://www.mercurymambo.com/badges/placement.gif

Note that the solid black squares are preprinted info.

Now, to the problem. When we go onsite the morning of the conference, there will be people doing walk-up registration. There will be about 16 users accessing the database through a custom web interface to add registrants or reprint badges for those who lost theirs. We're estimating 400 or so badges needing to be printed onsite.

There are obvious problems in setting this up as an html page that prints. I can get it to work, but I will have to make sure all settings on all the computers accessing the printers will work. This will be a cumbersome and possibly risky task to setup, but if I need to, I'll do it this way. Plus, I just don't think that this is the smart way to do it.

My question: Any ideas of another way to do this? I'm open to both the simple and the not so simple. My ultimate goal is to make it as foolproof as possible.

Thanks for any ideas you have to offer!


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Thanks for all of the suggestions and advice! In the beginning, my client and I discussed different avenues other than using the web interface, weighed all of the pros and cons, etc. and decided that it was the best solution for this project and particular application.

I think I've come up with a solution that will work for this particular project. I'm going to use the MEDIA="print" function with css. In my preliminary testing, it seems like it is goint to work.

Anybody see any potential pitfalls? Remember, I'm in a very controlled environment. Every user will be on identical machines using the same browser.


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You didn't mention what type of internet connections will be available to the 16 people doing the on-site registration.

>If you plan to use modem hook-ups, this could be pretty slow...

>Getting enough hook ups can be tricky at some conference sites. Check this out before making your final decision.

>Make sure there are enough power outlets located in the right places so the people aren't tripping over cords (DO NOT rely on batteries...)

If these things won't be a problem, then go for it. Otherwise, take up Vaughan's suggestion, develop a database for on-site registration and test having 16 computers hooked up and working all at the same time - you have to use "Unlimited" for this. And have a back-up plan with alternate on-site registration forms and a printed list of registered attendees ready to go just in case!

BTW - if there are multiple breakout sessions, people will forget what they registered to take and you'll need some way to print or write it down for them.

Good Luck - let us know how it turns out!!!

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