With the emerging of the digital age, the need for print material became redundant, needless to mention the time and costs involved in the making of well-designed annual integrated reports.
JSE Listed companies became more reluctant to spend more due to the difficult economic situation that South Africa is going through, and many prefer not to opt for a print version at all.
A new publishing solution has to be conceived to accommodate the new needs of the market.
Create a digital-centric process for integrated reporting with PDF output (print).
My role consisted of the following:
The usual process of creating an annual integrated report consists of a tiresome workflow in which the client and the agency work together to collect all the necessary financial data for the year ending.
The agency handles the writing and the design of the annual report for the next few months, the annual report is then finalised and sent to printers.
During the last few weeks of the process, the website, which is an online version of the annual report, is designed and built.
The website is pushed live on the same date on which the printed annual report is sent to investors.
The new approach would be to shift focus towards the digital side, this means that the publishing would be done on the website as a starting point.
The website had to be geared up with a tool to generate high fidelity custom PDF reports from HTML pages.
In addition to the digital report, an abridged printed report would be an option to consider for those who want to opt for it.
The functionality had to be integrated into the online annual report (website) in 2 parts:
Since we built our online reports on Wordpress, the PDF generator application had to be integrated with Wordpress; the application's architecture is designed to work like a Wordpress plugin for code consistency and future compatibility.
The main principle of the PDF generator is based on the
Browser Session and the PHP library
When a user adds a page to the queue, the browser tags its
ID from the database into an
Array that is stored in the
Each time the user adds or removes pages from the PDF generation queue, their respective IDs are added or removed from the
Once the user is on the main view (PDF generating page), the pages IDs present in the
Array are used to pull the pages' titles into a selection list, this allows the user to edit the selection again - if needed.
When the user hits the "Build my report" button, the application pulls the selected pages' content with the IDs ( HTML UTF-8 encoded), feeds the content through a templating engine, and then pipes it through
mPDF to prompt a PDF download window.
The tool allowed investors to compile their own custom report from an HTML selection and output it as a PDF, which could be printed or sent.
SPAR South Africa