RE: [gnome-db] Re: libgda/libgnomedb/mergeant 0.9 have been released

(I'm cc'ing to gda because there is a reference - see D2) - to Mergeant

Dom Lachowicz wrote:
> After that, hopefully I'll flag down someone with a
> copy of MSWord to see how they do mailmerge, because multi-row SQL
> resultsets are precisely what I want to integrate into Abi, in
> addition to
> our current single-row capacities.

I don't know exactly what you need to know but here you have something, as
it's done in msword97:

A) From a menu ask for a Mail Merge.

B) You get a dbox with 3 steps, each with buttons to provide the details:
	1- Main document
	2- Data source
	3- Merge the data with the document

C) On step 1) you can select from [Form Letters, Mailing Labels, Envelopes,
Catalog] and you specify if you want to create a new document or use the
current one.

D) On step 2) you can open or create a data source or you can use an address
book (e.g. Outlook).

D1) The data source can simply be a text or msword file with a table. The
table has an header with field names and then the data. MSWord as a wizard
to create this file for you on the spot.

D2) The data source can be a database and you use MSQuery to visually build
a query. You can also see the generated SQL code and I even edit it. Then
the visual query gets automatically updated (if no SQL error).

This is the point relevant for Mergeant. It would nice if Mergeant's query
editor could be reused to support query creation from Abiword/gnumeric, etc.

E) After step 2, depending on what the user chose in step 1 it might help
you complete the template (E1) or close the dbox and return to the document

E1) you get a wizard to, e.g. specify what format of mailing labels you want
to use and then you get a box where you can layout the field available in
the data source. Then it creates the template in the document and the user
can move to step 3.

E2) you see a new toolbar with a lot of options to manage your merge
process. The first is "Insert Merge Field" with the list of available fields
to choose from. The second option is "Insert Word Field" with the options to
manipulate the records (Ask, Fill-in, If then else, Merge Record #, Merge
Sequence #, Next Record, Next record if, Set bookmark, Skip record if). You
have plenty of other buttons to move over records, see and edit them, etc.

F) the merge process might merge to: a new document; the printer, electronic

Usability note: I've always found it efficient to use and even logical, but
mine's a developer perspective. I also did some helpdesk and users usually
don't get it and end up stuck somewhere. There are quite many intermediary
steps that can go wrong or are simply hard to understand.

Hope this helps,

Fernando Martins

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