Modifying a workflow to use electronic forms with AFP jobs

You can add a step based on the CombineAFPWithForm step template to a workflow to combine an electronic form with data for AFP jobs.

The step adds PDF pages as medium overlays to medium maps and creates an inline form definition containing those medium maps.

  • The CombineAFPWithForm step template is available when the Preprinted Forms Replacement, PDF Document Support, and AFP Support features are installed.
  • The step ignores any values set for the Media and PLE Media job properties.
  • You cannot add an electronic form to a side of a sheet when the side already has eight medium overlays.

Before you add the step to the workflow:

  • Review the printers used to print jobs that the workflow processes. The output of the step can be printed only on AFP printers that support PDF object containers in AFP data.
  • Review the preprinted forms used to print jobs that the workflow processes. Add electronic forms to the media objects for the preprinted forms that you want to print on plain paper. You do not have to define electronic forms for all the preprinted forms used by the workflow. You can define electronic forms only for the preprinted forms that you want to replace.
  • Review the medium maps used to print jobs that the workflow processes. If the medium maps specify tray numbers, define a tray mapping file that replaces tray numbers with media names.

    To create the file, use an editor that saves text in UTF-8 format:

    • Map each tray to a RICOH ProcessDirector media name on a separate line.
    • Start each line with traytomedia, a space, the tray number, and a colon (:).
    • After the colon, put the RICOH ProcessDirector media name enclosed in quotation marks.

      White space on either side of the colon is optional.

      This example maps two trays to RICOH ProcessDirector media names:

      traytomedia 1 : "Letter Preprinted"
      traytomedia 2 : "A3"

      Make sure that the case of the RICOH ProcessDirector media name matches the case of the media name in the medium map. Letter Blue and LETTER BLUE do not match.

      If you specify a media name that is not a RICOH ProcessDirector media object, the step ignores the media name. The tray number remains in the medium map.

    • Save the mapping in a text file in UTF-8 format.

      For example, you could give the file a CFG extension and save it in a subdirectory of the /aiw/aiw1/control_files directory (AIX or Linux) or the C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files directory (Windows).

To modify a workflow to use electronic forms with AFP jobs:
  1. Click the Workflow tab.
  2. Click the name of the workflow you want to modify.
  3. Optional: Disable the workflow by clicking the switch to the left of the workflow name.
    If you do not disable the workflow while you edit it, jobs that use this workflow continue to move through steps. When you save, the workflow is momentarily disabled then enabled again. Jobs that are processing in the workflow could move into error.
  4. Review the steps in the workflow and decide where you want to add the CombineAFPWithForm step.

    If your workflow has an afpnorm command in a step based on the RunExternalProgram step template, put the CombineAFPWithForm step after the RunExternalProgram step. You can use the afpnorm command to insert IMM structured fields before the first page of every document in an AFP file.

    To modify a simple workflow that processes AFP jobs, you could put a CombineAFPWithForm step after the UseInlineFormDefinition step (if it exists) and before the EnableRepositioning step.

    To modify a workflow that processes AFP jobs that contain documents, you could put a CombineAFPWithForm step after the BuildAFPFromDocuments step and before the EnableRepositioning step.

  5. Add the CombineAFPWithForm step to the workflow in the appropriate place.
  6. Set the properties for the step:
    • Unless you have special processing requirements, use the default value for the Combined AFP file property.

      If you specify another value, the combined AFP file does not become the current print file used by subsequent steps.

    • If you defined a tray mapping file, set the value of the Tray mapping file property to the full path and name of the file.

      You can use RICOH ProcessDirector symbol notation for the name of the file. See the example at the end of this procedure.

  7. Optional: Add a branch that bypasses the CombineAFPWithForm step to process jobs that are not ready to use electronic forms. Jobs print on preprinted forms when they go through that branch. When you add the branch, the same workflow can process the jobs that are ready to use electronic forms and the jobs that are not ready.

    To send the jobs to different branches based on whether they use electronic forms, set a rule on one of the branches. For example, if you want jobs with a Customer name of Acme or Pinnacle to use electronic forms, you could set this rule on the branch with the CombineAFPWithForm step:

    • Job.CustomerName = 'Acme' OR Job.CustomerName = 'Pinnacle'

    Jobs with a Customer name of Bank10 or Standard bypass the CombineAFPWithForm step and continue to print on preprinted forms.

  8. Save the workflow.
  9. Enable the workflow and test it to make sure that it works properly.

    Check the jobs that the CombineAFPWithForm step processes to make sure that they print on the media specified by the Media name for printing property of the media object.

The CombineAFPWithForm step can process AFP jobs that use an inline form definition or an external form definition. The step creates a combined AFP file that uses an inline form definition. If the AFP job uses an external form definition, the step embeds the changed form definition with new medium maps inline in the combined AFP file.

When a media object includes an electronic form for the back side, and the medium map specifies simplex printing, the CombineAFPWithForm step modifies the medium map:

  • It converts simplex to duplex.
  • It turns on the Constant Back flag.
  • It wraps the PDF file for the requested electronic form in an overlay and assigns the overlay to the back of the media.

Using a different tray mapping file for each printer

In this example, you want to use a different tray mapping file for each printer that can be requested for AFP jobs.

Name each file with the value of the Requested printer property (database name Job.RequestedPrinter) and a CFG extension.

Store the files in the tray_mapping subdirectory of the control_files directory.

Set this value for the Tray mapping file property:

  • /aiw/aiw1/control_files/tray_mapping/${Job.RequestedPrinter}.cfg on AIX and Linux.
  • C:\aiw\aiw1\control_files\tray_mapping\${Job.RequestedPrinter}.cfg on Windows.