Adding basic reporting to your automated catalogs

Today we will show how the PageBuilder engine can be customized to send an automatic email report whenever a catalog has been generated. Our report will contain an overview of all the paginated products. For each product, we will show the product name, together with the page(s) the product occurs on, and the page area that is used to display the product in the catalog.

This information can be used for square-inch analysis. The money a company pays for printing and posting a catalog is usually expressed as a cost per square inch. If you know how many square inches are consumed by each product in the catalog, you can more easily compare the return on investment for different products. Simply put, square-inch analysis tells you which products are paying for their space in the catalog and which products aren’t.

The report itself is created on the fly while paginating the products. We implement a customRecordPaginateAction and override the OnPlaced method, which is called whenever a product has been placed in the catalog. At this point we can retrieve the list of page elements for the placed product, which contains all the information we need (i.e. pages, area, product title).

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