A better way of creating office templates for CiviCRM

2019-04-11 05:35
Written by
SYSTOPIA - member of the CiviCRM community - view blog guidelines

How can we find a user-friendly way of creating templates for serial letters and other mass communication? Is it possible to integrate CiviCRM with open-source online applications to facilitate the creation of office templates for our users?

This has been bothering us for some time, because many of our users find it hard to set up and work with templates in HTML format. So we started a proof of concept to check possible options… and we found an answer!

After the server version of libreoffice unfortunately turned out to be unsuitable, we found a feasible solution using the open-source office suite ONLYOFFICE, and created an extension to plug it into CiviCRM.

In a first draft version of the extension “onlyoffice”, you will be able to ….

  • Install ONLYOFFICE on a CiviCRM server and use its comprehensive functionality for document management.
  • Display files created with ONLYOFFICE in CiviCRM
  • Create personalized DOCX documents (such as serial letters) from CiviCRM using CiviCRM data via tokens.
  • Convert DOCX files to PDF and download all PDF files as a ZIP-directory.

Please feel free to test the extension in our demo system (in German). You can find more detailed information on the functionality and on the technical background in our SYTOPIA Blog (in German). The extension itself is available on GitHub.

However, this is just a basic version. If you like what the extension offers so far, but have the impression that it could do with some enhancements, please feel free to sponsor our development. If we succeed in collecting a sufficient amount of funds, we expect to release a stable, commonly usable version under free license for the benefit of the community.

For pilot organizations who contribute substantial sums to the financing, we will install the extension in a test system, carry out comprehensive tests of the extension together and eliminate identified errors. Pilot customers may also have the option of expressing "feature requests", i.e. desired functions, which we can then develop individually.

If you are interested in supporting the development of our onlyoffice extension, please contact info@systopia.de.