Suggestions of improvements

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at
Mon Apr 27 07:34:41 EDT 2009

>The other thing is, we want to write a new invoice (or improve the ones which 
>are there), so that they have more information (which is needed to create a 
>legal invoice in germany and some other useful information like bank 
>connection of the business, logo, ...). But actually we don't find the 
>documentation of the Gnucash-Report-API. So maybe someone can lead us to that 
>So I hope that my/our suggestions of improvements are found useful and good!
>Joachim Langenbach

Perhaps worthy of a comment explaining how this is done in the world of 
large scale commerce before seeing the lack of this sort of facility in 
GnuCash as a defect.

I'm retired now after several decades in the "cypher mines" at one of 
the world's largest "financials". Having designed and written such 
software I know how "we" did it. The application did NOT do "that stuff" 
(the logo, etc -- think of the "fixed background" of the invoice.). 
There were two ways that might be done, one pass or two.

In the two pass method, pre-printed stock. In other words, one program 
controlled printing of background on the paper and then this paper stock 
was used for the run creating the invoices filling in the variable data 
fed by the application. This would probably be the simplest solution for 
the small business user of GnuCash (in Germany or wherever) and how this 
paper gets printed with the background outside the scope of something 
like GnuCash. What you would do is load the right (per-printed) paper 
into the printer before printing off a batch of invoices.

In the one pass method, there would be a powerful printer which had its 
own "printer control language", commands for which could be inserted 
into the program and then passed along with the variable data. A 
solution like that which would depend upon the specific printer hardware 
and call for printers MUCH more powerful and expensive than used by any 
small business (except perhaps those whose business WAS printing) and is 
obviously out of the question for GnuCash. I'm just mentioning it so 
folks who know that "one pass" exists don't fault me for suggesting that 
the proper solution for small businesses is "two pass".

So Joachim -- for your "legal in Germany" invoices you would take the 
text/image editing program of your choice and work up the background 
printing for your invoice, the logo, company address and contact info, 
the bank info, etc. and print up a supply of paper with that printed on 
it. You then "batch" the production of invoices coming out of GnuCash 
and run them through the printer after having loaded this special 
"invoice paper". Notice that this lets you get pretty fancy. For 
example, potentially the background could be calling for capabilities of 
a printer you did not have in house as you could have a printing 
specialist shop do that for you.


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