All About PODs

This article is the launch point for learning how to create, load and use Standard and Linked PODs.

  • Creating PODs may be done by the person who uses the PODs, or someone else may create them once so others can use them again and again.  
  • When you generate output that has been created using a POD, you don't have to do anything with the POD (RDLX)  file. The only exception is when you're using datasets. In those cases, you will need the POD at output generation time.
  • PODs to be used in Word must be created in Word.  PODs to be used in Excel must be created in Excel.

Standard PODs

Portable Object Doclets (PODs) are portable snippets of Microsoft Word objects, meaning they can be moved within a Word or Excel Report Template, and used in other Report Templates.

PODs allow you to create a Template without recreating a Tag. Instead, you use an existing Template's Tags and tables to create new Tags for other Templates. You then simply drag and drop these PODs into a new Template. 

PODs can include individual Tags, sets of Tags, and entire tables. They are defined once but may be reused in any number of Templates, any number of times.

This means Report Template developers spend less time constructing queries or trying to remember how to create a particular report construct, such as a table of financial data or a conditional agreement clause. And non-technical users find it easier than ever to connect to data sources and insert Tags and data into Templates.

To create, load and use Standard PODs, follow either of the links below depending on what version of the Designer you are using:

20.0.0 Introduction to PODs

16.7.0 Introduction to PODs

16.5.0 Introduction to PODs

Linked PODs

Linked PODs are only available in DOCX in versions 20.1.0 or later.

Linked PODs allow users to create re-usable content in a template that automatically updates in child templates when used. This article explains how linked PODs work and how to use them.  

How do Linked PODs work?

Users can edit Linked PODs in the parent templates and the change will be reflected upon generation in the child templates. The benefit of Linked PODs is that if the user decides to update the parent POD at any point, all the child templates will automatically update upon output.

Linked PODs have the same functionality of regular PODs, except you cannot manually update them without setting 'update-pods = on'.  Users can search, remove, and add Linked PODs in the POD bin like regular PODs.

To create, load and use on Linked PODs, follow these links :

How Do I Create a Linked POD?

How Do I Load a Linked POD?

How Do I Use a Linked POD?

Storing Linked PODs on Remote Locations

The Linked POD is an embedded OLE object that is linked to. 

In Office (and the Designer) this is 100% Office; Windward is not involved in this aside from inserting the linked OLE object into your template. Once inserted, it is all Office.

Therefore, Office needs to be able to read that linked file.

Then, when the engine processes the template, it too needs to be able to read that linked file, without requiring credentials. 

If the engine is on another computer, then keep in mind a linked file of c:/user/OneDrive/SomeTemplate.docx is not accessible on the server as it does not have that file at that location.

The link to the embedded template is a filename or URL. That is how it reads the file. That filename/URL is used in the Designer, used by Word itself, and used by the Engine. In all three cases the filename/URL must be accessible by the program reading that embedded template.  

How you structure this is up to you. It is not part of the Windward program. Windward uses that file, but it is your responsibility to place it in a repository that can be accessed by the designer, Word, and the engine, regardless of the machine they are on.

The easiest way to do this is to put them on a file server that is accessed with an HTTPS request, as that works on both Windows & Linux. But it must not require a login, as Word assumes the URL provided can be read without a login.


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