RE: Tools: PDF to SQL

Subject: RE: Tools: PDF to SQL
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 12:42:27 -0400

Yes. This is really bush league. Revisit the issue with the vendor. Offer to
pay the vendor to move the data from their source (probably a database) to a
medium that you can import directly (such as a CSV file). Kick it up to
whatever negotiating level you have to, both at your company and at the


The advice to pressure the vendor is fine...take this as far as you can.

However, having been involved with incorporating reports and data from which
we purchased from vendors, sometimes they'd rather walk away than get
involved. I managed the content of a web site where we purchased hundreds of
research reports per week and we FTP'd from their server in ZIP form, 50
reports per zip, every night. I wanted a vendor to include the path in the
zip so I could automate an FTP function that would unattended FTP the zip
and unzip it, placing reports by category into separate directories. No big
thing,, right?

Also, having been on the vendor side where a client made demands that were
beyond the scope of what I wanted to do, I've released them.

As hard as it is to believe, vendors have a responsibility to bend over
backwards only so far. When it results in a action that has little return or
is taxing my internal capabilities to the detriment of other customers, it
is the vendor's obligation to just tell them that "Obviously, we cannot be
of acceptable service to you, so it is in your best interest to find a
vendor who can." Of course, they may also know that they're the only source
for that information.

They may have 500 subscribers to that PDF. What would be the impact of
loosing one as opposed to offering a one-off version of 500 pages of

Also keep in mind that they may be offering it only in PDF simply because it
cannot be reused. Ever buy labels for a mss mailing? You pay one price for
them in label form and a MUCH higher price in electronic form.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com


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