Creating a mail merge template


Before starting to configure Mail Merge on VISUAL PLANNING, you must create a WORD or PENTAHO destination document. This template must contain the empty spaces that VISUAL PLANNING will fill as necessary.

The settings of the VPPublipost module can be accessed from the module configuration window.

Go to the Settings tab > Configuration Block > Click on VPPublipost

In the window that is displayed, right-click on VPPublipost Templates > Create a Mail Merge template.

The corresponding part is then enabled:

Specify the characteristics of the feed context, then confirm by clicking on the Validate button.

The following characteristics must be entered:


Give this template a name.


Give a description of this mail merge template. This data is optional.


This represents the creation date and time and the most recent change to the template, together with the login of the user who performed these actions.

This property is updated automatically.

Attach the result to the headings

This enables you to choose an Attachment type of form heading to which the mail merge result will be attached.

For each mail merge, the result is attached to this heading. If it accepts several attached files, the results of the most recently generated mail merges will be conserved. The most recent appears at the top of the list.


In the case of Pentaho, the heading must be in file download.

If no heading is defined, a window asking you to open the generated files will be displayed after the mail merge.

Events filter

Choose the event filter that will determine whether or not it is possible to use the created mail merge template (see Use). Only events complying with this filter can use the template.

Properties to publish

This functionality limits the number of data items that will be available in the merge fields when entering values originating from VISUAL PLANNING.

If no properties are published, all the VISUAL PLANNING data will be sent and can be used as merge fields.

Backup directory

If the mail merge result is not attached to a heading, or if the Attachment heading selected above is local, define a directory where all the edited mail merges will be saved.

This directory must be accessible for all users.

Attributes that define the path

If the mail merge result is not attached to a heading or if the Attachment heading selected above is local, you can specify the tree structure of directories where the mail merge result is saved, thanks to the dimension headings.

Each selected attribute will constitute a folder in the backup directory.


This field enables you to choose the source of the mail merge template: MS Word or Pentaho Report.

Single destination file

This functionality will enable you to generate a single document for all the source data used.

In other words, if you check this box, instead of obtaining a document for each event, VISUAL PLANNING generates a single document for all the selected events.

Save as PDF

To specify that the result must be generated in the PDF format.

It is only operational for Word 2010 and Word 2007 with an add-on.


Check this box to add a yyyymmdd_hhmmss suffix at the end of the file when it is generated.

Mail merge template file

To select the mail merge template file using the button :

Two situations may arise, depending on the origin of the mail merge template.

Using MSWord

If the mail merge template is from MS Word, you should click this button .

This starts Word and enables you to enter the values from the planner which will be used for the mail merge. When you save the Word file after defining your mail merge, the following dialog is displayed:

To take account of the new definition, you must of course answer yes.

Using Pentaho

If the mail merge template is from Pentaho, you will enter the values from the planner directly in the Pentaho tool in VISUAL PLANNING.

However, it is possible to download the file by clicking on the button .

Once the mail merge context has been configured you must export it in XML format by right-clicking on it:

Then, in the Pentaho tool, you must add the XML file exported from VISUAL PLANNING by clicking on Data > Add Datasource > XML:

The following window opens:

Click on the button to choose the XML file exported from VISUAL PLANNING, and then on the icon to add a value.

Finally add the /*/* value in the note field right at the bottom:

Now click on OK or Preview to verify that the data is accessible.

Make the required modifications and matching operations on Pentaho and save your PRPT file.


Once your file has been saved on Pentaho, you must return to the mail merge template to attach the .prpt file to it by clicking on this button .


To learn more about how to use the Pentaho software, see Pentaho

Event creation/modification

In a situation where you choose to store the file generated by the mail merge in an attachment type of form heading, it is possible to generate mail merge documents automatically by checking the Event creation/modification box.

A mail merged file will be generated and stored in the form heading whenever an event is created or modified.

For this to take place, the files in the attachment type of heading must be downloaded.

Modifying a mail merge template

To modify an existing template, go to the Settings menu > Configuration block > RSS Feed, then Click on the template to modify.

The corresponding part is then enabled. Modify the settings (see Creating a mail merge template), then click on Validate to save any modifications.

Deleting a mail merge template

To delete a template, go to the Settings menu > Configuration block > RSS Feed, then Right-click on the template to modify.

The following message appears:

Click on:

  • Yes, to definitively delete the context,

  • No to cancel the deletion.

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