From early on, we added social media analytics to Cloud Campaign.  The in-app analytics quickly turned into client-ready reports that could be white-labeled and shared publicly with a client.

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Some customers still wanted a way to export the reports for offline viewing so we added the option to download a zip of CSV files.  This wasn’t a pretty solution as it still required the customer to build a report from the data using some other application (Google Data Studio, Tableau, etc…).

So, we set out to build client-ready PDF reports.  The thought of doing this natively, server-side was overwhelming as we would have to use all new graphing libraries.  The Javascript library we use on the frontend, D3, wouldn’t work on the backend.  We would have to migrate everything to Java Swing, which would not only be time-consuming but would also result in an inconsistency in design.

Luckily, we stumbled upon PDFShift — a service to convert HTML pages to PDF.

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With this new service, we simply had to restructure our reporting page to fit the width and height of A4 pages, reformat the coloring, and send an API request to PDFShift.

PDFShift promptly returns a beautiful PDF version of the client report that we then upload to our servers for easy distribution.

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