1.2.9 • Public • Published

ReDBox Portal Record PDF Generation

An installable hook for the ReDBox Portal to add PDF generation functionality for records using Puppeteer.

Note: this plugin has been extended to allow for creating browser pools, see config item below.


In your redbox portal root folder run the command:

npm i @researchdatabox/sails-hook-redbox-pdfgen

1.2.6 only

Before installing this plugin, install Chrome manually:

apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y wget gnupg \
    && wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | apt-key add - \
    && sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list' \
    && apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y google-chrome-stable fonts-ipafont-gothic fonts-wqy-zenhei fonts-thai-tlwg fonts-kacst fonts-freefont-ttf libxss1 \
      --no-install-recommends \
    && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*



The service is designed to run using the record post-save trigger functionality. It has the following options:

Parameter Description Required
waitForSelector A css selector that puppeteer will wait for before generating the PDF. Usually this is when the angular app has finished initialising and the selector "div#loading.hidden" will be satisfactory. If you have components that make AJAX calls after initialisation that you need to wait on then you may need to use a different selector. Yes
pdf-prefix The prefix of the filename that will be generated. PDFs will be stored as datastreams (attachments) to the record with this parameter as a prefix followed by an ISO8601 datestring. e.g. rdmp-pdf-201901021000.pdf Yes
token An API access token that puppeteer will use to access the record. This needs to be generated for a user on the User Management page of the system. The user must also have appropriate roles set so that it has appropriate permissions to view the record. Yes

Example RecordType configuration

hooks: {
      onCreate: {
        post: [{

          function: 'sails.services.pdfservice.createPDF',
          options: {
            waitForSelector: 'div#loading.hidden',
            pdfPrefix: 'rdmp-pdf',
            token: 'abcd-efgh-abcd-abcd-abcd'
      onUpdate: {
        post: [{
          function: 'sails.services.pdfservice.createPDF',
          options: {
            waitForSelector: 'div#loading.hidden',
            pdfPrefix: 'rdmp-pdf',
            token: 'abcd-efgh-abcd-abcd-abcd'

System-wide configuration

sails.config.pdfgen.minPool - mininum number of browser instances in the pool sails.config.pdfgen.maxPool - maximum number of browser instances in the pool


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