It’s a professional grade, compiled programming language developed specifically for variable data publishing. It provides functionality for the most precise typesetting and word processing functions as well as robust systems work. For five years it was Jet Letter’s only product. That language now comprises over 1,000 functions.
A few users still primarily use that language as it provides the ultimate VDP functionality. Never, not once, has a user (or prospect) presented a project that PSL could not handle (think of complex phone company billing).
Both Value Functions and Custom Boxes are in fact containers for the PSL programming language that can be used in the GUI. Value Functions can be treated like data – dragged and dropped into text, used like data to fill in a property box, and the like. There is really no limit to what can be done with them – the only limit is what we have done so far – 12 Libraries, over one hundred fifty functions such as time and date formatted as you wish, string functions, logic functions, typesetting based on data, paragraph libraries, “handwritten” underlining, and so forth.
Custom Boxes are much like the five standard drag and drop composition tools. Placed on a page the user sees a drop down dialog box allowing her to fill in the properties. They are part of the GUI. There are 14 libraries of them comprising about 50 functions – at the moment. These provide composition tools felt useful such as bar and pie charts (done very well), all manner of shapes, layout tools such as “step and repeat”, e-mailing, and file making and table making tools.
Logical Functions are in a small library and permit functionality like allowing definition of one “Page2” for overflow of tables or text and having that page repeated until the text or tabular material has all been printed.
One custom box facilitates the automation of products like statements from credit card companies or medical groups where bills from various departments, each with their own data and format, are presented on one statement presented to the customer. Dealing with the white space management required is a daunting task when done manually but is handled completely automatically in Page Builder — according to specs you set up. This is one more example, and a real beauty, of automation in composition.
One does not want to start a section with a header and two lines at the bottom of a page with the rest on the next page. Normally some sophisticated programming is required – particularly considering all the variability often presented. Not so for PSL Page Builder. It performs such tasks automatically. No programming required!
Automation Tools — Robbie the Robot.
The top of the line in PSL Page Builder’s arsenal of functionality is the Automation Tool known as Robbie the Robot. It is designed to facilitate “Lights Out” workflow automation. Someone, such as a customer, places a zipped file such as a data file into a designated hot folder and Robbie springs into action executing a script of instructions which may include; running a PSL program (of course), running “other” PSL programs, executing DOS or PowerShell commands, , and changing Job Options. Since “other programs” such as sortation, “C” programs, Java Programs, etc. may be called from DOS, PowerShell or from PSL then all manner of flexibility can be achieved.
The “Bottom Line” regarding PSL functionality is that one firm recently won a very hotly competed piece of business due to PSL’s ability to perform a function competing firms could not deliver.