We have a book which lists categories of service programs, and then has individual listings for those service programs.
The document is several hundred pages, and is currently being maintained in InDesign.
We are looking to have a searchable online database of this content, while still maintaining a InDesign version to send to printers. Ideally, we would have a way to export the contents from the database and import them into the document.
Unfortunately, every attempt to get a sample export from the database to actually go into our InDesign document has run into severe problems.
We have the following requirements and limitations:
1) We will have content before and after the area we wish to import the content into. We would like to have the content import into a region that stretches to create as many pages as are needed to contain it.
2) This content is not going to fit any predefined heights. Some listings will be very short, others are very long.
Each listing will also have a description field which can be multiple paragraphs.
3) We will have a roughly standardized format, but not every listing will have every field. For example, some listings will have a fax number, others will not. We will require a solution that does not result in blank lines where these items would be.
4) We will want the capacity to set styles like bold or italic on certain words within text. This may be achievable by putting HTML formatting tags in the export.
5) We will want the capacity to generate index and table of contents based on the style classes of the imported content (e.g. Header1 and Header2). We anticipate that the table of contents and index would be in the template that we import the listings into.
6) The current InDesign document does not have field headers tagged, nor do we think tagging the fields of the existing InDesign document is a feasible option. This means that continuing to work from the InDesign document and pulling the data from it to load the database is not likely an option.
Is there a way to make this work, given all of these constraints?