First off, PODs in general we are keeping. They work great and are very useful.
We are planning to deprecate update PODs. This is the program that will replace a framed POD with the new version of the POD in your templates. The plan is to mark this deprecated in version 16 and remove it inversion 17.
This is something that seemed like a good idea when we first discussed it, but has proven to be a problem in practice. And there’s a better alternative – the import tag.
The problems with update PODs are:
- Keeping the GUIDs matching for each POD requires care. If those no longer match, the POD doesn’t update. This is really bad when it happens on just a few templates and you are not aware they didn’t update.
- You need to run update PODs against every template using the updated POD. If templates are in many places, that’s a lot of work. And it’s easy to not catch some templates.
- The mechanics of how DOCX does the framing means you can have blank paragraphs added or removed at each end of the POD changing the layout of the template.
- If the styles used in the POD changed, that can cause problems as the POD content is blindly substituted with no attention paid to new styles.
At the same time, the import tag is superior. These advantages are:
- You make the change in one place and immediately all templates are now using it.
- No problems with an extra paragraph at the start or end.
- Styles are merged in from the imported template to the generated report.
I apologize for the cases where we recommended using update PODs. We thought it was a good solution. But as we’ve found through support issues that it’s a sub-optimal approach, we are now rectifying this.
As always, if you have any concerns on this issue, please reach out to us.