Template Designer - Printing Conditions

Overview
Printing Conditions are a method to define a set of requirements that Linnworks.net uses to automatically select which template to print. These conditions are based on the use of logical operators to check against the set requirements. As Conditional invoices are designed to only be printed when the conditions are met they do not appear in the "Print Specific" drop down lists.

An example of when this could be used is if there are two different websites and they require different invoices to each other. If the condition is fulfilled a template will be selected and used for printing, if no conditions are met then the default template will be used for printing.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Similar to conditional formatting in template elements, the template itself can be made conditional. Whilst this is a powerful tool for customisation, care should be taken when designing conditions that are applied to templates.

Linnworks will try and match a template by working through the list of available templates, and picking the first one that matches the conditions set. Where there is a degree of ambiguity and a specific template meets multiple condition sets it is not possible to guarantee the same condition set will always be used. Therefore it is advisable to use condition sets with multiple conditions to ensure the correct template is printed.

For Example

Template 1 Condition Set :- [Source] <> 'AMAZON' AND [Source] <> 'EBAY'
Template 2 Condition Set :- [Source] = '3DCART'

In this example the template associated with Condition 2 will never be used as it is fulfilled by Condition 1
To allow Condition 2 to be used Condition 1 needs to changed to [Source] <> 'AMAZON' AND [Source] <> 'EBAY' AND [Source] <> '3DCART'

Applicable Templates

The following template types can have printing conditions applied to them:

  • Consignments
  • Inventory Manifest
  • Invoice
  • Purchase Order
  • Warehouse Transfer

Variables and Square Brackets

When adding variables from the drop down list, they will appear with square brackets around them. Whilst these brackets are not required in printing conditions it is good practice to use them as other parts of Linnworks require their use.

Adding Printing Conditions

Linnworks must always have a default template avilable. The default template cannot have printing conditions applied to it, so that there is always a non conditional template available. If you wish to use the default template with printing conditions, please first make a copy. To access printing conditions, please do the following:

  • Edit a non-default template
  • Click Printing Conditions
  • The printing conditions window will open
  • Add your printing conditions
    • The above example, in the screenshot, will print using this template for orders raised directly in Linnworks when their total value is over 20 of the order currency, for instance; Euros or USD
    • Please see the section below for examples of printing conditions
  • Click Check Syntax to ensure that the conditions are formatted correctly
  • Click OK
  • Click Save
  • Click Back

Logical Operators

The following table is a brief summary of the logical operators used in the evaluation of printing conditions. If the printing condition in a template is true for any particular order (or other appropriate document) it will be used. A brief explanation is given in each case. For further information and examples of AND, OR, LIKE, IN and wildcards, please see the Using Printing Conditions sections below.

Operator Example Explanation
AND [Source]='EBAY' AND [cCountry]='UNITED KINGDON' The AND operator is used to join variables such that the document must meet all conditions to use a particular template. The example would be true if the order came from eBay and is being delivered to somewhere in the UK
OR [SubSource]='EBAY0' OR [SubSource]='EBAY1' The OR operator is used to give alternative conditions for which a template will be used. The example would be true if the order came from EBAY1 or EBAY0
LIKE [cPostCode] LIKE 'PO19%' The LIKE operator is generally used for text based comparisons where statements may be similar, but not identical This is often used with the wildcard operator (%) to refer to multiple possibilities. The example would be true if the order post code began with PO19. The use of the wildcard means that Linnworks only evaluates against the first 4 characters, in this case
NOT [cPostCode] NOT LIKE 'PO19%' The NOT operator is used to invert the meaning of LIKE or IN operators. The example would be true if the postcode did not begin with PO19
IN [ShippingService] IN ('My Expedited', 'expressAM', 'express24') The IN operator is used to find a value in a list of given values. The example would be true if the order's shipping service matched any one of 'My Expedited', 'expressAM' or 'express24'
= [Source]='EBAY' The = operator is used to do exact comparison between values. The example would be true if the order came from eBay
<> [Source]<>'Amazon' The <> operator is used to specify non-equivalence between two values. The example would be true if the order did not come from Amazon
> [fTotalCharge]>100 The > operator states that the first value is greater than the second. The example would be true if the order total was over 100 of the order currency
< [fTax]<20 The < operator states that the first value is less than than the second. The example would be true if the order tax was less than 20 of the order currency
>= [fTotalCharge]>=100 The >= operator states that the first value is greater than or equal to the second. The example would be true if the order was 100 or more of the order currency
<= [TotalWeight]<=1500 The <= operator states that the first value is less than or equal to the second. The example would be true if the weight of the order is 1500 or less of the default order weight

Using Printing Conditions

Printing conditions are constructed in a similar manner to other expression based functionality in template designer. The following section will give some examples of common printing conditions for templates, focussing on invoices.

Simple Conditions

If you have multiple channels integrated then you may want a specific invoice printed that is catered to the particular channel.

  • To use the template only for orders from a particular eBay channel:
  • [SubSource]='EBAY0'

Using LIKE Conditions and Wildcards

Whilst numerical values can be compared with relative ease, text entries are more difficult to compare. For unbound text strings, the LIKE operator offers options for easy comparison. LIKE statements are often used in conjunction with wildcards. A wildcard is used to represent any number of other charaters before, after, or in the middle of the desired text string. Linnworks uses the percentage sign (%) as a wildcard.

  • If there is a particular invoice to print for a large volume customer and orders come from one of several of their staff members, it would be possible to use their email address (@BigSpenders.fictional) to identify appropriate orders:
  • [cEmailAddress] LIKE '%@BigSpenders.fictional'
  • This will catch all orders that have a customer email address ending in @BigSpenders.fictional

Alternatively, if you want particular product categories to print using a specific invoice they could be listed individually or using wildcards.

  • If product categories are: Nail Varnish, Nail File, Nail Art, Nail Polish, Gel Nail Accessories:
  • [Categories] LIKE '%Nail%'
  • This would capture all of the above categories. It should be noted that this would also capture the category 'Screws and Nails' too
  • This is an extreme example, as you would need to be selling SKUs in both categories for this to happen

Multiple Conditions

If you have multiple channels that you want to use the same template for, it is possible to use the OR operator to add more options to a printing condition or the AND operator to add further requirements to a printing condition.

  • Printing from Amazon or eBay:
  • [Source]='AMAZON' OR [Source]='EBAY'

This would print the template for all orders that are from any integrated Amazon or eBay channels. The SubSource variable can be used to specify certain channel integrations

  • Printing based on SubSource:
  • [SubSource]='EBAY0' OR [SubSource]='Amazon UK'

The AND operator can be used to restrict the printing conditions further. If your channel has strict requirements on despatch time, for instance if orders with express shipping must be despatched in 48 hours, but standard could be up to 72 hours, you may want to separate the express orders from the standard delivery orders.

  • If you have your channel's express delivery mapped to the Linnworks Postal Method called "My Expedited":
  • [Source]='AMAZON' AND [ShippingService]='My Expedited'
  • This would print the template for all orders with a shipping method mapped to 'My Expedited'. Orders with other ShippingMethods would not be printed using this template

Printing conditions allows granular control over what documents will be printed using a certain template. The example below will only print if the order was created directly in Linnworks and the order items come from either the clothing or baby toys categories. Furthermore, it must not be in the folder of orders called 'Process ASAP'.

[Source] = 'DIRECT' AND ([Categories] LIKE '%Clothing%' OR [Categories] LIKE '%Baby toys%') AND [FolderCollection] NOT LIKE '%Process ASAP%'

Using Parentheses

Using parentheses can group conditions together and evaluate them as one condition. One of the common uses for this could be identifying orders to be shipped to non mainland UK, such as Northern Ireland or the Scottish Isles. In the following example the invoice should be printed for all non mainland UK expedited orders. It is assumed that channel expedited shipping has been mapped to the Linnworks Postal Method; 'My Expedited'.

[ShippingService]='My Expedited' AND ([cCountry] <> 'United Kindgom' OR [cPostCode] LIKE 'BT%' OR [cPostCode] LIKE 'HS%' OR [cPostCode] LIKE 'ZE%')

  • The list can be expanded using more OR statements to include other postcodes, such as Jersey, Guernsey etc

Implicit Parentheses

When using the AND operator, implicit parentheses are placed around the variables either side of the AND clause

[Source]='EBAY' AND [ShippingService]='express24' OR [Source]='AMAZON' AND [fTotalCharge]>100

  • This template will print with either eBay orders with the shipping service 'express24' or Amazon orders over 100 of the order currency. It is being evaluated like:
  • ([Source]='EBAY' AND [ShippingService]='express24') OR ([Source]='AMAZON' AND [fTotalCharge]>100)

Using the IN Condition

The IN condition can be used to look for a value in a list of values. It can be combined with the NOT condition to check whether a value is not in a list. For instance, print a particular invoice if the shipping destination is in Europe:

[cCountry] IN ('United Kingdom', 'France', 'Germany', 'Portugal')

  • This will look for the shipping country in the list of countries specified
  • The list can be expanded to cater for more countries

 

[cCountry] NOT IN ('United Kingdom', 'France', 'Germany', 'Portugal')

  • This template will be used if the shipping country is not in the specified list
  • The list can be expanded to cater for more countries

Please Note! It is not possible to use Wildcards with the IN operator

Bad Examples

Syntax checking in printing conditions will not assess whether the rule will work as expected. Below are some examples of printing conditions where they will either not work or another method would be more robust.

[ShippingVendor]='Royal Mail' And [ShippingVendor]='DPD'

  • An order can only have one shipping vendor, the AND clause will require both of these statements to be true
  • If either of these vendors is valid then use:
  • ShippingVendor= 'Royal Mail' OR [ShippingVendor]='DPD'
  • An alternative, more efficient, way which allows for easy expansion would be to use an IN statement:
  • [ShippingVendor] IN ('Royal Mail', 'DPD')

[nOrderID]=100056

  • This will only print on a specific order, but it sill may print using a different template if the order satisfies multiple templates' printing conditions
  • To print an invoice for an order using a specific template, please see our guide on printing invoices
  • Please note that invoices with printing conditions cannot be chosen as specific invoices

General Notes on Using Printing Conditions and Wildcards

In an example above, wildcards are used to capture large numbers of potential postcodes to determine orders that are not considered 'Mainland UK'. In the case of the Orkney Islands, they share a postcode with some of mainland Scotland. Using wildcards to exclude some postcodes should be done with care. If the condition KW1% is considered a 'Mainland' postcode, this would also capture KW15, KW16 and KW17, which are not.

When using categories as a printing condition, only one order item has to match the condition for that template to be used.

Conditional invoices do not appear in the "Print Specific Invoice" option from the drop down in open orders. The reason for this is Specific Invoices are designed to be independent, where as conditional invoices are designed to be printed based on a condition.

Template Selection

Once a set of conditions has been fulfilled, no further conditions will be checked to see if it better suits your needs. Therefore be a specific as possible when defining conditions making using of multiple conditions and using inclusive operators such as '=' is always preferable to '<>'. There is only a single instance where there is an exact match, but there can be many possibilities where something does not match resulting in an incorrect template selection.

Printing conditions are evaluated based on the order of creation of the templates, starting with the oldest.

Example:

Index Template Name Printing Condition
1 Direct Orders [Source]='Direct' 
2 Direct Orders UK [Source]='Direct' AND [cCountry] = 'United Kingdom' 
3 Direct Orders UK >= £10 [Source]='Direct' AND [cCountry] = 'United Kingdom' AND [fTotalCharge] >= 10 
4 Direct Orders UK < £10 [Source]='Direct' AND [cCountry] = 'United Kingdom' AND [fTotalCharge] < 10 
5 Direct Orders ROW [Source]='Direct' AND [cCountry] <> 'United Kingdom' 

In the above table, index is the order in which the templates were created. In this case Templates 2,3,4 and 5 will never be used as the condition in Invoice 1 has already been met. Invoice templates 1 and 2 are not required as they are too broad. Only invoice templates 3,4 and 5 should be added as they define clearly when they should be used.

It is possible to see the creation order of enabled invoice templates by going to Dashboards > Query Data > Custom Script and entering the following query:

SELECT 
  [TemplateName], [VisibilityCondition], [IsDefault] 
FROM 
  [system].[template_header] 
WHERE 
  TemplateType = 'Invoice Template' AND bLogicalDelete = 0 AND Enabled = 1 
ORDER BY 
  pkTemplateRowId

The templates will be listed in order of their creation, with the oldest first.

Further Reading