I started this tutorial by explaining that I'm not always happy when I receive an invoice.

In the first chapter of this book, I explained the issues I have with many invoices:

  • They aren't future proof,

  • They aren't accessible,

  • Either they can be read by humans but not by machines,

  • or the can be read by machines but not by humans.

In the second chapter, I explained how we can fix the first two problems: we can use iText to create invoices in the PDF/A format so that they are future proof; we can introduce Tagged PDF and conform with PDF/A level A to make our invoices accessible.

Chapter three introduced a simple database. We have used this database in all the following chapters.

In chapter four, we created invoices in the XML format so that the can be correctly interpreted by machines. These XML invoices conformed to the Comfort level of the data model of the ZUGFeRD standard.

In chapter 5 we created invoices that can be read by humans. We added the XML version of the invoice as an attachment.

Chapter 6 started as a side-track: we wrote some XSL to convert ZUGFeRD XML files to HTML, and we used CSS to introduce some styles and colors.

We used the HTML files in chapter 7 to create ZUGFeRD invoices with XML Worker.

We hope that this tutorial shows that it's not that difficult to create ZUGFeRD invoices. First you implement the ComfortProfile interface. You do so to provide all the information that needs to be on the invoice. Then you create a design for your invoices using XSL that converts the ZUGFeRD data model into an HTML file. Optionally, you can add some CSS to define colors and styles. Finally you use iText and XML Worker to combine all these different elements into a finalized ZUGFeRD invoice.

This is enterprise-grade technology that every company can afford, whether it's a large, medium or even a small business. There is no reason not to adopt ZUGFeRD as your standard for invoices. You can help realize world-wide implementation of the ZUGFeRD standard. This will yield financial, technical and operational benefits across the entire economy and across all borders. What are you waiting for?