1) Is it possible to do it without generating or "rendering" the apex pages?
Currently, I have code that does it in apex pages, where it takes in the apex page as an argument then collects the data before processing the blob. However, to do so I have to be ON the apex page before clicking the button to generate it.
Is it possible to "generate" the apex page (without actually making it show up on screen / being redirected to it) on a lightning page so that I can pass it as an argument to the pre-existing code?
Problem statement in context of my needs
I ask because I have a lightning page that shows a list of all users elligible for profile generation. It doesn't make sense to click on the user to be redirected to their apex:page before being able to generate the CSV or XLS or PDF. Instead, I want buttons available on the lightning page which I can click on to handle all of that.
2) I found some links about generating PDF and CSV within lightning but I'm wondering what the downsides are (so that I can make an educated decision on if I can live with it)