Convert AFP Files to Acrobat PDF
By: Bob Cancilla
Title: AS/400 Internet Practioner
Date: 12/31/1998 - 08:16 PM (UCT)
I am pleased to report that Gordon Huf, of Gumbo Software, Inc. has introduced a new version of his "Spool-o-Matic' product that now converts AFP/DS spool files to Adobe Acrobat PDF files.
This product while easy to install and easy to use is one of the most significant AS/400 software products to be relased in years. Now for the first time you can convert virtually any spool file that you can create on the AS/400 to Adobe Acrobat PDF, store it in an IFS directory that your webserver can access and deliver PDF's via the WEB.
As many of you know, I get paid by a major insurance company. We print dozens of AFP/DS forms ranging from our Policy to our Invoice.
Whle it is certainly possible to deliver the data that made up these documents via the internet, it is NOW possible to deliver the documents themselves to our agents, insureds, and employees in a manner that allows the user to print the exact same quality document or form that you would print if you printed it on an IPDS printer directly attached to your AS/400!
I've been working with Gordon for a couple of months now sending him spool files to test with and being amazed at the results. As of this week, Gordon has posted a 30 day 100% operational demo copy on his website http://www.gumbo.com.
You download a self-extracting zip file to your PC. You unpack it into a directory on your PC. He then provides instructions to FTP an AS/400 SAVF to your machine or copy it up to your machine via shared folders or Windows95/NT Network Neighborhood.
You then do a RSTLICPGM and you are ready to go! I particularly like the fact that Gordon packaged the product in exactly the same manner that IBM packages their products and will give you PTF's as required in the same manner that IBM does.
You then run the products menu GO SPLAMATIC/SPLAMATIC. The first and most impressive feature that you will see is the product manual. He uses IBM's INFOSEEKER technology to implement a hyperlink based on-line manual and has extensive help text throughout the product.
Go locate an AFP/DS spool file somewhere on your system. Get the job name, job number, user, spoolfile name, and spool file number. Select option 2 on Gordon's menu to run the conversion.
For the TRANSFORM option replace *TXT with *PDF811 and hit enter. Whallah! You have converted an AFP/DS spoolfile (or any other spool file) to PDF. Spool-o-Matic stores the PDF files in an IFS directory of your choice.
You can then e-mail the files to your user or ship them out via the web.
This is one slick product. Pricing is keyed to your IBM processor group, but is reasonable compared to what you get. I expect to recoup the cost of the product in postage alone in a few months!
The product works with Adobe Acrobat 3.01.
Great Job Gordon!