Q

Information on the internal structure of an iseries 400 spool file

Where can I get information on the internal structure of an iseries 400 spool file. I want to be able to search

one or more spool files, in one or more libraries. After I open and retrieve the contents of the spool file (via API) I can't find any references to the format anywhere. I want to strip off all the control characters and end up with text only. Thanks for any help you can offer me.


I don't think you can perform the operations against the spool file contents that you mention.

The QSPGETSP API does not compress the data stream that it puts into the database file or user space; however, if the spooled file contains a compressed data stream, it will not uncompress before it puts it into the database file or user space.

There are about 15 bytes of null characters (x'00') prior to the first printer control character in the data stream. Any additional null characters found in the data stream are to be ignored. These are typically used as place holders in case a change needs to be made to an SCS control later on. For example, the Page Presentation Media (or PPM) control is often changed while the spooled file is being processed by the printer writer.

Appendix E (Printer Data Streams) of the Printer Device Programming manual (SC41-5713 for Version 4 and SC41-3713 for Version 3) does not contain a full definition for the SCS data stream. If a complete SCS reference is needed, refer to one of the following manuals:

 
o       System/36 Functions Reference (this is where the original SCS
        data stream was documented)

o       The SCS references for the 3812, 3816, 3116, and other IBM SCS
        printers 

The IBM SCS printer manuals have documentation on various extensions that have been made to the SCS data stream.

Things get significantly more complex if the spool file contains IPDS or AFPDS data streams.


This was first published in May 2001

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