Version 4.1 of Catapult from Business Computer Design International Inc. (BCD), now generally available, incorporates several important functional enhancements. Catapult, the industry standard iSeries-400 based Spool-File distribution solution, now features Intelligent Routing that further automates the distribution of reports. In addition, auditing features have been improved, and the simplification of user screens makes Catapult features easier to use.
Catapult's Intelligent Routing Facility has been significantly enhanced to include Faxing, Printing, Emailing, and Archiving. The contents of a report can now be automatically scanned to determine what its intended destination is. This feature significantly reduces errors and set up time. Catapult can now also scan forward though a report to attach multiple segments of a spool file into a single email. This reduces prep time for the user and the total number of e-mails sent. "Rather than sending five emails, Catapult will send you one email with five attachments," says Darrell Jackson, lead developer of Catapult. The total number of attachments allowable is configurable within the Catapult environment.
Maintaining reports in a central repository and transmitting only a link to the document is another new distribution option available to users. Facilitating secure access to current and archived reports over the web minimizes any impact that the distribution of a large number of reports would have on e-mail server storage and bandwidth.
Catapult's auditing capabilities have also been enhanced in release 4.1. Now, every request or action taken in Catapult is logged in detail. Details on current and previous e-mail, fax, printing and archival processes can be retrieved from Catapult's history list. Also, real-time views will display the progress of a process.
Other general improvements have been made to Catapult, including many to the user interface, making it easier to use.
Catapult license fees range from $2,750 to $6,000 depending on model and processor type. A fully functional copy of Catapult is available for 30 days at no charge. Software and documentation can be downloaded from http://www.bcdsoftware.com. For an evaluation copy on CD, call BCD at (630) 986-0800 or forward your request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development plans for Catapult call for it to plug directly into BCD's Nexus Portal in the next release, giving the iSeries-AS/400 based portal solution complete and easy-to-use report distribution and viewing capabilities. Catapult is sold standalone and as a Nexus add-on module. BCD is offering a license of Nexus, a $12,000 to $21,000 value, at no charge (only maintenance fee) for a limited time to the first 1,000 iSeries shops. The details of this offer can be reviewed at www.bcdsoftware.com.