News about IBM's enhancements to InfoPrint Server & Designer raised the interest of iSeries users everywhere. What do the changes mean for you? Bill Shaffer, iSeries Product Manager, Printing and E-output at IBM, addressed user concerns during a live webcast, Expanded output functions for the iSeries, and then answered questions offline. Below are the responses to those questions.
Do objects created by designer have to be stored in IBM specific libraries or can users define their own?
Shaffer: Designer objects can be placed in any iSeries library.
Do I need the INFOPRINT product if all I want to do is take an AS/400 spool file and convert it to PDF or output it originally as PDF?
Shaffer: No. You would just need Infoprint Server (5722-IP1).
Do I assume correctly that applications will interface with these Infoprint components only for PDF?
Shaffer: PDF is the principal electronic delivery format. Infoprint Server will also create portable AFP (for intranet delivery) and will enable you to re-queue segments of a spooled file back to a target output queue as AFP (to which you can take some "downstream" action). If the question relates to other formats such as HTML, then no, HTML output is not supported at this time.
I'm using InfoPrint Designer with V5R1, and am interested in the new enhancements. Is this PTF compatible?
Shaffer: The Designer PTF requires only V4R5 or later. The Infoprint Server PTFs require V5R2.
Has the PDF transform been changed to provide support for 2D barcodes?
Shaffer: Yes. Standard two-dimensional barcodes -- UPS Maxicode, PDF417, and DataMatrix -- will now be resolved in the PDF.
Can you print when you are printing from a Header/Detail Format where the relationship can be 1-to-1 or 1-to-many?
Shaffer: With Infoprint Designer, you can change the layout of detail lines in a document as long as the detail lines take an allocated space. You cannot test a field in your spooled output if its location can vary.
What type of size reduction might the average V5R2, all PTF patched current, customer expect in PDF files?
Shaffer: We don't have performance or sizing data yet. It should vary based on the complexity of the document, number of fonts used, etc. I would expect simpler documents/reports to show significant size reduction.
Will Intelligent Routing work with print files that are already separated? For example, our billing program generates individual print files for each invoice.
Shaffer: Sure. Being able to segment spooled files and work at the segment level is just an extended function.
Will the new enhancements support FTP as a destination?
Shaffer: No. There should be a way to write PDF files to IFS and then pass them on via FTP.
Will spool file segmentation work for AFP overlays?
Shaffer: Yes, assuming that the overlays are part of the spooled file.
There was a lot of information around PDF. Is that going to be the primary data format or will PCL and PS also be data stream components?
Shaffer: At this point, PDF is the principal electronic delivery format. The standard production format for iSeries applications would continue to be SCS and AFP. And hardcopy transforms support IPDS, PCL and PDF output. Postscript is not supported.
Are there any plans for output transfer to TIF?
Shaffer: I can't comment specifically on plans, but TIFF or HTML output is certainly under consideration. There is an existing HPT (Host Print Transform) API that would support TIFF output.
Will installing the new PTFs affect existing mapping programs?
Shaffer: Yes. There are slight data changes in the data structure of parms that are passed between the exit program and the PDF processing system.
Contact Bill Shaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions or need further explanation.