Selecting the best tool to convert spool files to PDF
Adobe’s PDF is now the de facto standard for exchanging documents electronically. The advantage of PDF is that it is a universal file format that can preserve fonts, formatting, colors and graphics. Adobe PDF files are compact and can be shared,viewed, navigated, and printed.
System i businesses looking to make the leap to paperless trading are faced with quite a number of products that are capable of taking a System i spool file and converting it to PDF format. However, not all of these products offer the same range of features. When selecting a tool of this kind, it is important to ask the following questions:
• What kinds of spooled files can be handled?
Some tools can only handle simple *SCS spooled files. If you use more complex spooled files, make sure the tool you choose can process:
- AFP (Advanced Function Printing)
- IPDS (Intelligent Printer Data Stream)
- Line data
• What spooled file content can be processed?
Some tools can only process the textual content of your spooled fie. If you want the PDF file to reproduce the appearance of your spooled file accurately, make sure the tool you select can handle:
- Multiple, mixed fonts
- Images and graphics
- Overlays and page segments
• What added value can the tool provide?
While converting your spooled file, some tools allow you to add value to your reports by allowing you to add such things as:
- Data compression
- Indexes and bookmarks
- Titles and control information
- Logos, watermarks, and pre-printed forms
• How easy is it to integrate with my existing systems?
Think about how you will implement the tool within your current environment. Will you need to re-code your applications or change your reports to achieve what you require? Look for features such as:
- A command line interface
- The ability to split reports so that, for example, a single billing spooled file can be divided automatically into separate invoice files for different customers
- Exit program points to allow you to perform special processing on the files as they are created, e.g. pass them to an e-mail application
Please visit our website at www.CoolSpools.com to download a 30-day free trial of our tools for converting System i spool files to Adobe PDF, RTF, Excel, CSV, TIFF, HTML and other PC file formats.