----- Original Message -----
From: "PaulMmn" <PaulMmn@ix.netcom.com>
To: <midrange-l@midrange.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: AW: Pulling spool files off AS/400 - VB?


> Adam,
>
> Oliver's reply made me realize that 'all' you want is a spool
queue downloader.

That's pretty easy to do - you just set the writer on the outq to
lpr to a pc, run lpd on the pc.

I can think offhand if it will use something in particular for the
filename. We wrote out own lpd where you can pass the file name
(and select the subdirectory to write to) with various methods.
there are extra parameter fields, or you can use the printq name
and parse it on the lpd side.

> One product that includes this function is MetaFile.  Part of
the
> package is a downloader that downloads an output queue to a
directory
> on a PC.  The download can be set to run automatically every xx
> seconds.  The downloaded spool file can be deleted or moved to
> another output queue.

Our LaserVault system does something similar, but we give the user
explicit selection capabilities thru command line or cl on the
host, it seems silly to download something and erase it.

> We have the program running on an NT server.  The only drawback
with
> the version we have (2-3 years old) is that it does not run as a
> service; you need to keep a session signed on and the program
running.

They might have a newer version that does run as a service, most
of us COLD vendors did that a couple of years ago. If not, tell me
so I can use it against them in competitive situations. That will
ge them to upgrade the product with the feature you want.

> MetaFile is a program which archives spool files, indexes the
> contents, and allows users to find documents based on that
index.
> The archive is created and stored on a PC.  Because the
retrieval is
> an index lookup, not a search, it is quick.  New documents are
added
> to the index after they are downloaded.  Time to add a document
to
> the index depends on the size of the document, number of words
to
> index, and the existing size of the index.
>
> Every word, character sequence, and number are indexed.  You can
> search for a dollar amount listed at the bottom of an invoice, a
> customer number, a city name, a customer name.  Anything.  You
can
> also omit 'junk' words (like a, an, the, of, from, etc., etc.)


And there is an example. We have always done our indexing on
selected columns (including keys that are made up of several
different fields). Our indexing is faster than anyones (in
generation, they are all about the same in retrieval speed), but
Metafile honks on the fact we don't do full text indexing (many of
our customers use very large spool files, and full text indexing
isn't that important when you are looking up invoice numbers,
customer names, etc.) So now we are adding full text indexing.

> You can add an overlay and view the archived spool files as if
they
> were printed on your custom forms.
>
> I don't know if they offer the download portion separately.

They probably don't. We don't, but if there is a market for this
let me know, it would be easy to abstract it out.

We have another feature that no other COLD vendor has, to my
knowledge - SCSI download. We can imitate a tape drive and get
stuff off the AS/400 faster than any LAN - and without loading up
the LAN. I've often thought it would be great for large data
replication work.

> One thing that impressed us when we invited the MetaFile folks
to
> give us a demonstration:  IT WORKED!  We provided a PC with
Client
> Access installed (I don't recall if it was an NT machine or not;
the
> production version is running on NT).  The rep installed the
software
> on the PC (no software required on the AS/400).  After tweaking
the
> settings for the output queue to monitor (and, IIRC, tweaking
some
> authority), IT WORKED!  Took less than 30 minutes from a
standing
> start.  IT WORKED!  As advertised.  No messing with fancy
settings.
> No "Oh, you need to do such and such."  IT WORKED!!  That sold
us,
> even though there were other products we had yet to evaluate.
>
> --Paul E Musselman
> PaulMmn@ix.netcom.nospam.com

Metafile is a good product, one of the best on the AS/400. I
didn't realize they weren't putting software on the AS/400. The
advanatage of having software on the AS/400 is the ability to
control the reports you download, the ability to append and name
them, the ability to control the PC side from the AS/400 side and
report back errors to the operator, and the ability to print back
to the AS/400.

We've got a programmable LPD (Line Printer Daemon) which we do not
yet sell as a product. But for example, we are working on a
combination of our LPD and our Nextract data extract (if you have
used Monarch to convert reports to spreadsheets or databases, it's
similar to that but lots better). The idea is you take a report
and download it, convert it to a spreadsheet or database, and
email it, all in one function from the AS/400 side.

I've also thought of print to LPD, and include instructions to run
x program on the file, or just email it.

Brad Jensen
www.elstore.com
LaserVault - you might like it even better than Metafile, or maybe
not




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