Not to turn this into a C.O.L.D. War, but...

>I mumbled (in part) in praise of MetaFile, and
Brad Jensen from LaserVault remumbled (in part)
and now I rejoin...

>Paul: > One product that includes this function is MetaFile...  The
>download can be set to run automatically every xx  seconds.  The
>downloaded spool file can be deleted or moved to another output
>queue.
>
>Brad: 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.

MetaFile does let you select spool files based on the criteria you'd
see on a WRKOUTQ screen.  You don't have to download everything in
the queue.  We have it set that way; the documents to be archived get
dumped into a specific queue for downloading.  Once downloaded, the
spool file on the AS/400 can be deleted or moved to another output
queue.

>Paul: > MetaFile...   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.)
>
>Brad: 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.

Although it may take longer to add to and maintain a full text index,
I like the fact that we don't have to decide in advance what the
users can search for.  If needs change, the index does not have to be
regenerated.  MetaFile does allow you to identify fields by name, but
we haven't needed that kind of flexibility.  [We could then do
searches such as "Invoice# > 135423 and Invoice$ > 10000.00"]

>Brad: 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
>advantage 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.

MetaFile identifies the downloaded spool files by comparing the data
received to a template [ie certain words or phrases (ie "PAGE NUMBER"
and  "INVOICE"  or  "PACKING LIST") appear in a fixed place in the
document.]  They are grouped with like documents and identified by
date.

Granted, there is no feedback and error monitoring on the AS/400
side.  But we really haven't needed it; the only problem we've had is
when the password on the AS/400 gets changed and the download program
can't sign on.  (:

I've been meaning to upgrade our system to the latest and greatest
version of MetaFile.  However, the existing program works so well,
there's been no pressure to upgrade.  We do have a number of
applications that would benefit from archiving of spool files (which
are currently being burned to CDs via an outside service).

--Paul E Musselman
PaulMmn@ix.netcom.nospam.com


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