On Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 01:41, Tom Liotta <qsrvbas@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I regularly see requests about how to move or copy or display (or
whatever) "our AS/400 reports" on Windows PCs. I'm pretty sure most
of us have seen related requests.

It's mostly related to people asking the wrong questions, because they
don't know any better.

End users don't want to do anything with spoolfiles, but ask for them
because they know what they are, arrive at 50% of a solution to their
problem (which is mostly wrong), and then ask you for the other half.

But in general, users care about the end result - they don't want a
spoolfile of your report, they want to import the output of the report
into Excel, or they want a PDF or whatever.

This is easy to see if you have a modern i application that is no
longer using 5250. New users don't know anything about spoolfiles, and
ask direct questions like "how can i get this into excel?". If they
want to see what a report might look like, they just press the preview
button and get it shown in a webbrowser. If they want all that's in
the webbrowser, they just copy and paste it into a Word document. etc.

Spoolfiles are one of the end user visible ways on how the i stores
data that's not in a database. By now, spoolfiles are used for many
things more, like sending mails, generating PDFs, etc. Users that have
grown up with 5250 still know how that works. In modern applications,
spoolfiles are mostly relegated to printing duty, so end users don't
know much about them, as data export is easy and plentyful.

In your standard 5250 application, data export is painful - there is
no button "get me this data into excel". Of course, that was all fun
and games 15 years ago, but technology has moved on. Luckily, there
are plenty of ways to run modern applications on the i - it's just
that many companies don't want to modernize.

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