Category Archives: General

03 
Nov

Communication in the modern world – converting iSeries files to xml

World imageCommunication has always been key to development, strategy, progress and indeed survival, but in the modern world individuals and organisations alike often suffer from communication overload. That is why it is increasingly important that information is filtered and delivered to the recipient in a meaningful and relevant way. Converting important data from your iSeries system to be shared across intranets, the world wide web and elsewhere requires a flexible file format. CoolSpools (www.coolspools.com) has been developed to facilitate the conversion of iSeries spool files and database files to XML and a variety of formats including Excel, CSV, HTML, TXT, RTF and fully searchable PDFs.

Why xml?

xmlXML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. XML is a flexible, open and powerful way to help you exchange information among diverse platforms and applications, geographic boundaries and businesses. XML is widely touted as a key component in the solution to the problem of information exchange between applications and within BtoB environments. XML is simple, extensible and, best of all, nonproprietary.

In order for your applications to work with XML content, you need an XML parser. An XML parser is a set of APIs that assist in the creation, navigation (retrieval) or modification of XML document content. CoolSpools removes the need of a parser to create XML from your data from spool files and database files.

CoolSpools Spool Converter and Database

spool converterThe CoolSpools Spool Converter and Database products have been installed across the globe, providing our customers with a simple and reliable system to convert data from their iSeries spool files and database files. CoolSpools runs only on IBM iSeries servers, without the need of a PC.
To see what they think of our CoolSpools software solutions take a look at our testimonial section on our website, where you will find a selection of genuine comments from a range of our customers www.coolspools.com/Testimonials.htm. You can download CoolSpools for a no-obligation 30-day free trial from www.coolspools.com/cooldown.phpmake life easier

For further information on how you could implement the CoolSpools software to convert your iSeries files to into xml format then email sales@ariadnesoftware.co.uk or phone and speak to one of our experts directly on + 44 (0)1625 547962.

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Published Date: 3rd November 2015
Category: General, spooling
Tags: ,


 

08 
Jun

TIPS and TRICKS – Zebra Formatting

Reading large amounts of data in an Excel worksheet can play tricks on the eyes and mistakes are more likely to occur. But, using conditional formatting within the CVTDBFXL and CVTDBFXLSX commands, allows you to add zebra formatting to make your data more readable.

 Product                              Command                                         Available Versions
Database               CVTDBFXL / CVTDBFXLSX                                 V6 / V7

It is really easy to incorporate zebra formatting, by using conditional formatting on the result of a formula, created in your ‘Database to Excel map’. The MOD and ROW formulas are combined, to return the remainder of a number, in this case the row, divided by two. Thus, creating a cell with ’0’ for even numbered rows and ‘1’ for odd numbered rows.

Zebra formatting blog

All of your data rows are now formatted by applying styles, based upon the content of the formula cell.

Note, styles with alternating background colours need to be setup, (for example ZEB_C1 and ZEB_C2), as shown below.

Zebra formatting blog 2

The above command will create your Excel Worksheet, with Zebra Formatting.

zebra formatting blog 3

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Published Date: 8th June 2015
Category: General, Tips and Tricks


 

24 
Nov

CoolSpools – help save the environment, time and costs.

Surely these are common objectives for most global companies these days. At Ariadne, the well-established software expert, we have developed a piece of software that achieves all three of these aims in one. CoolSpools is a specialist product which converts IBM iSeries data into spreadsheets, emails and other more manageable and usable files.

How does it help to save the environment?

Historically data taken from iSeries databases has been printed out and circulated as a hard copy. Using the CoolSpools software appropriate information can be sorted, filtered and distributed all electronically by email or by allowing key personnel to access files directly from the server, so saving printing and paper. This obviously helps organisations reduce their paper usage whilst also saving time, both of which means cost savings too.

CoolSpools Converts iSeries Data to Excel Spreadsheets

Once you have the BASE element of the CoolSpools software, you can select from a variety of options to suit your business requirements. The Spool Converter option allows the user to convert spool files to Excel and other formats. Also the Email option enables multiple attachments to be emailed including Excel files. Converting your iSeries data from your database into one or several Excel spreadsheets then allows you or your analyst or perhaps your sales managers or operations director to interpret the data and use this crucial information to direct the business going forward. The Spool Converter has the functionality to produce internal reports which can be split reports in the form of multiple Excel spreadsheets.

Professional Looking Spreadsheets

No more green screen outputs as CoolSpools allows you to manipulate the converted Excel spreadsheets even including selecting fonts, colours and shading to ensure the style of the document is in keeping with the company format.

Simple to Set Up

With so much great functionality you might be concerned that all this takes a lot of setting up. Let us put your mind at rest, as it really is very simple, there is no complex set up – in fact it just requires one single command.

So if you would like to save time and money by distributing, archiving and publishing your data and reports electronically using information from your IBM iSeries database, then contact us for a chat about how CoolSpools can work for you on + 44 (0)1625 547962 or simply email sales@ariadnesoftware.co.uk.

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Published Date: 24th November 2014
Category: General, IBM


 

24 
Nov

Do you need to convert complex iSeries data into manageable PDF files?

Are you regularly faced with a mass of raw data, which needs interpretation, sorting and then filtering to the appropriate audiences?

Do you wish that you could easily pull together reports using different selections of the company data so you could send out regional or departmental specific information?

CoolSpools (www.coolspools.com) is an exciting and ingenious piece of software, developed by Ariadne, which does just these tasks and more besides. The days of wading through reams of paper to understand figures and data are officially over. Now your analysts can spend their time analysing the information instead of sorting it, just like you employed them to do!

Reports for external Stakeholders

When producing reports for external stakeholders such as suppliers, investors, shareholders or customers, it is important to uphold the company image and philosophy. CoolSpools allows you to create reports in a PDF format from your iSeries data source, selecting only the relevant spool files that you need to show to each specific target audience. The CoolSpools software also allows you to add graphics, logos and images to your PDF report for that final professional touch.

File security

Often reports based on operational data can be sensitive and therefore need security protection. The CoolSpools PDF file conversion software enables the user to fully secure the information held within by adding password protection, encrypting and digital signatures. Access can therefore be restricted to only authorised personnel. The digital signature option allows files to be authenticated showing the receiver that the report is genuine and has not been tampered with since it was created. For further piece of mind the CoolSpools software has received ISO accreditation – ISO 19005 PDF/A document archiving standard.

Interactive Reports

In addition to creating a secure and targeted PDF file from the iSeries data, CoolSpools also allows you to make your PDF report interactive, with fully searchable pages. This ensures that the report is even more user/reader friendly and allows the recipient to quickly home in on the information which is most important to them.

Would you like to introduce CoolSpools PDF conversion for your iSeries data?

For further information and to watch a video which explains more about the CoolSpools software, visit our website www.coolspools.com or contact us for a chat about how CoolSpools can facilitate your information dissemination on + 44 (0)1625 547962 or email sales@ariadnesoftware.co.uk.

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Published Date: 24th November 2014
Category: General, system i


 

29 
Aug

AS/400 Data Management with CoolSpools Software

Your business relies on the accurate communication of data and information. If you’re using an IBM System i (AS/400 or iSeries) environment, your spool files can provide all the accurate data you need – but manipulating the data into the right format can be a painstaking, time-consuming task.

But help is at hand. Developed by the experts at Ariadne Software, CoolSpools is a powerful, simple and reliable System i file conversion tool. CoolSpools software can convert AS/400 spool files to Excel, PDF and XML.

Here are just a few of the many AS/400 CoolSpools document creation features:

  • Inserting images into System i PDFs is easy with CoolSpools. Simply tell CoolSpools where to insert the JPEG or GIF format images as it converts your spool to PDF.
  • When converting spool to Excel or PDF, tell CoolSpools the points at which the files need to be split – such as region name or invoice number. CoolSpools will split System i Excel output into separate files for you, saved in separate folders. Or it’ll split your converted System i PDFs into several documents, and can even email them to multiple email addresses. 
  • CoolSpools’ powerful spool file converter can automatically generate XML from your spool files for your web applications to access. This saves time on reprogramming the data, and as it’s coming from your spool files, the accuracy and integrity of your data is assured.

If you would like to read more about our CoolSpools solutions then visit our website www.coolspools.com or read some example reviews below to find out what our customers think.

“We use CoolSpools and are really pleased. It performs above and beyond. It has saved us 20% of our total paper bill”
Kenneth Mohn, Programmer, Large US Dairy

“Your support is the best. If you ever need a reference on your product (Coolspools) or your support, I would be happy to give it. If all support was as fast and good as yours, life would be so much easier.”
Jim Horn, CATCO, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

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Published Date: 29th August 2014
Category: AS400, General


 

23 
May

System i & Excel – A need not a want

Coolspools offers you a cost effective management tool kit for IBM system i giving you knowledge when it is needed. It quickly distributes information from the System i into a variety of different formats including Excel, XML and PDF’s. Coolspools runs solely on the System i and it does not need a PC in order to produce Excel files.

This scenario can also be reversed as CoolSpools is able to convert Excel spreadsheets into database files so that the contents of the Excel spreadsheet can be extracted and written to a file in a standard “outfile” format therefore information can be easily processed by your applications.

If you would like a second opinion about whether Coolspools is the tool to use or our software is the right solution for your needs, then take a look at our website (www.coolspools.com) or see below two testimonials that show what our customers think:

“I have used (CoolSpools) for about 3 years and … this package works extremely well. Support is outstanding, and … you get outstanding value for money.”

“We have purchased your software to archive our invoices. It has been working perfectly for over a year now with no maintenance whatsoever. I do not have to keep “fixing” it or taking a look at it, and I like that. Once I installed it, and got it to do what I want it to do, I basically forgot about it. It’s like the Energizer bunny, it keep going and going and going … Simply put, CoolSpools is really cool.”

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Published Date: 23rd May 2014
Category: General, system i


 

23 
May

5 benefits of converting a Spool file to PDF

Spool files can be converted into a variety of different formats meaning you can choose the right format for your purpose. Files can be converted to Excel, XML and most importantly PDF’S. There are a number of reasons why converting a spool file to PDF will benefit you and your company – here are a few:

It’s safe and secure

When a PDF file is converted you have the ability to password protect and encrypt it so that any information you wish to stay secure can only be opened by an authorised person. You can also create a digital signature in order for you to guarantee the file has not been tampered with in any way. The final security feature is that you can put restrictions on what can be changed so that no important information gets rewritten or erased.

Freedom in what you can convert

Some may think that when converting a spool file to PDF that you don’t have a choice in what pages are converted, that would be wrong. The Spool converter allows you to select lines or pages by ‘dropping’ certain parts of the document. It also allows you to send different parts of the document to different people so that everybody does not see all information that they have no need to to see.

Not just your ordinary text document

Instead of being an ordinary document with no visual content the spool converter allows you to carry over graphics and images so you have the opportunity to include company logo’s or watermarks in to maintain symmetry throughout your work, therefore additional software is no longer needed to make your document more visually appealing.

Can keep all your work together

Keeping your work together is important for the organisation of your company and that’s why Coolspools has got it covered for you. In order to make it easier for you to keep everything safe and collective you can create a report or document pack which contains a set of related documents from different spool files.

Easy to navigate

Your work needs to be easy to navigate around as many people may not want to search a whole document to find a snippet of information. Coolspools Spool converter has the ability to create a set of bookmarks from the content of your document to use for an index or set of outlines to make it easier and more efficient for people to view larger documents.

If you want to learn more about converting a Spool file to PDF, and how our software can help you, then look at the Coolspools website at www.coolspools.com/CoolSpoolsSpoolConvertermore.htm.

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Published Date: 23rd May 2014
Category: General, spooling


 

20 
Dec

The Many Benefits of PDFs (And The Easy Way To Create Them)

Whatever line of business you work in, you’ll probably deal with PDF files on a regular basis. It’s a flexible document format used for a wide range of purposes. And if you work in an IBM iSeries, System i or AS/400 environment, now there’s an easy way to create them…

Enter CoolSpools software. Developed by iSeries experts Ariadne Software, CoolSpools is a powerful, fully-featured spool file converter, offering an easy, customizable way to convert spool to PDF and a whole host of other useful file formats.

Back up a minute. What’s a PDF?

I’m sure you already know the answer to this one! Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe. It was created over 20 years ago, and is one of the most commonly-used file formats today. Think of PDFs as the middle ground between an image file and a word-processed document. They can be read on screen, printed, or used by printers to produce publications.

How can CoolSpools help me create PDFs on my iSeries?

As a spool file converter, CoolSpools takes data from your iSeries spool files and converts it into the PDF format, making it readable by any operating system. This negates the need to enter the data manually – it’s all converted for you.

What if I need images in my PDF? Can CoolSpools handle that?

Absolutely. CoolSpools can insert JPEGs or GIFs into your iSeries PDFs, whether they’re company logos, watermarks, photographs or illustrations. Whatever images you need in your iSeries PDFs, CoolSpools can make it happen.

But I don’t just want a dump of my spool files in my PDFs! How do I control what goes in?

CoolSpools makes this easy, too. You can split your converted spool file into multiple PDF documents. Just tell CoolSpools the criteria of where you want to split (such as customer name or number, for example), and it’ll do it for you.

What if I want to add new pages to an existing PDF?

CoolSpools has it covered – even if the original PDF was not created using CoolSpools software.

The PDFs I produce contain sensitive information. Can CoolSpools handle this?

Of course. CoolSpools can password-protect and encrypt your PDF. You can restrict how your PDF is edited to ensure it’s not tampered with. And you can add a digital signature to prove that your PDF has not been amended since you created it.

Is creating PDFs all CoolSpools software does?

Not at all. CoolSpools also converts spools to XML, Excel, CSV, HTML, TIFF and RTF. It can also help manage emailing your files to multiple recipients.

Where can I learn more about creating iSeries PDFs with CoolSpools software?
Simple – head over to www.coolspools.com right away!

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Published Date: 20th December 2013
Category: General


 

20 
Dec

Create iSeries XML the Easy Way with CoolSpools

Work in an IBM AS/400, System i or iSeries environment? Need to create XML files to import into web applications? Forget entering all the data manually – now it’s easier than ever…

IBM iSeries experts Ariadne Software have developed CoolSpools, a powerful, flexible spool file converter. Anyone running an iSeries is sure to find CoolSpools software incredibly useful – especially if you require XML files.

You see, CoolSpools can generate a wide range of file formats by converting your iSeries spool files. You can convert spool to PDF, Excel and – crucially – XML.

Here are just five reasons to consider using CoolSpools to produce XML from your iSeries…

Less risk of human error

Using CoolSpools to create XML minimises the risk of data being entered incorrectly. The data is taken directly from your spool files, which CoolSpools converts and outputs as XML. There’s no chance of human error – it’s all done for you using CoolSpools software.

Save time programming applications

As well as ensuring the integrity of your data, importing data using XML generated using CoolSpools software saves time. Why have interface files or new applications, when you can export from your spool files using XML and import the data into your applications?

CoolSpools software is easy to use

CoolSpools is so easy to use, you’ll soon become a master of converting spool files to XML, Excel, PDF and a whole host of other useful file formats.

CoolSpools software is flexible

It may be easy to learn, but CoolSpools is not just a mere simple spool file converter. You have control over what data you convert into XML from your spool files, ensuring you get all the data you need.

Ariadne Software offers comprehensive support for CoolSpools

Need help, assistance or updates for your CoolSpools software? Ariadne Software’s support page is always available at http://www.coolspools.com/Support.htm, with more in-depth tech support just an email or phone call away.

So why not start creating XML the simple, accurate and fast way using the CoolSpools spool file converter?

And remember, CoolSpools does so much more than convert spool to XML. You can also create iSeries PDFs, Excel, TIFFs, text files, HTML and other file formats. CoolSpools gives you total control over what you include, what you leave out, and to whom you email your converted iSeries documents.

Find out more about CoolSpools software – including their spool file converter, email management, database software and administration solutions – at www.coolspools.com.

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Published Date: 20th December 2013
Category: General


 

15 
Oct

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
  • Barcodes

• 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
  • Color
  • 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.

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Published Date: 15th October 2013
Category: General