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Appendix F. Matrices for choosing a software print solution
As part of your decision-making process for selecting the appropriate software
tools, you must consider a number of factors. This appendix summarizes some of
the key differentiating features of IBM printing software products based on:
• Document formatting methods
• Building or obtaining external AFP resources
• Transport Mechanisms
• Data stream conversion
• Product packaging
F.1 Document formatting methods
You may consider the following factors when selecting a software product for
formatting iSeries documents:
• Programmer required: This is whether programming skills are required. It
does not imply knowledge of any particular programming language.
• Application Independent: Can the document formatting method be used
independently of the application or must it be taken into consideration when
writing the application?
• Dynamic positioning: Can the text be placed at different positions from page
to page depending on the amount of data being produced?
• Complex documents: At a minimum, different pages within the same
document should be able to have different formatting applied (if required).
• Barcodes: Can individual fields be printed as individual barcodes?
• One-pass operation: This refers to the method of producing the final
document output. For example, is any re-spooling of a new file required; or, is
the formatting applied inline with the normal print spooling?
• Cross-platform compatibility: Can the AFP resources created by the
formatting method be used on other platforms? Note that this refers to the
resources created rather than the formatting products themselves.
The methods considered are:
• iSeries printer files and DDS printer files
• Infoprint Designer for iSeries
• AFP Printsuite – Advanced Print Utility (APU)
• AFP Printsuite – Page Printer Formatting Aid (PPFA)
• AFP PrintSuite – AFP Toolbox
• AFP Utilities/400 – Print Format Utility
Table 37 compares the functions of the software product for formatting iSeries