Inventive Designers to Introduce X-Platform Document-Processing Tool
by Dan Burger
Companies possessing documents on various platforms supporting the Java 2 Version 3.1 environment--
which includes OS/400, Windows, Unix, Linux, and Mac OS--will soon be able to consolidate and
standardize their workflow within one architectural infrastructure. In June, Inventive Designers will start shipping Scriptura, a
platform-independent document-processing tool designed to produce customized documents and reports
that can be printed by any network printer, Web enabled, or output to PDF format for e-mail distribution.
Inventive Designers is best known for its DTM for AS/400e Servers, which have been used by some shops
to migrate document management from IBM's
OfficeVision/400. The company was founded in 1994 and has offices located in Antwerp, Belgium, and
Sedona, Arizona. It is an IBM business partner and an advanced member within IBM's PartnerWorld for
Scriptura promises the familiar look and feel of document programs such as Microsoft Word, IBM Lotus WordPro, and Novell WordPerfect. It uses a WYSIWYG, page-oriented, drawing-
style interface, which means that all design elements can be displayed before a document is submitted for
Scriptura's design functionality allows users to drag and drop text, lines, boxes, tables, lists, data fields,
XML data, and database data into customized reports or documents. Its word processing tools allow design
work that includes graphics and images, charts, backgrounds, font selection, formatting, headers, and
footers. Prior programming or coding experience is not necessary, as the process is supported on any
workstation with graphical capabilities.
Scriptura uses technologies conforming to World Wide Web
Consortium standards (XML, XSL, Xpath) adopted by the major industry vendors. This is coupled
with data-field support for conditional logic, SQL, and mathematical functionality from various JDBC/NSF
external data sources.
The Java-compatible engine, which does not require a GUI-based workstation, applies XSL stylesheets to
the external data sources in order to generate the finished document. In addition to using XML data, JDBC-
compliant databases, such as DB2, can also be used. JavaServer Pages and reports will merge the database
data with the layout. JSP provides a simplified way to create dynamic Web content in a printer-friendly
manner. Web application servers, like IBM's WebSphere, can be used to process these JSP documents and
generate the final output format or process within another application. This approach facilitates the
deployment of Web-based applications that are server- and platform-independent.
The technology includes iSeries-specific CL commands that can be used to control the Scriptura engine in
order to automatically create specified documents. Officials at Inventive Designers say it will soon support
importing DDS printer files for easy migration from, and integration with, OV/400 applications.
Scriptura also supports Domino XML Language, or DXL, which allows documents and reports to be
produced from any Notes database or document, across any platform, and from any network printer.