Goering Bolsters iExcelGen with Better Automation
September 7, 2004 Alex Woodie
Goering iSeries Solutions last week launched a new release of iExcelGen, a utility that streamlines the loading of OS/400 data or spool files into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and then distributing them automatically. The new release has support for FTP, ZIP compression, and automatic formatting, and has the capability to split very large reports into manageable chunks.
The iExcelGen eliminates the hassle of manually converting DB2/400, Query/400, SQL/400, or spool file data from the native OS/400 format into XLS. For PC users who are adept at sorting through data in Excel, and using the celebrated spreadsheet program to generate polished graphics and charts, this provides a decided advantage over the OS/400 server’s green-bar report legacy.
Users must set up iExcelGen by telling it where to look for source data, how to arrange the data, and where to put the finished spreadsheets when it’s done with the conversions. Once a report conversion has been set up, it can be scheduled to run in the batch subsystem using standard OS/400 scheduling tools. Goering also sells a spool-file add on that automates the process of formatting OS/400 spool files into Excel.
The new release of iExcelGen includes a new “update mode,” which allows users to export their data into a pre-formatted XLS template, giving users some of the automation of spool file reports they enjoyed with the Spool Add-on. The new release also now automatically splits large reports (more than 65,000 records) into multiple tabs in an Excel workbook. Support for large reports was added in the previous release.
The iExcelGen also gains FTP support with the new release, adding to the automatic e-mail capabilities that debuted with the previous release. What’s more, the product can automatically compress XLS files in ZIP format, a feature that should pay off with those large reports.
These new features should greatly benefit users, says Randy Shaw, director of operations for Goering iSeries Solutions. “The ability to have the AS/400 export data to an XLS file, ZIP it, and have the file pushed via e-mail or FTP will result in an incredible return on investment for system administrators,” he said. Goering iSeries Solutions is headquartered in Germany, and has an office in Atlanta.
Support for Excel 2000 has also been added with this release. The iExcelGen requires OS/400 V4R2 or later, and is compatible with all OS/400 security levels, the company says. No per user licenses are required with iExcelGen, as it is entirely server-based. Pricing for iExcelGen is based on the size of the iSeries server it is loaded onto, and starts at €650 for a P05 box, or about $780 at current exchange rates. For more information, go to www.goering.us.