Kisco Releases Full Update to WebReport/400
September 28, 2004 Alex Woodie
Kisco Information Systems has added many new features to WebReport/400, its OS/400 report conversion and electronic distribution utility. In WebReport/400 Version 7, made available last week, users will find enhanced security, outbound FTP support, new e-mail and naming options, message queue support, and other enhancements designed to improve the handling, distribution, and storage of spool files generated from OS/400 applications.
WebReport/400 is an OS/400 utility that monitors output queues, converts spool files to a new format, and then distributes the converted file electronically, either through e-mail, by posting to a Web site, or (new with Version 7.0) distribution through FTP. The software supports the conversion of spool files into HTML, PDF, CSV, RTF, and e-mail formats, and can even apply AFPDS overlays to spool file output (a relatively new feature that has been improved with this release). Users can interact with software through a 5250 interface, or it can be set up to process spool files automatically, for hands-free operation.
The PDF is a very popular document format among businesses these days, and Kisco has taken steps to improve the security of PDF documents generated by the new version of WebReport/400. Specifically, the software can now encrypt PDF files, and it also gains the capability to restrict access to PDFs through passwords and access to certain features through document permissions, Kisco says.
E-mail routing of reports through WebReport/400 has also been enhanced. With this release, WebReport/400 can extract e-mail addresses from a user-controlled field associated with a spool file, and automatically send that report to that e-mail address. For individually e-mailed reports, Kisco now gives users more control over the “from” field of an e-mail, the company says.
Kisco has also given WebReport/400 users more control over naming their converted files. Previously, WebReport/400 generated the file name for the user. But in the new release, users can choose their own file names. Another new feature lets WebReport/400 generate file names based on the date.
The new version also has the capability to e-mail and store spool files in their native format. While this may sound like a bizarre feature for a product that’s designed to convert spool files into other formats, better support for OS/400 native spool file format has a couple of obvious benefits such as the capability to set up data archives or to transfer reports among OS/400 servers.
WebReport/400 Version 7 also has a Message Monitor capability, for monitoring the OS/400 message queue and sending an e-mail when predefined events take place. For example, if there is a tape error that could prevent a back up from taking place, the new Message Monitor capability could see that error in the message queue and kick off an e-mail to the administrator, alerting him to the situation. Such message monitoring is common in systems management tools and gives administrators another reason to use WebReport/400.
Users who want to use FTP to distribute their spool files must purchase a slightly more expensive version of the product called WebReport/400 PDF. Kisco includes shell programs with the product to facilitate FTP implementation. As one might expect, WebReport/400 PDF also supports the conversion of spool files into PDF format, and it also is required for CSV support.
Pricing for WebReport/400 starts at $1,195 per server. WebReport/400 PDF costs $1,795 per server. For boxes running logical partitioning, there is WebReport/400 PDF LPAR, which allows users to run WebReport/400 in as many partitions as they like for $2,700.00. For more information and free 30-day downloads, go to www.kisco.com.