RJS Unveils New Forms, PDF Solutions for System i
May 15, 2007 Alex Woodie
RJS Software Systems announced two new products at the recent COMMON conference Anaheim, California. The first is iForms, a new electronic forms and reporting tool that runs on the System i and works with all kinds of databases. The second is iPDF, an application programming interface (API) that RPG programmers can use to automatically generate PDF documents from RPG applications.
With iPDF, RJS is providing a tool that System i shops with RPG programming expertise can use to generate PDF documents directly from their RPG applications. iPDF creates true PDFs that are searchable (as opposed to graphics-based PDFs), and supports the generation of text, images, barcodes, lines, and boxes from System i spool files. As an extra little perk, the software can generate 30- to 40-column PDF documents that can be opened by Blackberrys and other mobile devices, easing the dissemination of data in an increasingly mobile world.
Because iPDF works in “much the same way” that programmers write reports and print routines today, it can be quickly mastered by RPG programmers in a matter of days, RJS says. The company says iPDF is ideal as a replacement for older forms technologies that generate PCL, PostScript, and AFP output. Also, because PDF has become a near ubiquitous document format, practically anybody can open and read a PDF document, ensuring wide and easy distribution of business correspondence. iPDF is available now. Pricing starts at around $10,000.
RJS’ other major product announcement at COMMON was iForms, a new electronic forms and report writing tool that works with a variety of server platforms. The software, which was written in Java and runs natively on the System i (compared to RJS’ previously announced electronic forms solution, E-Forms, which runs on Windows), enables companies to generate electronic forms or reports from a variety of sources, including spool file output, DB2/400, DB2 UDB, Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL databases. The forms and reports are designed with a Windows-based design tool, the data is merged on the server, and the output is generated in PDF, HTML, XML, Excel, and CSV formats.
i5/OS support is key to iForms, says Richard Schoen, president of the Burnsville, Minnesota, software and services company. “Our customers have been asking for native electronic forms generation and database report writing products for the past several years,” Schoen says. “We’re delivering iForms because we’re seeing no new innovation in the electronic forms and reporting space for the iSeries.”
While forms solutions are nothing new to RJS, forms software that runs on the System i is new to RJS. Previously, the company fell into the camp of System i believers that believed forms and document management was the type of ancillary workload that was best served with a cheaper, standards-based Windows server.
However, with the new generation of System i servers, including the recently introduced Express models 515 and 525, the processors have been unleashed and are truly “screaming,” according to Schoen.
RJS offers a number of related products, mostly centering around report writing tools and spool file distribution, which has been RJS’ traditional area of focus, and Web portals, workflow management tools, and CRM systems, which is a new area of focus.
iForms is expected to ship near the end of May or the beginning of June, and to carry a price tag that starts at around $10,000. For more information, visit www.rjssoftware.com.