i OS Spool Files Go In, Structured XML Comes Out
April 28, 2009 Alex Woodie
Symtrax this month announced the availability of a new product called Compleo for XML that’s designed to take spool files from i OS applications and convert them into structured XML documents that can be used elsewhere. The French company originally announced Compleo for XML last year, but it is just now being introduced to the North American market through Symtrax offices in Boston and Los Angeles.
Compleo is a suite of output management tools that is well-established in the AS/400, iSeries, and System i community. The software has traditionally been used to convert spool files from IBM i, i5/OS, and OS/400 into PC-centric formats, such as Excel, PDF, Word, RTF, CSV, and HTML. The suite also includes a module called MapForm that’s used to generate forms, labels, checks, and other business correspondence; an archiving component called Compleo Archivor; and a scheduling component called Compleo Supervisor.
While Compleo has traditionally been focused on streamlining the delivery of business documents to customers and reducing companies’ reliance on pre-printed forms, with Compleo for XML, Symtrax is positioning the product to provide its clients with B2B integration functionality that’s more along the lines of EDI.
XML is a common data exchange format, but many ERP systems lack the capability to output XML natively, according to Symtrax. Compleo for XML provides that missing functionality, Symtrax CEO Bernard Aldebert says in a press release.
“This solution improves the effectiveness and security of communication between our customers and their partners by allowing the generation of XML documents without modifying the existing applications,” Aldebert says. “The launching of this new solution lays down the importance of XML format as output of iSeries and ERP [applications such as SAP and JDE] in the electronic data interchange market.”
Compleo for XML uses a data field mapping program that’s similar to the one used by other Compleo modules. This graphical tool allows a business analyst to choose which fields from an i OS spool file to convert into XML, and to save this mapping in a template. After the fields have been mapped, Compleo for XML automatically converts i OS spool files according to the template, and generates a W3C-compliant XML document.
After the XML document has been generated, Compleo for XML enables the customer to distribute the document via FTP or e-mail. Alternatively, the file can be uploaded to a file server, or presented for use by another application as a Web service via SOAP (Simple Object Application Protocol).
Compleo supports basic spool files in the SCS (SNA Character Stream) format, as well as AFP and IPDS output, according to Symtrax. The company has experience dealing with the output of a variety of popular i OS ERP applications, including Oracle‘s JD Edwards, Infor‘s ERP XA (formerly MAPICS) and ERP LX (formerly BPCS), and Lawson‘s M3 (formerly Intentia Movex). Compleo is also certified to work with SAP‘s NetWeaver middleware platform.
Compleo for XML was first introduced in early 2008. However, the software was not made available to North American businesses until earlier this year because of a lack of marketing resources, Symtrax says.
Compleo for XML is a member of Compleo version 4.5, and runs on Windows and OS/400 versions V3R7 and higher. Licenses cost $2,300, which gives the customer two development seats. For more information visit www.symtrax.com.