Quadrant Adds a Slew of Updates to Forms Software
July 21, 2009 Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software added a number of new capabilities with Formtastic version 5.4.3, which was recently unveiled. The new release brings close integration with Infor XA (MAPICS) and the capability to automatically e-mail XA-generated spool files as PDF files. This release brings a number of other useful enhancements, including support for the 4-State barcode, new auto-merge functions, better duplex printing, new e-mail APIs, and improvements to the signature capture module.
Formtastic is a suite of software products that make spool file output from i OS applications more attractive and more flexible. The suite includes a Windows-based form design tool, templates for specific documents such as tax forms or MICR checks, a runtime engine that merges i OS spool files with pre-defined templates, e-mail and fax add-ons, signature capture, and archiving modules.
Quadrant worked closely with developers at i OS ERP giant Infor to ensure the integration between Formtastic and ERP XA. As the result of that work, XA R7 and R7.8 users who install a certain PTF (SH84792) gain the new capability to automatically create and e-mail XA output as PDF files. Thanks to the integration work, all of this is handled automatically behind the scenes. All the XA users have to do to obtain this capability is download the PTF.
Infor XA customers aren’t the only ones to benefit from Formtastic version 5.4.3. This release also brings support for the new “intelligent mail” barcode from the United States Postal Service, also known as the 4-State barcode. The new barcode stores more data by varying the height and position of vertical marks in a two-dimensional barcode. Companies can save on postage by using the 4-State barcode.
This release also brings enhancements to Formatter, one of the add-ons to the Formtastic suite. This release introduces a new offline mode for Formatter’s editor, allowing customers to create and design templates even when they’re not connected to the Power Systems (i5) server. This release also brings a new auto save function to help reduce the chances of losing changes.
Formtastic’s duplex printing has been enhanced with the introduction of support for the dynamic merging of form data. Quadrant says users can now use the same information on the front and back of their documents, or dynamically set up different information to be merged on the back of their forms or checks. This makes it easier to include items such as disclaimers, warranty information, or confidentiality statements on the front or the back of a document, according to Quadrant.
Customers using Formtastic’s PDF module can now save multiple copies of newly merged PDF documents in up to five different places. This will make it easier to keep an archive of generated documents. Also, changes have been made to Formtastic start-up procedures. With this release, the auto merge function is automatically readied when Formtastic starts up. Customers can specify certain auto-merges to load automatically, or to activate all of them at start-up.
Quadrant has also bolstered the product’s e-mail capabilities. With this release, Formtastic can automatically e-mail an i OS spool file as an attachment immediately after it has been merged with a form. Also, new API commands give Formtastic users more control over the e-mail subject line and the file names of attachments.
Last but not least are the enhancements to Formtastic’s signature (or image) capture module. With this release, users gain the capability to add a batch of images dynamically to a merged form. This could allow, for example, a purchase order to include sketches of the materials ordered, a pick list to include images of specific parts to pick, or an invoice including a diagram of the goods purchased, according to Quadrant. Images are supported in the JPG format, and file names can be up to 64 characters.
Formtastic 5.4.3 is available immediately. Formtastic customers on previous releases will gain significant advantages when upgrading to the latest 5.4.3 release. The upgrade is free for customers currently enrolled in the maintenance program.