Quadrant Bolsters Time Zone Support in FastFax
January 5, 2010 Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software recently issued a new release of its FastFax product that delivers support for multiple time zones, which will provide organizations with geographically dispersed operations greater control of when faxes are sent out. FastFax version 4.7.6 also includes support for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, and compatibility with the latest Brooktrout fax cards from Dialogic.
Quadrant’s FastFax suite of products enable users to distribute i5/OS spool file output as either a fax or an e-mail, and also allows users to receive faxes and manage them from their favorite e-mail environment. The offering includes a “black box” fax processor that hooks fax cards into the network (fax workloads are not suited for System i iron), and software interfaces that support all manners of IBM i OS (i5/OS), Windows, and NetWare clients; Domino, Exchange, and GroupWise e-mail servers; and connectors for popular i OS ERP applications, such as JD Edwards, BPCS, MAPICS, and others.
With FastFax version 4.7.6, Quadrant allows customers to set up multiple environments that support different time zones. By allowing each environment and location to have its own distribution schedule and timestamp, it allows multiple offices using the same FastFax implementation a greater degree of control over the distribution of documents.
Support for multiple time zones will be particularly useful for customers that broadcast faxes at a predetermined time of day. So if a global company commonly distributes faxes to customers or suppliers at night, faxes will go out appropriately at night, in local time, according to the specific offices’ local time, and feature a timestamp that corresponds to local time. No longer will some of the company’s customers or suppliers receive faxes at midday, if the company intended them to go out at night.
FastFax/Enterprise users will also find support for the latest Brooktrout fax cards from Dialogic in version 4.7.6. While a System i shop could run fax serving workloads on a System i server in theory, Quadrant recommends that most System i organizations–and any customer doing a high volume of fax serving–use an outboard PC-based fax server. Quadrant has added support for the latest 6.1 release of Dialogic’s Brooktrout T1034 PCI-based fax board with FastFax 4.7.6.
System i shops will also be able to take advantage of SNDFAX API enhancements in this release of FastFax. The SNDFAX API allows users to embed FastFax commands directly into IBM i OS spool files, thereby automating the delivery of certain documents. With this release, Quadrant has enhanced the SNDFAX API by adding support for nicknames. The company says support for nicknames will help customers by requiring them to enter shorter recipient names when setting up automated fax distribution using the SNDFAX API.
Quadrant sells four versions of FastFax, including FastFax/Enterprise, which provides inbound and outbound fax support for IBM i OS and LAN computer systems; FastFax/Ultra, which provides inbound and outbound faxing from the comfort of IBM i OS-based applications; FastFax/LAN, which provides inbound and outbound fax support in Windows and Novell NetWare environments; and FastFax/Blue, which provides inbound and outbound fax activity from IBM i OS server workstations, as well as legacy support for Facsimile Support/400.
Quadrant also sells a number of add-on modules for its FastFax family, including E-Mail Gateways, which allows any FastFax customer to manage their inbound and outbound fax activity from the comfort of their Domino, Exchange, Novell GroupWise, or SMTP e-mail environment; FastFax High-Availability Servers, which are dedicated outboard fax servers that can be run in parallel for high availability protection; and the FastFax System i API and associated development tools, which allows users to integrate FastFax directly into their IBM i OS-based applications, and to manage all inbound and outbound fax activity from those applications.
Many FastFax customers also use other Quadrant products, including Formtastic, an electronic document design tool; Formatter, which pre-processes IBM i OS spool files so that only the necessary data appears on the final form; and IntelliChief, Quadrant’s Windows-based content management and workflow system.