DRV Tech Delivers Report Writer with FlexTools V5
May 15, 2012 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that use DRV Technologies‘ FlexTools software to manage their spool files now have the option to use the new DataFlex component to generate reports from their data. The new report writer, which was unveiled as part of FlexTools version 5 at last week’s COMMON conference in Anaheim, California, creates reports from DB2/400 files and outputs them in several formats.
DataFlex offers IBM i shops another way to query their DB2/400 data and generate basic reports from that data. The product enables users to join multiple database files, select data by record range, and specify field selection, DRV says. The output can be generated as electronic PDF, Excel, or CSV documents, or sent directly to the printer. It can also be emailed directly from the IBM i server.
No programming is required to use DataFlex, DRV says. The utility, which sells for a flat fee of $3,000, can be driven from a green-screen menu, or automated with APIs. The software functions as an “inexpensive alternative to convoluted IBM i report writers,” DRV says.
With the optional Advanced Utilities, DataFlex users get extra capabilities and automation functions. For example, the Sentry job scheduler included in the Advanced Utilities package automates the distribution of reports, while an address book provides quick access to email addresses. The Advanced Utilities package also enables users to burst output dynamically based on variable data, according to DRV.
The version 5 release of the FlexTools suite includes updates to other components of the package, including SpoolFlex, FormFlex, and MessageFlex.
The new release of SpoolFlex delivers enhancements in the areas of report management, including: comparative highlighting when viewing IBM i reports in Excel; inserting reports into the bodies of emails as HTML; a collection of output format templates for customizing reports for different ERP packages; the addition of descriptions to certain product sequences to ease troubleshooting; enhanced help menus; better indexing for auditing; and new definition viewing options.
FormFlex saw several enhancements to its barcode, MICR check, and forms capabilities. On the barcode front, this release brings support for the following barcode formats: GS1-128, EAN-8, EAN-13, USPSIM, and PDF417. Users can also implement the new “form within a form” feature to continue using forms generated by other products. DRV says that users can also suspend objects in a form, and add comments to better manage objects.
On the check front, DRV has made new APIs available for driving the MICR check merge function from CL programs. This release also delivers the capability to pull routing and bank account numbers from spool files during a check merge.
DRV also enhanced MessageFlex, the message automation solution that was launched just a year and a half ago. With the version 5 release, MessageFlex has been enhanced with several new features, including the capability to filter messages by ID, type, and severity. This release also gives users the capability to add document attachments to notifications.
DRV has also changed its marketing with this release, and is highlighting the name “FlexTools” as the umbrella brand for all of its products. For more information, see the vendor’s website at www.drvtech.com.