Orati Systems Debuts With a Lineup of IBM i Tools
September 25, 2012 Alex Woodie
There’s a new player in the market for IBM i utilities. Orati Systems, a British software consultancy and developer, is rolling out a series of tools for the midrange server, including a spool file converter called SpoolMagic and a file transfer tool called iSFTPpro. The company has also written a bunch of open source products that it will distribute free of charge, including a PDF generator called iPDF that promises to be popular.
SpoolMagic is an IBM i utility that converts *SCS spool files into other formats, including HTML, TXT, CSV, XLS, XML, physical files, standard and enhanced PDF, and standard and enhanced RTF. When a spool file hits the queue, SpoolMagic processes it, which could include splitting the file and reformatting it in a spreadsheet or physical file. Processed files are distributed via email or FTP, while archive, purge, save/restore, and auditing/logging functions keep the server and its out queues shipshape.
If keeping the original look of a spool file in XLS or CSV formats is important to you, then this product might be a good fit. Orati says SpoolMagic is the only native IBM i product that “lets the user split a spool file into individual fields down to individual character level, and present this as a formatted XLS spreadsheet.” Other native spool conversion products, the company says, “just convert each report line into a single cell.”
SpoolMagic is a Java-based product that runs under PASE on the IBM i OS. Subscriptions start at £875 for three months, and range up to £2000 for 12 months.
The other moneymaker for Orati is iSFTPpro, a secure file transfer tool that, like SpoolMagic, was written in Java. iSFTPpro is based on the open source JSch Java Secure Channel project, which is a Java implementation of version 2 of the Secure Shell (SSH2) protocol. SSH-based SFTP is considered by some to be more secure than Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-based FTP, or FTPS.
On top of this open source base, Orati adds its own IBM i hooks, including a set of APIs to enable users to send files directly from their RPG programs. The APIs also provide a way to tie the API calls into the logs, providing a full trail of file transfer activity. Orati ensures that only one JVM is running at a time for its products, which “significantly improves performance” of the Java program on the IBM i OS. iSFTPpro is available for a one-time fee of £800.
Orati is also offering four open source products on its website, which can be freely downloaded. These include:
Paul Manners, the founder and director of Orati Systems, explains the idea behind his new endeavor. “I have been using the iSeries for over 20 years and started Orati Systems a couple of years ago as a vehicle for developing commercial products,” he says via email. “The open source products were developed as part of our commercial development. We felt that the iSeries community would find these products useful and raise the profile of our company.”
While SpoolMagic and iSFTPpro will generate fees for Orati, Manners hopes that iPDF brings the company widespread visibility. Manners sees the free tool potentially being adopted by a good number of IBM i shops, helping them with their PDF generation while simultaneously raising the possibility that they will step up to the more full-featured SpoolMagic.
Incidentally, Manners says iPDF has been merged into the MMAIL open source project that is managed at Giovanni Perotti’s www.easy400.net website. MMAIL is a free utility developed by Perotti to allow users to create, send, and receive MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) files.
For more information, or to download or buy one of the Orati Systems products, see the company’s website at www.orati-systems.com.