Mail Merge on AS/400 – Replacment for Text Mgmt or AS/400 Office

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AS/400
Printing
RPG
We have an old system that uses a third-party replacement product for text management or AS/400 office to produce customer letters. We have all kinds of different letters stored and maintained as documents in folders and RPG programs that produce extract files and use supplied commands in our CL's to merge the records in the file with the letter to produce spools that are then printed on our Xerox laser. We are tired of users expecting the programming staff to maintain these letters in some cryptic text manager on the AS/400, make changes, test, install, etc..We are programmmers, not text maintainers. Does anyone know a good replacement product or just a good method that would allow the users to maintain the letters in Word or something similar but still allow the AS/400 to be the driver of producing the letters, perform the extract and the spool file as it does now? And could we automate the conversion of the letters into this new format?

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You may want to look into a product called Formtastic. It is available from Quadrant Software. Text documents are created on a PC and then uploaded to your AS/400. The documents can then be merged with your customer info and the printing of the letters is then controlled on the AS/400. With this product you could easily have the users maintain the letters. I find it very user friendly and similar to Word in many ways. We use it to print out customer contracts and letters. I wasn’t involved in installing Formtastic on our AS/400 but I got the impression that it was fairly easy to do. It did require some programming on our part but our users wanted to be able to request a letter and have it print immediately rather than wait for it to print during our nightly batch jobs. Hope this helps.

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  • Eaallen
    You may want to examine the OPTIO product. It is a PC/server based solution to managing documents. we have used it to successfully process all our AS/400 report documents and archival reports. simple front end the user can use to maintain rather then having IT be forced into the middle of the mess. I know it will generate Word/PDF/PCL documents and it works perfectly on our Xerox 4500 lasers. To date their support staff has been knowledgable and helpful with even the dumb questions..
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  • DanTheDane
    This is a very common problem that occurs in many organizations. You might want to have a look on ITP by Aia Software. This solution has the flexibility of Word, runs in a stable server environment and integrates tightly with processes on AS/400 systems. You can even re-use your RPG data extraction programs. If your current document production system is based on IBM Office Vision 400, you can use ITP's converter to make ITP models from your existing models. Go to http://www.aia-itp.com for more details.
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