Zebra printers on an iSeries platform

pts.
Tags:
Application development
AS/400
Printers
Printing
RPG ILE
RPGLE
I am on an assignment that has me pulling out what little hair I have remaining. Zebra printers use a language caled ZPL to print thermal labels. Problem is, there is no tool I can locate on the iSeries that produces ZPL code. Zebra offers a product that is PC based. It produces ZPL code that is uploaded to the iSeries. I can't find any kind of documentation that specifies how I then make use of said ZPL code. If any of you know anyone or anything about this process, I could sure use a bit of guidance. Anything would be appreciated, as currently, I know nothing about what to do. Thank you for your time.

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Get the “ZPL II Programming Guide” from Zebra. You can create a spoolfile for a AS400(whoops- ISERIES) zebra with that contains the needed ZPL code. You can control placement, rotation, font, barcodes, pretty much everything and after you do a couple it gets easy. The printer needs to be set up so it will recognize ‘>’ as a control character with a little spoolfile and I think it has an example in the book.

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  • ETTENIPS
    Hi oldGoat, could you explain what is defined on your AS400 and what is defined on the PC ? how do you do the link between your zebra printer and the as400 ? do you use clientaccess emulation printer ? do you define a rmtoutq on your AS400 ? with which *WSCST ?
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  • WoodEngineer
    From one old goat to another . . . In a former life I connected a Zebra printer to our AS/400. Believe it or not but it was a twin-ax connection. Since ZPL is just a string of characters we configured the Zebra as a character printer, such as an Epson 850. It can be any character-based printer your system supports. Our spool file contained just the ZPL code. Since the ZPL code totally controls the behavior of the Zebra be sure that the AS/400 inserts no forms control characters into your spool file. You can experiment with ZPL directly from your PC by keying commands into a text file and sending it to the printer. Once the text file is working reasonable well, write an RPG program that generates the same code and you'll be good to go. We are doing something very similar today with a DataMax printer which is connected via a client access session. No reason you could not use Zebra's version of a JetDirect box to connect via TCP/IP. Remember, treat the printer as a simple character printer. That was the key in our case. The T.L. Ashford software package can do a lot of this work for you. It makes designing a bar coded label pretty easy. Hope this helps.
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