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Product Review: Spool Organizer/400 from Broderick Data Systems




There are some nice tutorials in the back of the manual. They also can help get you rolling down the right path.

Ease of Use
The package can be run in two flavors: via menu options or embedded commands.

Once you understand what's where and how to use it, the menu options are easy to follow and use. And frankly, it's good old green-screen menus and prompts. When you want to put some of the items into production, you can embed the commands into your CL job streams (or RPG streams) and get the functionality integrated into your in-house applications from there. Let's say you want to convert a report to a PDF or CSV and ship it off to a particular folder. Just embed the conversion commands in your CL and it works. Broderick has written the PDF conversion utility so that it's a native function. You don't need outside PC-based software. And the CSV conversion utility worked like a champ for me.

Documentation
Someone has taken some time to write the documentation, and it shows. I'd only suggest more screen captures. There were several times when I wished I had more screen captures to show me what I was actually looking at on the AS/400 when I was using Spool Organizer/400.

Certifiability
The only portion I didn't use was the function that enables you to convert spool files to e-mail and send them out automatically. All of the remaining functions appear to work as advertised.


Broderick calls this package a spool organizer. Maybe someone else has the trademark on it, but I find that this product is also a good spool file manager.

With a little planning or programming, this little package will basically do most anything from archiving and distribution to conversion and on-demand archive retrieval. It appears to be fairly efficient and easy to use once you get your feet wet.

The base requirements of offline archiving and archival retrieval worked fine. Come to find out, Broderick gets down into the system on the spool-file level internals.

Don Rima has more than 20 years of experience with IBM midrange systems. Don can be reached at dr2@dlr2.net.


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