Product Review: Spool Organizer/400 from Broderick Data Systems

So they're playing with the raw data that comprises a spool file. Having been to that level when I handled a fax product customization for a client, I can relate to some of the challenges involved, but this is the best place to be to get the job done right.

Spool distribution to multiple targets and format conversions appeared to run smoothly.

Remember, when creating CSVs, you need a line within a report to select from. This allows you to ignore things like headers and footers when creating tables for import. Also, you'll be defining the columns on the reports so that the product knows which rows in the report equate to which rows in your spreadsheet.

When doing several restore attempts of archived spool files, I was a bit surprised that multiple files were active at the same time. I would've preferred that just one be active at a time, for operations and performance considerations. Perhaps Broderick is a bit optimistic about the amount of CPU most shops have available.

The package is, in effect, event-driven. You define an event (report, archive an out queue, etc.) and the system handles it as prescribed. The event-naming conventions are constrained to a field length of three characters. However, when examining the overall package, I found this one does a decent job of filling in many blanks and helping save me from the little "gotchas" and pesky user scenarios that I've seen throughout the years.

I did find a security concern, which was being addressed by the developers during the writing of this article. Hopefully it won't be a concern by the time this magazine is published.

Support was good. Personnel appeared to have a good grip on their product and how best to integrate it.

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

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