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inFORM Decisions Releases Upgrades to Document Automation Solutions

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inFORM Decisions, a leading provider of document automation and electronic banking solutions, has released new versions of three of its leading products, iDocs, iPDF, and iView.

The company has released V4.03 of iDocs, the centerpiece of its document automation product family running on the System i. The new version contains the ability to support dynamic macros and supports remote signature pads. Dynamic macros offer the capability to substantially customize the output content of iDocs on a block-by-block basis. Support of remote signature pads will enable organizations using such a device in delivery and receiving operations to upload information and signatures from signature pads directly to the iSeries/System i and to iDocs to merge and manage.

inFORM Decisions was founded in 1994 to provide powerful utility solutions to address the growing need to efficiently manage paper workloads in all aspects of the enterprise. Managing custom electronic forms and reports, faxes, bar codes, electronic documents, and MICR check printing has generated strong consumer interest on the IT landscape.

iDocs contains the brains and the administrative engine for inFORM's document automation product family. It captures documents, applies business rules, merges forms, and intelligently routes eDocuments to user-defined locations. Options are available to email, fax, archive-retrieve, MICR check print, and print laser forms and report applications. It is resident native on the IBM System i product group of servers that includes AS/400, iSeries, i5 and System i.

Signature Pad Capability

Remote signature pads are in common use in delivery operations today. Using this capability, documents and signatures can be uploaded, merged, and printed/emailed/faxed/archived. This will be useful for members of the transportation industry where they collect signatures all day and capture the delivery transactions at end of day.

iDocs has an option called iSignature that uses a signature capture pad to capture and upload the image of a signature as a macro. iDocs can then be set up to capture the identifier of the signature image from the System i spool file page (e.g., invoice number, customer number) and include the matching signature in the laser document.

Members of the transportation industry that use a remote signature pad and wish to upload delivery documents with associated signatures onto IBM's AS/400, iSeries, i5 or System i midrange servers are expected to benefit significantly from the dynamic macros in V4.03 of iDocs.

Dynamic Macros

iDocs can now dynamically search through a spool file for a user-defined condition and merge almost any content with the spool file. To be able to do this, dynamic macros are used. iDocs provides the capability to create such a macro, which can contain an image such as a signature, a logo, picture, text, or mixed content. Then it is included in the merged iDocs output at the user-specified locations under the user-specified conditions.

Some simpler uses of dynamic macros could include:

  • Using the correct corporate logo image in the output when the spool file page includes output for different companies.
  • Including different standard terms that are matched to different document types.
  • Including different forms content matched to different document types, different customer types or accounts.

"Both dynamic macros and remote signature pad support will be welcomed by our users," reports Dan Forster, president of inFORM Decisions. "They address more complex document applications that we've run across over the years."

V4.03 of iDocs is available now. All announced enhancements in V4.03 are covered by the normal IFD support contract that pertains to all of the company's products. Training is available at a reasonable fee.

iPDF Native PDF Generator

inFORM Decisions also has released a new version of its iPDF native PDF generator that includes both a powerful engine enhancement and a new user interface using a spool file browser that automates and simplifies PDF generation on the System i.

With iPDF, users can easily output reports, forms and checks in an intelligent PDF format. Form files are text selectable, searchable, and compressed. Documents and reports can be stored and retrieved through Web browser access to iSeries/System i IFS directories.

New iPDF Engine

An OutQ Monitor has been added to iPDF to automatically generate PDFs and send them to a pre-defined OutQ. This gives iPDF a powerful data-queue-driven engine that monitors the user-specified OutQ. It automatically determines what type of PDF conversion to perform, converts a *SCS or *USERASCII (Laserjet) document to PDF format, and writes the PDF document to the user-specified directory. This directory can be networked and from this directory users can access the spool files natively in Windows.

The new iPDF engine enables users to automatically write all documents arriving in an OutQ to an IFS or networked directory as PDF documents. This new OutQ Monitor capability provides the systems administrator with a sweep-map ability.  In other words, the systems administrator is able to configure iPDF to sweep the contents of an OutQ to a Windows, IFS, or Linux directory as PDF documents. This capability literally recreates the OutQ contents as a PDF in another location in real time, as documents arrive in the OutQ.

Bottom line: This real time export feature of iPDF gives the user access to the System i OutQ data in a more accessible format.

New User Interface - Spool File Browser

The simple user interface allows users to view a list of spool files, filtered by OutQ or by user, and then easily identify spool files to convert. The need to laboriously key the spool file identifiers is eliminated, since iPDF now handles it automatically. Thus, iPDF can easily handle what was previously a laborious task that involved invoking a programming API.

"We've not only added some power and automation to our PDF document generator," says Forster. "We've made it easier to use."

Both new enhancements are covered by the normal IFD support contract that covers all of the company's products.

There is no cost for the upgrades for iPDF users covered under current IFD maintenance contracts.

iPDF is priced between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on software tier and products and options being ordered.

iView Enhancements

inFORM Decisions also has released V4.0 of its iView Document Archive-Retrieval System that includes virtual folders, network-enabled archiving and the ability to export archived documents to any remote FTP server on the iSeries/System i.

iView Document Archive-Retrieval System is an iSeries/System i Web-based electronic document storage solution, which is often bundled with IFD's Document Automation product family (iDocs) or sold standalone to automate and simplify the storage and retrieval of electronic documents.

Resident native on the iSeries, iView automatically captures spool files and/or merged form and report output, and stores these files in an intelligent PDF format that is retrievable over the Web with intelligent search criteria.

"This new iView Document Center is lean and mean at half the price of other archiving products offering features quite often users don't need," said Forster.

Dynamic Restructuring

The addition of virtual folders to iView permits the ability to create the appearance of a directory structure in the iView archive of electronic documents. This dynamic restructuring allows systems administrators to organize and provide structure to a group of archived documents without having to change the underlying archive. An example is grouping an archive of customer invoices by date so users can search within a particular month's invoice run. Structures are alterable at any time without having the user log off.

Davis Yokana, product manager for iView at inFORM Decisions, reports: "Most document archive-retrieval solutions for the IBM System i offer inflexible, fat clients. Virtual folders with a Web browser interface in the new iView allows easier software deployment and document access." Users can log onto any Web browser and view, retrieve, print, or send a stored document, and dynamically reorganize folders for better document organization, he said.

Content-Based Security

Virtual Folders in the new version also permit the system administrator to restrict access to documents based on the document's content. Thus, multiple users can access one archive, but each sees only their own authorized view of "their" documents.

Networked Document Storage

V4.0 of iView can be configured to store its electronic document archive on a networked directory. This can be done with any Windows or Linux server. Disk on these servers is typically less expensive than IBM's System i disk drives, thus reducing the cost of document storage. Archives resident on Windows or Linux servers open additional retrieval options for other products on these servers.

FTP Export

In addition to archiving e-documents within the iView archive, the iView's engine can now export both the document and a text file of search indices for the document to a specified FTP server. This permits the System i administrator to automatically export System i spool files, *SCS or laser documents as PDF documents to a remote server: Windows, Linux, or any other FTP server.

All organizations with documents originating on the AS/400, iSeries, i5 and System i midrange servers are expected to benefit from the enhancements in Version 4.0 of iView.

"Content-based security will be a great convenience to our users," reports Forster. "One powerful feature of iView is that it's one of or the least expensive archive/retrieval solutions on the market-under $10,000," he said.

New features of iView are available now. All announced enhancements in Version 4.0 of iView are covered by the normal IFD support contract that pertains to all of the company's products.

There is no cost for the upgrades for iView users covered under current IFD maintenance contracts.

For more information about any of the above products and other document automation solutions from IFD, contact sales at inFORM Decisions, 30221 Aventura, Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.709.5838 x100.

inFORM Decisions, Inc.

inFORM Decisions (www.informdecisions.com) specializes in document management, payment automation and modernization solutions for IBM i (iSeries). inFORM's acclaimed iDocs Suite make it easy to design, add intelligence, archive and/or intelligently distribute electronic documents, reports and checks to laser printers, fax, or email (in popular formats like PDF, Excel, RTF, HTML, TEXT and more). The company distributes the database modernization solution, Adsero Optima Foundation, to facilitate and automate the migration of all legacy (ISAM or DDS) databases to the latest DDL (SQL/SQE) implementation of DB2 on IBM i. To learn more, visit www.informdecisions.com or call 949.709.5838

To find out more about inFORM Decisions, Inc. and its products see their listings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.

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