What's New blog for IBM i, FormSprint, and FormsTrack users and fans covers topics such as new software from ICS, IBM i news and helpful hints, and even the latest news in mobile technology.
When searching the App Store today for IBM i iPad apps, only 19 results are returned. Ten of the apps are emulators, two are just for IBM i shows, which means there are only 8 unique apps in the App Store that are made to interact with an IBM i. With over 300,000 iPad apps in the App Store, that means that far less than one percent are designed to be used with the IBM i.
Anyone who has used an iPad knows that the user-friendly interface and processing power can make it a strong business tool. When searching for the word business in the app store, there are more than 5,000 results. Why hasn’t there been a push for mobile apps that interact with the IBM i?
At ICS we have made it a priority to develop IBM i iPad apps. We are currently working on 7 exciting new apps which handle item tracking, proof of delivery and more. The best part is that these apps do not require an extra Windows server, they communicate directly with the IBM i to solve business problems.
You can check out our FormsTrack web page to learn more about that app, and look for more news on iPad apps to follow in this space.
FormsTrack iDelivery (FTID) is an Apple® iPad® ap that communicates with the IBM i via the i's web server. When a driver logs in,FTID downloads documents such as a delivery invoice to the iPad. When a delivery is made, the items in the delivery can be checked off, comments added and the delivery signed for on the iPad. The signature and comments become part of the document, which is immediately transmitted back to the IBM i. The customer's copy is automatically emailed and status of the delivery is immediately available at the distribution center rather than when the driver returns.
Further enhancing FormSprint's broad barcode printing capability, version 201201 supports the Quick Response Code commonly abbreviated as the QR Code. The barcode has gained popularity outside the automotive industry for which it was designed, according to Wikipedia, because it handles much more information than barcodes such as the UPC barcode and it is supported by smart phones and other devices.
The QR Code is supported both in the Spool Mapper and the form flash. As with other barcodes, the QR code is accessed from the Fonts and Special Functions screen of the Spool Mapper simply by putting an X next to it and setting the barcode height parameter for the desired bar code size in millimeters.
In the flash definition, the multiline text screen can be used for the input data.
For some time now, FormSprint has supported the US Postal Service's Intelligent Mail® products and services with the Intelligent Mail® Barcode (IMB). The IMB is a new Postal Service barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. The Postal Service is promoting the use of the IMB because it expands the ability to track individual mailpieces. The new barcode incorporates the data of the other existing POSTNET and PLANET Code barcodes in a smaller space and expands the data capacity for more accurate and detailed information about mailings. At some point, the USPS may require the use of the IMB in place of the other barcodes.
In the 2012 release, FormSprint supports the IMB on Zebra (ZPL II) label printers.
FormSprint users can now print the IMB directly on an item such as an envelope, on laser labels or using most common Zebra printers.
While offering more mailing services through the IMB, the USPS also offers enhanced discounts for mailings meeting certain criteria and using the IMB.
FormSprint version 2012 supports Dynamic Duplex Control. Prior to this release, duplexing was either on or off for a given form/print job. Dynamic duplex control permits printer duplexing to be turned on or off based on the spool file content. Spool files can contain a mixture of pages requiring duplexing and those to be printed on a single side. The result is faster printing time and fewer printer cycle counts.
Some of our users lease printers and are charged by the page count. Here's an example of how this new feature would benefit someone paying by the page.
If he had a 10 page document and the first two pages were duplexed but the
rest were printed on only one side, he had to set the entire print stream to
duplex. He was charged correctly for the first two pages, which were
actually duplexed, but then charged for both sides of the remaining eight pages,
even though the backs were blank. The first two pages were charged
correctly as two prints, but the remaining eight pages were charged as duplex
pages equal to 16 prints, all adding up to a total of 18.
By shutting off the duplex function, his charge was simply two plus eight for a
total of 10 page prints. He saves the cost of eight pages.
Power PDF in release 201201 now supports encryption and password protection. Password protection is placed on a PDF file during file creation when the password is appended to the file name following the duplicate file option. The file is automatically encrypted whenever a password is assigned.