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Converting IBM i spool files to PDF

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Rudi van Helvoirt

Find out here why converting a spool file to a PDF file is a piece of cake.

There is a chance that you've already bought a third party product you can use to convert IBM i spool files to a PDF format. Later, IBM launched its licensed program InfoPrint Server, which also made this possible. IBM i 7.1 now offers yet another converting option with its licensed program Transform Services for i. Installing the basic option and option 1 makes converting a spool file to a PDF file a piece of cake.

Even easier still

IBM i 7.1 made it even easier with PTF SI43471. The value *TOSTMF is a new special value for the CPYSPLF command and the TOFILE parameter. Based on the value specified for the WSCST parameter, the spool file is converted to a PDF format and placed in the destination specified for the (TOSTMF) parameter.

How is it done?

IBM i Access Client Solutions also offers the possibility to convert spool files directly to PDF. Combined with the two 5770-TS1options mentioned earlier, it suffices to tick “Use PDF format if available” in ACS for Printer Output in the Edit menu under the “Preferences” option. ACS will then automatically convert a spool file to a PDF format when it is downloaded.

This month’s last Technology Refresh (TR) announcement of April 2021 offers the possibility to convert a spool file to PDF by using an IBM i Service: SYSTOOLS.GENERATE_PDF.

Spool file converting v. Spool file with criteria

In addition to the option of converting a single spool file:


                             JOB_NAME           => '908049/QUSER/QZDASOINIT',

                             SPOOLED_FILE_NAME   => 'PGMA',

                             SPOOLED_FILE_NUMBER => 2,

                             PATH_NAME           => '/usr/listing1');

It is also possible to use criteria a spool file has to meet:

IBM i spoolfiles

It is good to know, however, there is an alternative option and using a single SQL statement can make IBM i do the pre-selection for you.

In order to have these new possibilities at your disposal, all you have to do is ensure that you keep up to date with your PTF updates, but you already did that, didn't you?!

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