TechTip: Spooled Files and PDF, Part Three PDF Print E-mail
Tips & Techniques - Document Management
Written by Giuseppe Costagliola   
Thursday, 03 March 2005 18:00

In Part Two of this series, I presented SCS2PDF, a utility that gives you a fast way to easily convert spooled files into PDF documents. Now, I will show you how to make your text spooled file look better by adding graphic images, using fonts other than standard Courier, and putting in a background color. Furthermore, you will be able to protect the PDF document with encryption: You can specify the "user" password required to open the document and the "owner" password that allows other operations, like printing, copying, and changing the document.

The iText Library

Before presenting this utility, I'd like to introduce iText, an open-source, 100% Pure Java class library for creating and manipulating PDF documents. The first version of iText, called rugPDF, which made only very simple PDFs, was originally published by Bruno Lowagie in 1999 with the purpose of encouraging people to widely use it for any purpose, including commercial/closed source/propriety software. The latest release, V1.2, is very stable and delivers a rich set of features, and it's constantly updated by Bruno Lowagie, Paulo Soares, and some co-workers. iText requires JDK 1.2 and is completely free--no purchase price and no license fee, provided that you agree with either the MPL or the LGPL license.

At present, as far as know, there is only one free open-source implementation based on iText that runs on iSeries; it was developed by Manolis Mariakakis a couple of years ago. Because open-source products often face similar challenges, in this article, you'll see again the iText API in action with my version of SCS2ITEXT, a spooled files converter.

Getting Started

First, you will need to download the iText .jar file from the iText Web site, where you can find documentation, a comprehensive tutorial, and hundreds of examples. The current iText release is V1.2, and my utility is expected to run at this level. Move the itext-1.2.jar into your iSeries directory pdf that you created from my previous article. Now, download the code that accompanies this article; copy the SCS2ITEXT.class into the pdf directory; copy all the CLP, CMD, and RPG programs into a source file; and compile as usual.

To get the spooled file data, this utility employs the same technique used with SCS2PDF: The CPYSPOOL records and the PF are accessed sequentially using the record-level access classes included in the jt400native.jar. Make sure that this .jar file is located in your iSeries directory in /QIBM/ProdData/OS400/jt400/lib. You can optionally download the latest version of this .jar file (4.6) directly from the IBM site.

Note: In order to achieve better performance, the PF/CPYSPOOL has been defined internally in the Java class. If you want to experiment, take a look at the code for the external format; you can enable this feature and see that performance is slower.

Finally, remember to optimize the SCS2ITEXT class to run using OS/400 native processor instructions by submitting this command:


Try It

Now, you're ready to run SCS2ITEXT. The default parameters produce a PDF document similar to the document generated by the RPG version. The page options parameters are unchanged, while the new parameters LOGO, LOGONAME, and LOGOSCALE allow you to position and size a company logo on each page. The parameter PASSWORD allows you to encrypt the document and protect it from being opened. For BASEFONT, you can leave the default Courier or use any other .ttf font (which must be placed in an iSeries directory defined in the classpath, like pdf). Fonts other than standard ones are usually copyrighted, so make sure you are using them legally. The last parameter, JDEBUG, displays the Java console and can help you in resolving any errors.

This is an example of the command that produces the sample PDF document enclosed (output produced by DSPPTF with a graphic and a custom font):

  LOGO(*TOP) LOGONAME('/pdf/MCtips.gif') LOGOSCALE(75)
  BASEFONT('Lucida Console')

What's Next?

SCS2PDF and SCS2ITEXT allow you to convert SCS spooled files into PDF. In the next TechTip, I will present a utility you can use to convert AFP spooled files. Don't miss it!
Giuseppe Costagliola is a programmer in Turin, Italy. You can reach him at


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Last Updated on Monday, 19 October 2009 09:47
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