Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection - IBM AS400

This is a discussion on Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection - IBM AS400 ; I have the following situation. An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is used ...

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Thread: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

  1. Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    I have the following situation.

    An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled
    with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved
    from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is
    used to manually enter the data, and then the Word-document is copied
    on the pre-printed form. The result is not very sophisticated. Texts
    are not aligned correctly in the boxes on the form, and the texts
    sometimes overlay the pre-printed texts.

    What I would like to do is the following. In a 5250-application, the
    user indicates that an insurance form should be printed. When the user
    presses Enter, a pop-up window should appear, asking the user for the
    shipment number. Then, a Word-document should be displayed on the
    screen, allowing the user to make some modifications, if necessary.
    Then the document should be printed on the pre-printed form. (Those
    forms should then be located in some designated drawer of some
    printer.)

    I assume that at least someone in the universe has already come across
    a similar problem. Hopefully, he or she has already found a nice and
    easy way for solving the problem. And hopefully, he or she is willing
    to share this solution with the rest of the universe.

    One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    information from a database into a Word document?

    And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    result.

    Thanks in advance to anyone replying to this message.

    Ewout

  2. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameter selection

    My first thought was to dump the pre-printed form...

    It is possible using VBA inside Word to read data from a database. That
    said, while I'm interested in the possibilities, I haven't done it myself.
    But here's a link to a page that might get you gping in the right direction:
    http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/InterDev/GetDataFromDB.htm

    If you are not familiar with VBA, then go to the home page of the above link
    and you'll find enought to get started.

    Or try this 15 minutes cram course:
    http://www.word.mvps.org/FAQs/Macros...csIn15Mins.htm

    Sam

    "ewout.boter@home.nl" wrote in message
    news:bfb3c8a5-c2e2-4ef2-b6f9-7f586d44f7fd@a70g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
    >I have the following situation.
    >
    > An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled
    > with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved
    > from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is
    > used to manually enter the data, and then the Word-document is copied
    > on the pre-printed form. The result is not very sophisticated. Texts
    > are not aligned correctly in the boxes on the form, and the texts
    > sometimes overlay the pre-printed texts.
    >
    > What I would like to do is the following. In a 5250-application, the
    > user indicates that an insurance form should be printed. When the user
    > presses Enter, a pop-up window should appear, asking the user for the
    > shipment number. Then, a Word-document should be displayed on the
    > screen, allowing the user to make some modifications, if necessary.
    > Then the document should be printed on the pre-printed form. (Those
    > forms should then be located in some designated drawer of some
    > printer.)
    >
    > I assume that at least someone in the universe has already come across
    > a similar problem. Hopefully, he or she has already found a nice and
    > easy way for solving the problem. And hopefully, he or she is willing
    > to share this solution with the rest of the universe.
    >
    > One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    > so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    > multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    > information from a database into a Word document?
    >
    > And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    > randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    > the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    > result.
    >
    > Thanks in advance to anyone replying to this message.
    >
    > Ewout




  3. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    On 23 Jun., 21:35, "ewout.bo...@home.nl"
    wrote:
    > I have the following situation.
    >
    > An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled
    > with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved
    > from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is
    > used to manually enter the data, and then the Word-document is copied
    > on the pre-printed form. The result is not very sophisticated. Texts
    > are not aligned correctly in the boxes on the form, and the texts
    > sometimes overlay the pre-printed texts.
    >
    > What I would like to do is the following. In a 5250-application, the
    > user indicates that an insurance form should be printed. When the user
    > presses Enter, a pop-up window should appear, asking the user for the
    > shipment number. Then, a Word-document should be displayed on the
    > screen, allowing the user to make some modifications, if necessary.
    > Then the document should be printed on the pre-printed form. (Those
    > forms should then be located in some designated drawer of some
    > printer.)
    >
    > I assume that at least someone in the universe has already come across
    > a similar problem. Hopefully, he or she has already found a nice and
    > easy way for solving the problem. And hopefully, he or she is willing
    > to share this solution with the rest of the universe.
    >
    > One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    > so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    > multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    > information from a database into a Word document?
    >
    > And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    > randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    > the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    > result.
    >
    > Thanks in advance to anyone replying to this message.
    >
    > Ewout


    It's not quite clear to me, why you would want to use Word as a sort
    of middleware in this printing process. Why not connect the printer
    directly to the iSeries, and print on the pre-printed form located in
    a tray, using the data from your iSeries application ?

    There are plenty of products for controlling wordlike forms on the
    iSeries. Interform being one of them ..

    Regards
    Niels

  4. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    On Jun 24, 9:46*pm, nsm wrote:
    >
    > It's not quite clear to me, why you would want to use Word as a sort
    > of middleware in this printing process. Why not connect the printer
    > directly to the iSeries, and print on the pre-printed form located in
    > a tray, using the data from your iSeries application ?
    >
    > There are plenty of products for controlling wordlike forms on the
    > iSeries. Interform being one of them ..
    >
    > Regards
    > Niels


    This is partly because the user should be able to make some small
    changes to the texts that will be printed on the form. The form is
    used by several departments, and each department has its own
    requirements for some of the texts. Thus, there is no 'one size fits
    all' and therefore we cannot completely automate the process.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Ewout

  5. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    If each user is in a different department, why not simply generate
    different / multiple prints depending on the user requesting the form?
    Of course this won't solve all your problems if every form requires
    manual adjustment, but in that case you might want to think about
    changing the way the form is populated or changing the business
    process.

  6. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    On 26 Jun., 11:44, "ewout.bo...@home.nl"
    wrote:
    > On Jun 24, 9:46*pm, nsm wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > It's not quite clear to me, why you would want to use Word as a sort
    > > of middleware in this printing process. Why not connect the printer
    > > directly to the iSeries, and print on the pre-printed form located in
    > > a tray, using the data from your iSeries application ?

    >
    > > There are plenty of products for controlling wordlike forms on the
    > > iSeries. Interform being one of them ..

    >
    > > Regards
    > > Niels

    >
    > This is partly because the user should be able to make some small
    > changes to the texts that will be printed on the form. The form is
    > used by several departments, and each department has its own
    > requirements for some of the texts. Thus, there is no 'one size fits
    > all' and therefore we cannot completely automate the process.
    >
    > I hope this answers your question.
    >
    > Ewout


    I must agree with Walker.12

    Either a form for each department, where you show a screen designed
    for the users department to get the input necessary for 'his' form.

    If you have a need for seperate forms/requirements per user, i'd say
    your in trouble. This would an indication of a faulty procedure
    businesswise ..

    Regards
    Niels

  7. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    On Jun 26, 10:44*am, "ewout.bo...@home.nl"
    wrote:
    > On Jun 24, 9:46*pm, nsm wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > It's not quite clear to me, why you would want to use Word as a sort
    > > of middleware in this printing process. Why not connect the printer
    > > directly to the iSeries, and print on the pre-printed form located in
    > > a tray, using the data from your iSeries application ?

    >
    > > There are plenty of products for controlling wordlike forms on the
    > > iSeries. Interform being one of them ..

    >
    > > Regards
    > > Niels

    >
    > This is partly because the user should be able to make some small
    > changes to the texts that will be printed on the form. The form is
    > used by several departments, and each department has its own
    > requirements for some of the texts. Thus, there is no 'one size fits
    > all' and therefore we cannot completely automate the process.
    >
    > I hope this answers your question.
    >
    > Ewout


    If you are determined to create a word document you could generate
    html output & provide that as a .doc file. Word will then open it &
    allow editing. You can add tables, images etc & provide absolute
    positioning. You might want to get the users to do a saveas word doc
    type - or not. How you deliver the document to the user could fill
    this newsgroup. Many cases have been considered here in the past. I
    think your best option might be to have a link on the 5250 (might only
    work on certain versions of iseries access) page to the webserver
    which can just deliver or even generate the html for you then that
    gets the application opened in wndows for you.

    HTH
    Jonathan

  8. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameter selection

    If you're open to a commercial solution, we have a product called iSeries
    Office Integrator that can be integrated to MS Word for creating documents
    by merging database info with a Word template.

    For more info or a FREE demo, check out our web site.

    Regards,
    Richard Schoen
    RJS Software Systems Inc.
    "Get the information you need. Now!"
    Email: richard@rjssoftware.com
    Web Site: http://www.rjssoftware.com
    Tel: (952) 898-3038
    Fax: (952) 898-1781
    Toll Free: (888) RJSSOFT


    "ewout.boter@home.nl" wrote in message
    news:bfb3c8a5-c2e2-4ef2-b6f9-7f586d44f7fd@a70g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
    >I have the following situation.
    >
    > An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled
    > with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved
    > from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is
    > used to manually enter the data, and then the Word-document is copied
    > on the pre-printed form. The result is not very sophisticated. Texts
    > are not aligned correctly in the boxes on the form, and the texts
    > sometimes overlay the pre-printed texts.
    >
    > What I would like to do is the following. In a 5250-application, the
    > user indicates that an insurance form should be printed. When the user
    > presses Enter, a pop-up window should appear, asking the user for the
    > shipment number. Then, a Word-document should be displayed on the
    > screen, allowing the user to make some modifications, if necessary.
    > Then the document should be printed on the pre-printed form. (Those
    > forms should then be located in some designated drawer of some
    > printer.)
    >
    > I assume that at least someone in the universe has already come across
    > a similar problem. Hopefully, he or she has already found a nice and
    > easy way for solving the problem. And hopefully, he or she is willing
    > to share this solution with the rest of the universe.
    >
    > One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    > so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    > multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    > information from a database into a Word document?
    >
    > And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    > randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    > the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    > result.
    >
    > Thanks in advance to anyone replying to this message.
    >
    > Ewout




  9. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameter selection

    Take a look to commercial product Launcher/400 Office;
    http://www.launcher400.com

    Sylvain


    "ewout.boter@home.nl" a écrit dans le message de
    news: bfb3c8a5-c2e2-4ef2-b6f9-7f586d44f7fd...oglegroups.com...
    >I have the following situation.
    >
    > An official pre-printed form of an insurance company has to be filled
    > with information about a shipment. This information can be retrieved
    > from the database on the iSeries. At the moment, a Word-document is
    > used to manually enter the data, and then the Word-document is copied
    > on the pre-printed form. The result is not very sophisticated. Texts
    > are not aligned correctly in the boxes on the form, and the texts
    > sometimes overlay the pre-printed texts.
    >
    > What I would like to do is the following. In a 5250-application, the
    > user indicates that an insurance form should be printed. When the user
    > presses Enter, a pop-up window should appear, asking the user for the
    > shipment number. Then, a Word-document should be displayed on the
    > screen, allowing the user to make some modifications, if necessary.
    > Then the document should be printed on the pre-printed form. (Those
    > forms should then be located in some designated drawer of some
    > printer.)
    >
    > I assume that at least someone in the universe has already come across
    > a similar problem. Hopefully, he or she has already found a nice and
    > easy way for solving the problem. And hopefully, he or she is willing
    > to share this solution with the rest of the universe.
    >
    > One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    > so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    > multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    > information from a database into a Word document?
    >
    > And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    > randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    > the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    > result.
    >
    > Thanks in advance to anyone replying to this message.
    >
    > Ewout




  10. Re: Creating a Word form, using iSeries data and allowing parameterselection

    ewout.boter@home.nl skrev den 23-06-2008 21:35:

    > One more piece of information: a shipment has several shipment lines,
    > so in one of the boxes of the form, there will be (or might be)
    > multiple lines. How can such a situation be handled when importing
    > information from a database into a Word document?
    >
    > And one final remark: the boxes on the form are aligned fairly
    > randomly. Therefore, it should be possible to position the fields in
    > the document with millimetre precision, in order to get a neat
    > result.


    With your strict requirements to layout I would consider if a PDF form
    (with editing possible in Adobe Reader) could be an option?

    I believe the iText Java library could be used to populate a PDF form on
    the fly.

    --
    Thorbjørn

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