Wilson Bowden Plc is a major UK
construction group with a £789m turnover. They have been using OPEN/DB as
their iSeries based report writing system since 1991. To produce
forms output they had been using simple spool file overlays to
achieve the desired effect. Due to increasing print requirements, it
became necessary to find a new forms solution to improve the quality
of the reports being produced.
One of the key requirements was a
report which would show the progress of each housing development
project as a progressively shaded bar graph, thus providing a
graphical reference point to easily identify the progress of a
number of projects on a single report. Another important requirement
was to improve the quality of all existing day to day departmental
reports by transforming standard iSeries reports into electronic form
reports. These changes were being planned for a new system under
evaluation JacanaForms was proven capable of addressing both
For the existing departmental
reports, the use of JacanaForms technology to transform the iSeries
reports from spool files was easily demonstrated.
Standard report headings could be stored as objects in the
design tool plus fields in the original report could be
easily re-positioned and field characteristics such as size
and font style changed as required. All achieved without any
programming modifications to the underlying RPG programs!
For the progressively shaded bar
graph enhancement, the features of JacanaForms were reviewed, in
depth, to confirm that this report could indeed be produced using
the JacanaForms technology. The bar graphs were to include
variations of mono gray and textured shading to indicate project
The form technology in use is based
on the creation of a PCL data stream and this underpinned a review
of possible printing partners. Hewlett Packard, the developer of the
PCL standard, was chosen on a trial basis to check the robustness
and speed of their different printers to produce the various reports
During this printer review, the use
of color for the shaded bar graph report was researched.
JacanaForms is one of the few electronic form products that can
produce output for color printing and from that point the printer
review trials included a requirement for excellent color reproduction.
Wilson Bowden finally selected the HP4500
color printer that was found to be impressive in all areas.
|A central HP4500
printer is now used specifically for the bar graph report
which, with the output from JacanaForms, reports on their
key projects using a different color to show the progress
of each stage of completion.
Gareth Braithwaite, Group I.T.
Director, adds, "JacanaForms proves that IBM midrange
customers can get the best of both worlds – a modern NT based
graphical reporting package working alongside our reliable iSeries. A
new lease of life for our existing reporting systems"
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Momentum's report writer OPEN/DB is also marketed under a variety of derivative names including Info WorkPlace, Midas/Q,
S/RW and R2/D2. The Information Interface functionality itself is the same at comparable release levels.