How to display spool files in a browser?

Dear Experts,

My company's product creates reports (spool files) at our customers' AS/400 sites.  We supply a brower-based GUI to create the reports, but we don't currently have a way for users to view the resulting reports, without going to green screen.

We'd like to find a way to show the report in the GUI, which is HTML/ASP-based.  However, we're open to doing it in a separate pop-up window, driven by other technology.  

Is there a way to do this using existing AS/400 tools?  Is there good third-party software to do it?

Thanks a lot, Experts!

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I have written some VB applications that display AS400 spool files in a text box or list box.

I'm sure that same type of logic could be applied to ASP.

If you had iSeries Access and ADO (msado15.dll) on your web server, you could call a program on the AS400 that copies a spool file into a physical file and then read the file and populate your web page.

Obviously, there are more details, but it could be done by the summary above.

Couple of questions - you would need some sort of mechanism to select which spool file you want. Maybe populate a table with spool files from a specific output queue and then click on the one you wish to view in your browser.

The program called on the AS400 would probably be written using APIs, which isn't the easiest thing to do, and would have to be registered as a stored procedure. At least this is the way I would tackle it.

I am just looking at some V5R3 enhancements.
In qusrtool there is an IBM supplied command -

Transform AFP to ASCII data stream (TRNAFP) tool
This tool uses the QWPZTAFP print API.

Could this be used?

My understanding is that there is source (sorry we are not on V5R3 so some one else will need to publish source)

just copy the spool file to a physical file and then copy it to a folder on the root as an html file and link to it.  This keeps it simple
There are also a couple shareware tools and some products that will create PDFs. For a browser, this might be as good as it gets.

One other possibility is the browser/spooled file utility that Webfacing uses. I'd have to dig up details from one of our web developers, but IBM has had a spooled file utility for browsers since maybe V5R1. Not pretty; somewhat like the OpsNav spooled file viewer function, perhaps not even as pretty but it "works". Unless these are destined for customers, maybe "pretty" isn't a requirement. It's not a Webfacing utility; it's a function available outside of Webfacing but Webfacing can be configured to use it and that's where I've seen it.

[Note that displaying Windows spooled files in a browser isn't easy either (though I'd love hearing how it could be done). It at least seems possible on iSeries.]


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BrianMc1958Author Commented:
Thank you, Experts.  We'll need to look into your suggestions some more here.  Thanks for your help!

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