Content by TL Ashford
Is it Time to Retire AFP?
AFP has been used to create forms for a long time, and maybe it works well enough at the moment, but forms will change - maybe a completely new design, maybe incremental changes. As IBM i developers move toward retirement, the experience needed to manage AFP has been a challenge for some of our customers. Younger staff not familiar with the “old dog” methods prefer an easier way to create and modify forms. TLAForms provides a graphical interface, and no programming is needed to generate forms saving time and money in the short and long term. TLAForms is a future-proof solution to easily modify and update forms. We’ve helped customers with no programming experience set up a new form in less time than it takes to modify existing AFP printer files.
TLAforms provides functionality to create new forms using data from existing spool files. It’s easy enough to use that non-programmers can take over the forms design and modification. TLAForms provides myriad benefits over AFP including:
- Expanded font selections
- Full color
- Bar codes including 2-dimensional codes
- IBM i File data with SQL
- Conditioning of data and output
- Print to any printer
- Generate forms as PDF documents
- Automatically email forms
- No programming!!
|Output||Print Only to IBM i Printers||Print to Any Printer
Generate Form as a PDF
Archive PDF to any Network Location
Automatically email the PDF
|Color||Black and White||Full Color|
|Design Interface||Green Screen/Program Development
See your Form as you Design It.
|Fonts||Courier Font||Expanded Font Selection|
|Barcodes||Barcodes, Difficult to do 2-Dimensional||Easy – Including 2-Dimensional|
|Overlays||Overlays – Very Cumbersome||Use Design Tools to Create Templates|
|Images||Images and Overlays are Static||Images can be Dynamic – Use an action to determine which image will print|
|Conditioning||Conditioning with Lots of Programming||Conditioning – show or hide items on your form based on certain criteria – ie. page number, or replace data as needed|
|Using IBM i File Data||Already uses data from IBM i files – additional access to IBM i files requires programming||SQL – easily create SQL statements within the designer to access additional IBM i file data.|
|Printer Alignment||Margins vary from printer to printer making alignment frustrating||No more worries about alignment. You can print your form perfectly to any printer.|
|Quality||Average to sub-par quality forms||Outstanding form quality|
|Programming||Programming time – sometimes for highly technical aspects, sometimes for mundane, repetitive, trial and error-type tasks like working with overlays.||NO Programming|
|Cost||Free, but with lots of labor costs for a finished product that looks just OK.||Low cost, feature-rich, easy to use, outstanding quality, industry recognized technical support|