IBM iSeries (AS/400)
Introduction Who uses iSeries (AS/400)?
The majority of documents created in general office According to Fortune magazine, iSeries (AS/400) is used by
environments are created using Microsoft Office. However, the highest ranking companies worldwide. iSeries (AS/400)
Ricoh’s strategy is to expand its business scale by gaining servers are widely installed in large enterprises, small
total document volume (TDV). Major accounts tend to use corporations and government departments.
enterprise resource planning (ERP) and host printing
systems, so to capture TDV, Ricoh needs to support printing iSeries (AS/400) servers can be used:
in these environments. As web servers
This document focuses on host printing systems, in For host printing
particular, the iSeries (AS/400) servers developed by IBM.
For data warehousing
What is iSeries (AS/400)? For Java application development
A range of servers developed by IBM which was formally For corporate groupware services—for example, email,
renamed as the ‘IBM iSeries’ but is still widely known as project file sharing and electronic meetings.
Benefits of iSeries (AS/400)
iSeries (AS/400) offers a number of benefits to major
account customers, for example:
Reliability—the estimated downtime for an iSeries
(AS/400) server is less than 1 percent, making it much
more reliable than a Windows server
Compatibility—iSeries (AS/400) is compatible with
many existing network configurations and can send
output and receive input from a wide variety of devices
Integration—iSeries (AS/400) is well suited to
business applications because it closely integrates the
operating system, database applications and languages
used to query databases.
Printing from iSeries (AS/400)
When printing from applications on an iSeries (AS/400)
server, the application generates the output data to be
iSeries (AS/400) servers include Java virtual memory (VM) printed by the printer.
and very large amounts of hard disk storage and RAM. The iSeries (AS/400) supports three print data streams:
operating system used by iSeries (AS/400) servers is called
OS/400. iSeries (AS/400) are integration servers, which Data stream Description
means that customers can integrate a range of functions
and applications in one server. SCS Systems Network Architecture (SNA)
iSeries (AS/400) supports four basic functions and seven
A data stream for line printers that
can deal with text data only. The
Functions Application environments printer’s default fonts are used.
AFP Advanced function printing.
A data stream that is independent of
Database OS/400 PASE
operating systems and printer types.
Security Windows 2000 It can handle several data types
System administration Domino including text, font, images and
Linux IPDS Intelligent Printer Data Stream.
AIX 5L Allows two-way communication
between an iSeries (AS/400) server
A wide range of software packages or applications has been and a printer. It can send the
developed for iSeries (AS/400) servers. printer’s current status to the host.
Translating print data streams
Standard network printers do not directly support these
What is host printing?
print data streams because they use a different print
Host printing is printing to a device directly from a
language, which is called ASCII. In order to print from an
mainframe, for example, iSeries (AS/400). This
iSeries (AS/400) server to a network printer, the print data
usually occurs where the output varies from page
stream must be translated into ASCII.
There are four main translation methods available for Ricoh
For example, when mobile phone companies print
customers’ bills, the information printed on each
Host Print Transform (HPT) bill is unique to a particular customer. The phone
bill is set up as a form containing a number of
IPDS enabler fields, and the fields are populated with
information from a database.
Intermediate print server
Host printing is often called Variable Data Printing.
Intermediate dedicated device.
This briefing paper focuses on HPT. The availability of the
other methods varies from country to country.
Line printers versus network printers
In large organisations, host printing can be an extremely
challenging task. High-end computer systems, for example,
iSeries (AS/400), are often connected to dedicated printers
such as line printers or dot matrix printers.
Ricoh network printer with finisher
Alternatively, distributing host data to standard network
printers can result in cost savings and greater workflow
efficiency. Standard network printers offer high resolution,
and greater quality compared with line printers. The use of
A line printer standard network printers is becoming more common.
These printers offer high print speeds and very low cost per
page (CPP) but have a number of disadvantages. They
usually require special paper, have limited capabilities, and
are unable to handle multiple platforms and applications.
Line printers require special paper
and have limited capabilities Standard network printers
offer higher quality output
What is HPT? Vertical markets
Host Print Transform (HPT) is an iSeries (AS/400) function Examples of where host printing might be used include:
that translates SCS and AFP print data into ASCII data that
can be understood by standard network printers. Industry Applications
HPT printing requires a MFRTYPMDL (Manufacturer, Type Shipping and Bills of lading, packing slips, invoices,
and Model) and Workstation Customisation Object (WCO), to logistics export documents.
be set up on the iSeries (AS/400) server.
Mobile phone Customers' statements, promotional
The MFRTYPMDL is a type of printer driver that enables companies campaigns.
applications on the iSeries (AS/400) server to send print
jobs to a particular printer. Banking and Account statements, invoices, policy
insurance statements, renewal notices.
The WCO is a printer settings file that is used to change or
add characteristics to a particular printer, for example, the Trading and Purchase orders, invoices, sales orders,
available paper trays and paper sizes. manufacturing credit notes, debit notes.
Education Examination reports, fee receipts,
Ricoh devices support HPT program selection letters.
Initially, Ricoh printers and MFPs could be used in HPT Mailing houses Direct marketing material, invoices,
environments, by using default MFRTYPMDLs and WCOs that newsletters, catalogues.
were designed for HP printers. Since January 2004, IBM has
provided MFRTYPMDLs and WCOs specifically designed for
Benefits of using Ricoh devices
Specific MFRTYPMDLs and WCOs are available for the
following recent Ricoh models: Compared with line printers, Ricoh’s devices provide a lower
total cost of ownership (TCO), higher quality and a range of
Device type Colour Black and white finishing capabilities. Ricoh’s devices provide multiple paper
sources, duplex printing, stapling, hole punching and booklet
CL2000 AP900 making. Ricoh’s devices offer a more professional
appearance, higher resolution, and better reproduction of
CL3100N/ AP3200 graphics.
Printer CL4000HDN AP400/AP400N
AF2018 Ricoh devices offer finishing capabilities including
stapling, hole punching and booklet making
By supporting host printing, Ricoh can target major account
Download the MFRTYPMDLs and WCOs customers to capture TDV. If customers are using iSeries
(AS/400) and dedicated line printers, show them the
To obtain the MFRTYPMDLs and WCOs for a specific printer,
advantages of switching to Ricoh MFPs and laser printers.
customers can download an iSeries (AS/400) patch file
When quality is a key concern, show customers how they
(called ‘PTF’, or Program Temporary Fix) from the Ricoh and
can produce high quality, professional output that surpasses
the output produced by their existing line printing devices.
AIX 5L Advanced Interactive Executive. Linux A UNIX-like operating system created
A UNIX-style operating system developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 and further
by IBM for its mainframe, workstation developed under an ‘open source’
and PC hardware. agreement by developers around the
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Versions of the Linux operating system
Interchange. are distributed free or at a low cost
The most common format for text files in compared with the UNIX operating
computers and on the internet. In an system.
ASCII file, each alphabetic, numeric, or
special character is represented with a MFRTYPMDL Manufacturer, Type and Model.
7-bit binary number—a string of seven 0s An object included in IBM iSeries
or 1s. 128 possible characters are (AS/400) HPT that acts as a printer
defined. driver for a particular printer.
Data Data warehousing is a type of database OS/400 PASE OS/400 Portable Application Solutions
warehousing management that integrates a number of Environment.
separate databases to allow efficient data An integrated run-time environment
analysis and reporting. For example, a that allows you to run selected UNIX
company that has separate databases for applications without a full UNIX system.
orders, spare parts inventory and
payment transactions may want to RAM Random Access Memory.
search all the data to identify patterns Memory in a device containing the data
that accurately predict customer in current use. The device’s processor
behaviour. can access this data quickly.
Domino The server component of Lotus Notes, a SNA Systems Network Architecture.
corporate groupware application
A type of computer network developed
developed by Lotus Corporation. Domino
by IBM in 1974.
supports database applications and
messaging. SNA is currently used in banking,
finance and government organisations,
ERP Enterprise resource planning. however, it will be phased out by 2007.
A business management system that
TCO Total cost of ownership.
integrates all aspects of a business,
including planning, manufacturing, sales A calculation designed to determine all
and marketing. direct and indirect costs and benefits
related to the purchase of a device.
HPT Host Print Transform.
TDV Total document volume.
A function that translates IBM iSeries
(AS/400) print data into ASCII data that The total number of documents printed
can be understood by the printer drivers or copied by customers.
for standard network printers.
VM A self-contained program that behaves
IPDS enabler An application developed by Ricoh that is as if it is a separate computer. For
installed on a Ricoh device to allow it to example, Java applications run in a
print IPDS data by converting the data to Java virtual machine (VM) that has no
PCL 5 on the fly. access to the computer’s operating
Intermediate A print server that converts IPDS data
print server into ASCII data so that a network printer WCO Workstation Customisation Object.
can print it. A settings file that is used for printing
to a specific printer from an IBM iSeries
Intermediate An external device attached to a network
(AS/400) server. The WCO is used to
dedicated printer that converts IPDS data into
change or add characteristics to a
device ASCII data so that the printer can
particular printer, for example, the
available paper trays and paper sizes.
Java A general-purpose programming Also known as WSCST.
language developed by Sun
Microsystems. Java is platform WebSphere WebSphere is a set of Java-based tools
independent, which means that it can developed by IBM for creating and
run on most operating systems, managing websites. For example, the
including Windows, Mac OS and WebSphere Application Server (WAS) is
UNIX. This makes it well suited for used to connect website users with
use on the internet, since Java-based Java applications.
programs can be downloaded and run
in a web browser.
Prepared by Ricoh Asia Pacific for Comments?
Please send any feedback about this document to:
Version 0.018, November 2005