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JES2Mail and JES2FTP Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the work done on the mainframe, or is it shipped down to a PC to be processed?
2. What kind of file formats can be created from my reports?
3. When the reports are sent as attachments, how big are they?
4. What does the recipient need in order to view the reports?
5. Are JES2Mail and JES2FTP 'supported' products?
6. How many customers have bought the products?
7. How are JES2Mail and JES2FTP priced?
8. What are the components to purchase?
9. Does JES2Mail require SMTP on the mainframe?
10. Can the PDF documents created by the product be stored on the mainframe instead of being emailed or FTP'd?
11. Can JES2XXX split reports into pieces and send different pieces of the report to different destinations?
12. My reports can be rather large, can I create an Index (Table of Contents) to allow quick access to different pages in the PDF report?
13. How do I supply email addresses to reports?
14. Can I send different reports to different FTP directories or servers?
15. I don't want a report to be made available to the FTP server until I am sure that it has been completely transferred.
16. Can I keep multiple copies of the report on the FTP server, say the last five generations?
17. Can the RPL script have access to such job related information as the jobname, jobID, DestID, FormId, etc.?
18. Are there any overlays that are built in?
19. When reports are sent as a PDF attachment, can I control the contents of the message's body?
20. Can I send a report as the message body (not as an attachment)?
21. Can I support non-US character sets?
22. When things are not working, how good are the diagnostics?
23. Some of my reports have non-printable characters. Can these be stripped out, or do I have to dig out and fix my report program?
24. My users take much of the data from the reports and cut/paste it into a spreadsheet. Can JES2xxx provide a spreadsheet ready version of the report?
25. We have some reports that use overstrikes to 'underline' text. How is this handled?
26. What are some of the advantages of doing work on the mainframe/host?
27. My reports can be rather large. Can the reports be compressed?
28. We are a service bureau, and want our customers to pay for this new type of report delivery. Can JES2Mail generate SMF records that we can feed into our billing system?
29. Can reports come from sequential files as well as JES SYSOUTS?
30. What about HFS input files?
31. Does JESWriter mode use many resources when it's just waiting for work?
32. What happens to a JES SYSOUT that can't be processed for some reason?
33. Can JES2Mail use distribution lists?
34. Can the RPL script language change the report contents before sending it?
35. What happens if the Mail Server (post office) is down?
36. Can JES2Mail check that the post office is available, even when there are no reports to process?
37. My console operator is pretty busy. Can problems be sent to a TSO user?
38. Can I change the console messages for language or display attributes?
39. We have these bundles of reports that come out of our report distribution system (like CA-Deliver and Control-D). Instead of delivering to the recipient a single monolithic report file, can we break that up?
40. Can I send simple non-report emails?
41. Can the simple messages have attachments?
42. Can simple messages 'word wrap'?
43. In PDF and RTF can we populate some of the document information fields?
44. Can I control how a PDF document is opened?
45. Can PDF documents be encrypted?
46. When I route all of the SYSOUT from a job to JES2Mail, I get a separate email for each JES dataset. Is there an alternative?
47. We have some really wild reports that never were intended for printing, and they don't have ASA or MCC carriage control, but now we want to have them packaged as PDF for archiving. What kind of options are there to handle non-paginated reports?
48. Do JES2Mail and JES2FTP convert AFP documents into PDF documents?
49. Our email administrator is concerned that the mainframe will flood 'his' mail servers. How can we control this?
50. We have some reports where a specific column is used to control formatting. Can this column be removed easily before processing?
51. The final intent of the PDF is to be printed on a duplex printer. Can we control the 'back side' of the document? Specifically, the 'report' is a document where the front contains the report data and an overlay, and the back is just an overlay. Can JES2xxx generate the PDF properly?
52. We have some really big reports that we want to convert to PDF and then archive. How big can PDF reports be?
53. Where do the overlays (forms) come from?
54. Can I apply more than one overlay in a report?
55. What is a watermark?
56. Can I insert other graphics that are not part of an overlay? For example, can I insert bank check images?
57. We want to feed through raw data files, and convert them to comma delimited format. Can JES2xxx just forget about the 'report', but still extract the data and make a .CSV file?
58. How difficult is the product to install? Do I need a systems programmer?


1. Is the work done on the mainframe, or is it shipped down to a PC to be processed?

All of the work is done on the mainframe. JES2Mail takes reports, converts them as desired and ships them directly to any SMTP compliant mail server for forwarding and delivery. The same goes for JES2FTP, except the final destination may be an FTP server or datasets on the mainframe itself.

2. What kind of file formats can be created from my reports?

Plain text, HTML, RTF and best PDF. PDF files can contain overlays (forms) and indexes.

3. When the reports are sent as attachments, how big are they?

It depends on the delivery format and the contents of the report. However, a rule of thumb for typical business reports is 100 pages converts to a 150k PDF file. We often have customers sending 1000 page reports as email attachments without any exceptional load on their email infrastructure.

4. What does the recipient need in order to view the reports?

In the case of Plain text delivery, their email client or Notepad, or just about any viewing software you can name.

For HTML, the email client needs to support HTML viewing, otherwise any compliant HTML browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape will do.

RTF is generally viewed with MS Word, but lots of other products support RTF including browsers.

PDF requires the Acrobat Reader. The is available for free from www.adobe.com. PDF has become the de facto standard for printed material delivery, and most likely your recipients already have Acrobat Reader installed for any number of other reasons.

In summary, JES2Mail and JES2FTP generate standards-compliant files for viewing without any proprietary software that might need to be installed and managed on the recipient's PC.

5. Are JES2Mail and JES2FTP 'supported' products?

Yes. CASI and the authors of the products provide support to customers. Support is also by design, the system can generate extensive diagnostics to help in problem determination.

6. How many customers have bought the products?

Figures are changing, but over seventy five organizations have purchased licenses for over one hundred CPUs. Customers range from Finland to Australia.

7. How are JES2Mail and JES2FTP priced?

The products are priced based upon machine size. For a price quote, please contact CASI sales

8. What are the components to purchase?

There are two 'base' products with three optional 'features'. The base products are JES2Mail and JES2FTP. The optional features are the Report Processing Language (RPL), the PDF Overlay Support, and MQ Series support.

If you purchase both base products, you only have to purchase one license for each optional component, i.e. the RPL license works on either JES2Mail or JES2FTP.

9. Does JES2Mail require SMTP on the mainframe?

Although mainframe SMTP could be used to deliver the mail, it is not recommended for performance reasons. JES2Mail can connect to any SMTP server in your network.

10. Can the PDF documents created by the product be stored on the mainframe instead of being emailed or FTP'd?

Yes. JES2FTP provides options to put documents as MVS sequential files, HFS files or into the JES print queue.

11. Can JES2XXX split reports into pieces and send different pieces of the report to different destinations?

Yes, using a Report Processing Language (RPL) script, the contents of the report can be extracted to determine when to 'break' a report, then the script can use a variety of alternatives to determine how to address and process the 'sub-reports'.

12. My reports can be rather large, can I create an Index (Table of Contents) to allow quick access to different pages in the PDF report?

Yes. If the index is based on a simple 'fixed' position text, then it can be done in one statement. If the index data is not so basic, the RPL script can provide additional extraction options. In addition, multi-level indexes can be built. This can allow very large reports to be traversed with just a few mouse clicks.

13. How do I supply email addresses to reports?

There are numerous mechanisms to designate the email address. The email addresses can come from system configuration 'set up' files, from the JCL that created the report, from the report itself, and an RPL script can add additional choices such as table lookups, VSAM file lookups and other logic. And if that's not enough, there are exits that can be used for such operations as DB/2 queries.

LDAP is also supported for email address queries and distribution lists.

If the process cannot determine an email address, instead of 'failing' the report, a final 'DefaultrouteTo' parameter can supply the email address, with the intent that the default recipient will forward the message/report on.

With all of the choices of addressing, sometimes it helps to be able to test your process, without actually sending reports/emails to recipients. A configuration statement, ForceAllRouteTo, can specify an override to email addressing. This provides the ability to run through the entire process without 'real' report delivery. This helps in the trial and upgrade process as well.

14. Can I send different reports to different FTP directories or servers?

Yes. Just as there are numerous mechanisms to derive an email address, the same tools are available to designate target FTP servers, directories and filenames.

15. I don't want a report to be made available to the FTP server until I am sure that it has been completely transferred.

No problem. With the RenameAfter option, the report can be created in a 'sandbox' on the target FTP server, and then only after the report is ready, it can be renamed to the 'active' filename. This can also result in the file being 'moved' from the 'sandbox' directory to a different 'production' directory.

16. Can I keep multiple copies of the report on the FTP server, say the last five generations?

Yes, JES2FTP can be instructed to keep any number of generations or reports available. The 'most current' version is designated 1, and older versions in higher numbers.

17. Can the RPL script have access to such job related information as the jobname, jobID, DestID, FormId, etc.?

Yes. The RPL script has access to almost all of the JES parameters associated with the SYSOUT. The script can take action based on these values. The values are available in 'system variables', such as ZJobID or ZDestID.

18. Are there any overlays that are built in?

Yes. Basic overlays for 'stock paper', such as greenbar, etc. are included.

19. When reports are sent as a PDF attachment, can I control the contents of the message's body?

Yes. The message body, we call it the Cover Page, can be either plain text or HTML text. The contents of the cover page can be fixed, or be generated dynamically in the RPL script. Variable data including JES data parms, (such as jobname etc.), can be inserted into the cover page contents.

20. Can I send a report as the message body (not as an attachment)?

Yes, reports can be sent in either plain text or HTML formats. Just specify NO coverpage, otherwise the report will be an attachment.

21. Can I support non-US character sets?

Yes, with the limitation at this time that it must be a Latin based character set.

22. When things are not working, how good are the diagnostics?

The built-in trace facility provides 5 levels of tracing/logging to help identify problems: Minimum, Standard, Full, Dump, and Debug.

23. Some of my reports have non-printable characters. Can these be stripped out, or do I have to dig out and fix my report program?

We can 'sanitize' the report contents, stripping out non-printable characters, or characters that might not be processed properly on PC based systems, such as the null (x'00') character.

24. My users take much of the data from the reports and cut/paste it into a spreadsheet. Can JES2xxx provide a spreadsheet ready version of the report?

Yes. Using the ExtractData function in the RPL, the data contents from the report pages can be extracted and formatted in a comma delimited format (.CSV) file. The end user just opens the file, and it invokes their spreadsheet.

In addition, we can now deliver the extracted data as an HTML table. This can be viewed directly in a browser or imported into a spreadsheet or database system.

25. We have some reports that use overstrikes to 'underline' text. How is this handled?

With PDF delivery, we can properly handle the overstrike. Underlined text is underlined. In the case of formats that don't support an overstrike, the choices are to 'skip' the line, treat the overstrike as a 'single space' or attempt to 'merge' the characters of the line.

26. What are some of the advantages of doing work on the mainframe/host?

The first advantage is there are fewer points of failure and fewer points of management. With a PC based solution, the reports have to be transported to some PC 'box', and processed in an asynchronous manner. This means there is a failure point between the mainframe and the PC 'box', the PC 'box' itself, and then it has to forward the message to the mail or FTP server. When the JES2XXX solution, we go directly from the host to the target mail or FTP server. Oh, and don't forget, the PC 'box' has to be supported, backed up, etc.

Most of the PC based solutions use either RJE or NJE for receiving the reports from the host. RJE and NJE don't pass all of the available parameters of the SYSOUT, which can reduce some addressing and processing options. More importantly, when the report is transmitted via the RJE/NJE mechanism, as soon as the remote end accepts the report, it is removed from the host's JES queue, before the remote PC 'box' has even had a chance to process it. With JES2Mail and JES2FTP, reports are not removed from the JES queue until they have been successfully processed and are either 'on' the FTP server or safely in the email system.

By being a mainframe based system, there is less involvement required from the PC/network people. This reduces the number of people that need to be involved in setting up and operating the system. In the case of JES2Mail, we only need the IP address of a mail server, and JES2FTP we might need a UserID and password established on the target FTP server. After that, it's all a mainframe issue.

27. My reports can be rather large. Can the reports be compressed?

PDF formatted reports are compressed by default. Generally, we see a 70-80% reduction in data size for compressed PDF files. Decompression is handled by Adobe's (free) Acrobat Reader, so only when the recipient opens and views the report is decompression performed. The 'smaller' compressed file stays compressed through the entire process. This smaller file also reduces transmission time.

28. We are a service bureau, and want our customers to pay for this new type of report delivery. Can JES2Mail generate SMF records that we can feed into our billing system?

Yes. JES2Mail can generate SMF records that contain key information such as destination, timestamp, message subject, file size, etc. It is up to you to decide how to use the SMF data.

29. Can reports come from sequential files as well as JES SYSOUTS?

Yes. JES2xxx runs in two modes. In JESWriter mode, reports are retrieved directly from JES and processed. In batch mode, reports are read from sequential files. Some users prefer to run JES2xxx as a jobstep in their jobs, especially when they have job monitoring products that can check completion codes.

30. What about HFS input files?

Yes. Sequential report files can come from HFS files. In addition, there is a new HFS Watch mode, whereby the program can watch a directory on an interval and process reports/files as they are placed in the directory.

31. Does JESWriter mode use many resources when it's just waiting for work?

No. JES2xxx uses the SAPI interface to JES. Basically, we tell JES to 'wake us up' only when it has some work for us to process. We don't 'poll' the JES queue looking for work.

32. What happens to a JES SYSOUT that can't be processed for some reason?

It depends on what you want done. The program can delete the SYSOUT from the queue, it can be placed on Dataset Hold, System Hold, or simply be requeued to a different output class so that it won't be reselected. In all cases, messages are sent to the master console, and with TSO notification a message is sent back to the TSO user that submitted the original SYSOUT job.

33. Can JES2Mail use distribution lists?

Yes. A distribution list is a simple sequential file containing any number of email addresses. The lists can also be nested, whereby one list references another.

34. Can the RPL script language change the report contents before sending it?

Yes. The RPL script can both extract data from, and modify report page contents. This could be used to block out data from some people, or 'clean up' a report to make it easier to read.

35. What happens if the Mail Server (post office) is down?

Up to ten 'fall back' post offices can be specified, so if one is not available, the program can try another. If all post offices are not available, then in JESWriter mode, the SYSOUT will be left in the queue, so we can try again later. In batch mode, generally the step fails, however you can tell JES2Mail to wait for the post office, even in batch mode. In any case, error messages are generated to the console.

36. Can JES2Mail check that the post office is available, even when there are no reports to process?

Yes. We call this a 'heart beat' operation. When running in JESWriter mode, the program can be told to 'wake up' every so many minutes and check the connectivity to the target post office or FTP server. If there is a connectivity problem, messages are sent to the master console for action.

37. My console operator is pretty busy. Can problems be sent to a TSO user?

Yes. TSO notify of problems is performed on JES SYSOUTs, with notification going back to the job's Notify user. Critical messages can be sent to any TSO user, as long as they are signed on to TSO.

38. Can I change the console messages for language or display attributes?

Yes. All console messages can be tailored to your own requirements. For example, when a post office is down, the message might be "Post office is not available, call Bob at x1234". Also, the attributes of the message can be tailored, for example, to make some messages non-delete so that the console operator won't miss them.

39. We have these bundles of reports that come out of our report distribution system (like CA-Deliver and Control-D). Instead of delivering to the recipient a single monolithic report file, can we break that up?

Yes. Use the RPL to break the report by sub-reports. In addition, the RPL script can remove unneeded banner pages, apply different overlays to different sub-reports, extract comma delimited data, etc. In addition, with JES2Mail's bundle mode, the separate sub-reports can be packaged in a single email, so the recipient gets one email with an attachment for each sub-report from their original bundle. This makes it easier for them to open the report they want.

40. Can I send simple non-report emails?

Yes. We call them simple message files. They can be plain text or HTML. The source of the messages is a sequential file. Any number of messages can be in the file, separated by the standard end of message indicator, which is a period on a line by itself.

41. Can the simple messages have attachments?

Yes. A simple message can include other files. The ATTACH command can request that files be attached as binary or text, zip compressed, or pass through. With wild card characters, groups of PDS members can be included in a single statement, with each PDS member becoming a separate attachment to the email.

These secondary attachments can also be included with emails that have reports. Just specify the ATTACH statement in the )MessageHeader section of the RPL script.

42. Can simple messages 'word wrap'?

Yes. Your simple message can contain "Wrap=On" and "Wrap=Off" commands to enable and disable word wrapping.

43. In PDF and RTF can we populate some of the document information fields?

Yes. Such document information fields as 'creator', 'produced by', date stamps, etc., can all be set to add supporting information that is carried with the PDF and RTF documents.

44. Can I control how a PDF document is opened?

Yes. PDF open options such as "Hide tool bar", "fit the window", and "Use outlines" can all be set in report configuration or the RPL script.

45. Can PDF documents be encrypted?

Yes. JES2xxx supports 40 and 128 bit encryption that is compatible with PDF standards. (Acrobat 4.0 can only support 40 bit encryption)

A PDF document can have two passwords, an owner password and a user password. The owner password controls the actions the recipient can perform with the document, such as printing, annotating, cut and pasting. The user password controls viewing of the document.

Because the PDF document is encrypted, it stays encrypted even if the document is forwarded to someone else.

46. When I route all of the SYSOUT from a job to JES2Mail, I get a separate email for each JES dataset. Is there an alternative?

Yes. With the Bundle mode, you can have all of the JES datasets bundled into a single email, with each dataset becoming a separate attachment within the email.

47. We have some really wild reports that never were intended for printing, and they don't have ASA or MCC carriage control, but now we want to have them packaged as PDF for archiving. What kind of options are there to handle non-paginated reports?

The first option is to simply specify a "lines per page" value to force a page separation. Another alternative is to use the "SpecialPageSep" option to look for specific text in print line to trigger the new page. The text can be in a fixed or variable location. And of course, both options are available. There is also a DLL Exit option that can be used to perform any operations you might need in order to make the data more usable.

48. Do JES2Mail and JES2FTP convert AFP documents into PDF documents?

Generally, AFP is used to apply an overlay (form) to printed material or to specify a font for the text. JES2Mail and JES2FTP take a different approach to applying overlays and fonts. We provide a tool to convert a PDF 'master form' into an overlay suitable for JES2xxx use. This overlay is uploaded to the host where it is merged with the print data stream. This eliminates the need for expensive AFP development tools. 'Master forms' can be created using any number of PC or MAC based tools. Basically anything that can produce a PDF will work.

If the source data stream cannot be created without AFP coding, then an AFP 'filter' is available that strips the AFP syntax from the print data stream, leaving a basic print file. Then a PDF overlay can be applied.

49. Our email administrator is concerned that the mainframe will flood 'his' mail servers. How can we control this?

We have yet to find a customer where this has happened. For all of the reports the mainframe produces, between the PDF encryption, and other factors, this doesn't happen. And if it did, the organization would be saving so much money in paper alone that they could buy a new mail server (probably a new one every day).

However, with all of that, we have provided 'throttle' controls. You can tell JES2Mail to only send x number of messages, and then pause for y number of seconds, and if necessary, to completely close and reopen the connection at every throttle interval.

50. We have some reports where a specific column is used to control formatting. Can this column be removed easily before processing?

Yes. The 'RemoveColumns' processing option can remove one or more columns from a report, without having to go to the trouble of creating an exit module.

51. The final intent of the PDF is to be printed on a duplex printer. Can we control the 'back side' of the document? Specifically, the 'report' is a document where the front contains the report data and an overlay, and the back is just an overlay. Can JES2xxx generate the PDF properly?

Yes. With the RPL script, you can generate multiple 'logical' pages from each 'physical' input page. In addition, the script can 'force' overlay-only pages to provide the 'backside' of duplex pages.

We have one customer who wanted to replace a 'three part' form with a PDF document printed on a laser printer. Their RPL script takes in one report page and generates six 'logical' output pages, with different fronts and backs on each page. The final result is a six page PDF package that when printed on a duplex printer, creates the original three page set. In addition, the RPL script adds 'watermarks' and the appropriate signature to the documents.

52. We have some really big reports that we want to convert to PDF and then archive. How big can PDF reports be?

There are some architectural limits in how big PDF reports can be. This is due to some internal tables sizes. We recommend that PDF reports stay in the "20,000 pages or less" size. Reports larger than this can be split with an RPL script on some logical basis, or a report processing option can be set to automatically break reports at, say, 20,000 pages.

53. Where do the overlays (forms) come from?

We provide a program that converts a page from a PDF document into an overlay file that the JES2xxx programs can use. The original PDF document can be created using PC or MAC tools combined with the 'full' version of Acrobat. Some customers have created PDF forms using nothing more than just MS Word. Other people have gone to graphic artists who use tools such as Quark Express and Page Maker. It doesn't really matter how the PDF is created, but that is what we convert and use on the host. The only approach that you don't want to use is to 'scan' a copy of your printed form, and try to use that. It'll work, but generally scans are very large (as in megabytes) and will be fuzzy, both of which don't make very good overlays.

If you need help in creating your 'master' PDF forms, we are more than willing to provide assistance.

54. Can I apply more than one overlay in a report?

Yes. With the RPL script you can decide page-by-page what overlay to apply to the page. Also, you can control the application of multiple overlays, both 'below' the report contents, and 'on top' of the contents.

55. What is a watermark?

A watermark is simply a small, dynamically defined, overlay. It is usually applied on top of a page. For example, you might want a second copy to have a watermark of 'file copy' in faded large print.

56. Can I insert other graphics that are not part of an overlay? For example, can I insert bank check images?

Yes. In the RPL script language, there is an optional section where you have extensive control over the composition of the PDF page. In addition to pre-built overlays, dynamic text and graphics can be applied to the page. JPEG and TIFF-F files can be rendered on the page.

Yes, we have customers that are creating bank statements with check images.

57. We want to feed through raw data files, and convert them to comma delimited format. Can JES2xxx just forget about the 'report', but still extract the data and make a .CSV file?

Yes. A facility for handling 'raw data' allows not only text, but packed decimal and binary fields to be processed. Each record of the data file is processed as a logical 'page' by the RPL script, so all of the capabilities to extract data, and make break decisions and the like are available.

58. How difficult is the product to install? Do I need a systems programmer?

A reasonably qualified person, with about the same authority as a programmer with TSO access, typically can install the product and run the installation verification job in a few hours. Running the program in batch mode, they should be able to produce deliverable results in an afternoon.

With JES2Mail, the only information needed is the IP address (or url) of a target email server, and they probably have that address on their own PC. JES2FTP may take some involvement from the administrator of the target FTP server. This might include creating a UserID on the target FTP server for JES2FTP on the mainframe to use.

When you want to enable JESWriter mode, then a systems programmer must create an APF authorized started task PROC, and the RACF administrator must allow the started task access to JES and USS (Unix System Services for TCP/IP).


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