BCD Welcomes 2 New Products to Fold

Not content to rest on its program generator/report writing laurels Business Computer Design (BCD) has released two new products for AS/400 spool file distribution and report writing.

Hinsdale, Ill.-based BCD has released Catapult, a client/server product that automates AS/400 spool file distribution via PC network or e-mail. The company has also announced Whistler, a PC-based AS/400 report writer due for general release in the first quarter, next year.

Catapult automatically selects and downloads AS/400 spool files to any client computer on a PC network or e-mail system. An administrator sets up the criteria for distributing reports, but Catapult requires no programming. Administrators can set up Catapult to distribute spool files based on user criteria or at specific times of the day. Catapult sends the spool files to a PC that runs the client portion of the software. From there, reports are automatically e-mailed to the desired viewers. Catapult works with BCD’s EZ-Pickin’s product so users can automatically extract data into desktop applications like Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Access, MS-Word and Quattro.

“This rounds out our report writing product line,” says Kevin Cronin, software development manager at BCD. “Everything’s been built around EZ-Pickin’s, but what users want to do is distribute spool files to PCs throughout their organization, then extract information from them through EZ-Pickin’s. That’s what Catapult does.”

Whistler is a PC-based AS/400 report design tool. Information systems staff will be able to use it to create different topical “Query Views” over AS/400 files and fields such as inventory sales or customers. End users, who do not have to know anything about file/field relationships to use the product, can then drag and drop “Query Fields” onto the PC-based report writer and click on what fields they want to sub-total, total, sort or break.

The report is generated on the AS/400 using SQL and pulled to the user’s PC via TCP/IP or APPC. Reports can then be run, saved for future use, printed or opened in EZ-Pickin’s for mining, analysis, data extraction and e-mailing.