IBM i servers have been running critical business applications for more than 30 years.

Why?

Because they’re reliable, secure, and scalable, in order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business environment – just a few reasons why the iSeries user community is so dedicated and passionate. We love everything about the AS400 – except, perhaps, for one feature.

Its reports.

You know the issues:

  • data limits
  • flat presentation
  • rigid layouts
  • plain text
  • lack of branding…

Whisper it quietly, but AS400 reports are a bit uninspiring.

Lacklustre.

All right, I’ll say it.

Boring.

That said, as with all things IBM, they’re consistent, accurate and reliable. So does it really matter?

Actually, yes it does. And not just because they don’t showcase the IBM i as the innovative platform it really is. More importantly, independent research shows that reports that use simple charts and colours can hugely improve management decision-making.

Factor in the demand for branding and ease of data selection, and it comes as little surprise to hear that over half the IBM i community consider this issue one of their top five concerns.

So IT departments are under increasing pressure to deliver. But how do you achieve it?

Drag some iSeries vets out of retirement to write new code?

This might help with report content, but you’d still be stuck with those fixed, monochrome formats.

Export AS400 data to external systems for analysis and reporting?

Report presentation might improve, but siloed systems come with side-effects:

  • Time wasted on inefficient manual processes
  • Duplicate data, increasing potential for error and security vulnerabilities
  • Sync delays, causing downtime
  • Additional software and licence fees
  • An extra tech support channel, with the inevitable disconnects that entails

… all leading to lower productivity and higher costs.

Replace the AS400?

Really? That might improve reporting, but it would usher in a raft of new problems… before you even consider the disruption to your business.

Let’s take a step back here. There is another way:

Report modernization.

Imagine having the tools to:

  • Transform your AS400 output into visually exciting and data rich reports
  • Automate repetitive tasks
  • Deliver to schedule or on demand
  • Customize in response to changing business needs

… using a modern interface, with a quality user experience. And all using the renowned reliability of the IBM i platform.

Sounds great – but how do you get all that without spending a fortune?

One word: CoolSpools.

CoolSpools is a clever suite of modules that transforms IBM i data into vivid, relevant reports, including branding, colour, dynamic charts, and more. And it’s incredible value for money.

Better still, you don’t have to be a gnarled 3GL code-cutter to use it. You can easily:

  • Define the data you need
  • Present it exactly how users want to see it
  • Choose from a range of outputs, including:
  • CSV
  • Excel
  • PDF
  • XML
  • Schedule reports to run automatically
  • Distribute reports via an intuitive email interface

…giving you complete flexibility and control.

With CoolSpools, your reports will be based on your processing needs, rather than the other way around.

No silos. No manual, repetitive reporting processes… no sync delays… no downtime.

Result: higher productivity.

It’s also a fantastic tool for business continuity and disaster recovery, as Claudia Estrada, Application Development Manager at Kelly Spicers revealed in a recent case study. When COVID forced the first lockdown in 2020, remote working had to be rolled out fast – and digital reporting was a huge part of that.

Happily, CoolSpools gave her the tools to convert and automate a clutch of vital reports that were key to running the business remotely.

She completed the project within 4 days.

Unsurprisingly, Claudia was only too ready to sing its praises.

“CoolSpools saves time: it’s flexible, it’s user friendly. And the final product is amazing – it gives us great presentation every time. There’s other software out there, but when CoolSpools converts data it’s like, no question – the Excel sheets, the PDFs are always perfect.”

Coolspools Kelly Spicers Case Study

So iSeries fans really  can have the best of both worlds: reliability in the form of IBM i, and feature-rich style in the form of CoolSpools.

AS400 reports don’t have to be boring after all.

Want to know more? Download the full case study here

If you know what you want to achieve, CoolSpools will help you get there. We offer tech sheets aplenty to guide you through the process – take a look at our Starter Guide for Users

Need some training? CoolSpools offers courses that will help you and your team get the most out of CoolSpools – click here for more information.

Overworked and under resourced? CoolSpools offers managed services to help you get what you need from your AS400 – Click here for more details.

Want to evaluate CoolSpools Email? Click here to download your free 30-day trial.