iCONVERT - Robust AFP / IPDS Output Management & Data Stream Conversion Solution

Unlock the Power of Your IBM AFP Infrastructure

Many enterprises rely on IBM’s robust Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) print format for high-volume document composition and distribution. However, outputting natively from AFP hosts inherently locks organizations into proprietary print workflows. Solimar Systems offers tools to liberate your AFP investment.

Centralized Print Management

Solimar’s iCONVERT software delivers centralized AFP print stream management. Acting as an IPDS output transformer and emulator, it effortlessly ingests IBM IPDS and AFPDS data formats. The solution then converts and routes print files on the fly to practically any modern format like PDF, PS, or PCL, ensuring compatibility with contemporary devices.

iCONVERT resides on a Windows server independently from composition engines. It communicates bi-directionally with AFP hosts, appearing to applications like a native IPDS printer. This non-disruptive implementation requires no changes to existing AFP configuration or print drivers.

Automated Print Stream Transformation

As iCONVERT receives composed AFP output, it dynamically transforms inline resource assets together with page data into targeted print formats customizable to each destination device or workflow. For example, a single AFP print run can output PDFs for digital distribution, PS for production printers, and PCL for office printers in one seamless process.

The system handles all IPDS datastream nuances during conversion, applying any needed hints to optimize downstream processing or finishing equipment. Resources embedded in AFP are intelligently cached and reused to minimize overall network bandwidth demands.

Tangent Print Stream Controls

An optional Job Events module for iCONVERT allows inserting custom script-based business logic to manipulate data streams on the fly to meet specialized workflow requirements. However, most organizations with advanced needs leverage Solimar’s Rubika software, which provides robust AFP post-composition capabilities through an easy-to-use graphical interface requiring no coding expertise.

Roundtrip AFP Workflows

A unique advantage is the ability to capture original IPDS datastreams from hosts using iCONVERT, store these digital masters, and then accurately regenerate IPDS output later to drive printers on demand. This helps manage unpredictable production peaks without constantly dedicating AFP equipment.

Extensible Print Workflow Automation

iCONVERT focuses specifically on transforming AFP print streams. However, it interoperates with Solimar’s broader print management platform, extending capabilities. Additional modules deliver secure network printing, automated load balancing, device failover, system monitoring, output tracking, and advanced workflow controls. The unified administration console centralizes infrastructure.

Migrate AFP to the Future

Rather than scraping proven yet aging AFP investments, Solimar solutions inject new life into them to optimize usefulness while smoothly bridging compatibility gaps with modern printing equipment. This best-of-breed approach protects existing IT assets while providing an upgrade path as organizations gradually transition from legacy platforms over time.

Mary Ann Rowan

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