Retrieving resources

ACIF can determine the list of required AFP resources that are needed to view or print the document and retrieve these resources from the specified libraries. You can then view or print the document with fidelity. This ACIF function is especially valuable if the resources are not present on the designated system in a distributed print environment.

When you archive a document with ACIF, you can also archive the retrieved resources (such as fonts and page segments) in the form in which they existed when the file was printed. By archiving the original resources, you can reproduce the document with fidelity in the future, even if the resources are different. For example, suppose that a page segment contains a company officer's signature and is included in the print data. When someone else replaces the officer, current print files must reference the new officer's signature, but archived files must reference the former officer's signature.

The type of resources ACIF retrieves from specified libraries is based on the value of the RESTYPE parameter. When ACIF processes a print file, it:

  • Identifies the resources that the print file requests:

    While ACIF converts the input file into an AFP document, it builds a list of all the resources necessary to successfully print the document, including all the resources referenced inside other resources. For example, a page can include an overlay, and an overlay can reference other resources such as fonts and page segments.

  • Creates a resource file:

    ACIF creates a logical resource library in the form of an AFP resource group and stores this resource group in a resource file. If you specify RESTYPE=ALL, this resource file contains all the resources necessary to view or print the document with fidelity.

    See Processing resources installed with resource access tables for information about how ACIF retrieves resources from the resource access table (RAT).

  • Calls the specified resource exit for each resource it retrieves:

    Before ACIF retrieves a resource from a library, it first calls the resource exit program as specified in the RESEXIT parameter. You can write an exit program to filter out any resources you do not want included in the resource file. For example, the exit program can specify that all referenced fonts, except for a specific typeface, be included in the resource file. The only way to accomplish this action is by using the resource exit.

  • Includes the name of the output document in the resource file and the name of the resource file in the output document, which provides a method of correlating resource files with the appropriate output document.

Examples of specifying ACIF processing parameters for resource retrieval can be found in Examples of using ACIF.