- Preparation phase: During this phase, you use the AFP Visual Environment user interface to define the enhancements you want to make using a sample AFP file. A sample AFP file is a file that is representative of your production AFP files. The user interface can run on IBM AIX, Linux, or Microsoft Windows systems.
- Production phase: During this phase, you run an AFP Visual Environment command to enhance your production AFP files in the same way that you enhanced the sample AFP file. The AFP Visual Environment commands can run on IBM AIX, IBM z/OS, or Microsoft Windows systems.
The preparation and production phases can run on the same system, or you can complete the preparation phase on one system and then run the production phase on another system.
AFP Visual Environment system overview provides an overview of how AFP Visual Environment works.
AFP Visual Environment system overview
AFP Visual Environment system overview shows this process:
- The administrator selects a sample AFP file that is representative of the production
AFP files that you want to enhance. The AFP resources that the AFP file references
(fonts, page segments, and overlays) can be inline or in resource directories accessible
to the user interface.
If the sample file contains line-mode or mixed-mode data, the administrator must first use the AFP Conversion and Indexing Facility (ACIF) program to convert data to MO:DCA-P format.
- The AFP Visual Environment user interface displays the sample AFP file. The administrator uses the user interface to visually enhance the sample AFP file. For example, the administrator can select the text to use as a trigger to create page groups, select the text to index, draw a box to cover an unwanted bar code, and create a new bar code.
- AFP Visual Environment creates a control file that contains definitions for all the enhancements made to the sample AFP file.
As an option, AFP Visual Environment can create an AFP file that contains the data in the sample file and the enhancements defined in the control file. The administrator can print the enhanced sample AFP file on the production printer to check the enhancements before applying them to production AFP files.
- Optional: If the production system is different from the preparation system, the administrator sends a copy of the control file to the production system.
- On the production system, an AFP Visual Environment command makes the same enhancements to production AFP files using the definitions
in the control file. AFP resources can be inline or in resource directories accessible
to the command.
You can run the AFP Visual Environment command from the AIX, Windows, or z/OS UNIX command line, or you can use a script or procedure to call the command.
- An AFP Visual Environment command creates AFP files that contain the enhancements. You can print these files
using IBM Print Services Facility (PSF) for z/OS or RICOH InfoPrint Manager™ for AIX and Windows. Or, you can archive the AFP files using IBM Content Manager
OnDemand for Multiplatforms.
As an option, AFP Visual Environment can create these files:
- Document index file: This file contains the index tags (Tag Logical Element structured fields) in the output AFP file. This file is useful if you want to archive an AFP file and use the index file to retrieve information from it.
- Resource group file: This file contains all the AFP resources that the output AFP file references. This file is useful if any AFP resources are not inline and you want to view or print the file on another system that does not contain the AFP resources, or if you want to archive the AFP file so that you can print it later using the original resources.