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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Print
Created by Guest
Created on Jan 8, 2021

Add PDF Interfaces for PRINTED OUTPUT

The use of AFPRSC keyword in DDS has been fine up until now. Today, there is a need to create more "graphical" printed output for customers, packing slips, invoices, order confirmations all need graphics, and sometimes barcodes or other components. IBM needs to add either a DDS Keyword or (preferably) PDF APIs for creating, writing, and adding to (appending) PDF files that are stored as stream files on the IFS. Basic output capabilities should be exposed as APIs or parameters on the DDS KWD, such as font name, font size, drawing lines, boxes, and shading, along with barcode output.
In face, *PRTF files should have a *PDF attribute or eprahsp *PDF should be a new file type to which standard RPG output can be written with PDF output as the option without going through the override and/or transformation object, workstation customization object, etc. A lot has already been done, I'm something asking for it to be exposed and completed.

Use Case:

It is 2021 and IBM doesn't seem to be adding features to AFP, therefore something that can support us moving forward such as PDF should be provided as a printed output interface.
The conversion to PDF is pretty much all AFP is used for today, therefore why restrict the output to what AFP artificially limits you to (like no shading) when the PDF interface does not?

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Jun 27, 2022

    If you create AFP spooled file, then convert it to PDF, you can use various fonts, lines, barcodes, images and so on. See or attached PDF file for sample output. Also it is possible to create/manipulate PDF by using Java, Python and Node.js.

  • Guest
    Nov 30, 2021

    .Due to the very significant effort required, we are declining this request.

  • Guest
    Mar 31, 2021

    This idea certainly has merit, as PDF has become the dominant document format. However, it is a large effort, that is very unlikely to make it into plan. It would also slow down other print enhancements while being developed.

    I will leave it in Under Consideration status until the LUG, CAAC, and our Business Planners have a chance to evaluate it, but I expect we will eventually decline this one.

  • Guest
    Jan 18, 2021

    The CEAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a MEDIUM priority requirement that should be addressed.

    We acknowledge that this could be a large change perhaps to review how AFPDS to cover PDF features as well.
    Such as extension to AFP standard which can include creating PDF in any way directly from IBM i languages like RPG and COBOL.

    Background: The COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CEAC has a crucial role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    To find out how CEAC help to shape the future of IBM i, see CEAC @ and the article "The Five Hottest IBM i RFEs Of The Quarter" at

    Therese Eaton – CEAC Program Manager, IBM