AS400 Email – IBM OS Solution vs 3rd Party Software Solution

Basically, there are two ways to send email directly from your AS400. 1. Use the functionality built into the IBM Operating System. 2. Use a 3rd Party Software application (such as SpoolFlex).
This page should give you enough information about both methods to enable you to decide which method is nest for you.

For Transparency: Nobody has detail knowledge about all of the Third Party AS400 Email Software Solutions available. Therefore, when information about “Third Party Solution” is referenced, that information is based heavily on detail knowledge of SpoolFlex Software Solution and some knowledge of other Third Party Software Solutions available for the AS400.

There are 4 steps for implementing and using an AS400 Email Solution.

  1. Install
  2. Setup and Configuration
  3. Use
  4. Troubleshooting

1. Install

With the IBM OS method, there is no install because the functionality to Email is included within the Operating System. With a Third Party Solution the software will need to be downloaded from the internet onto the AS400. The time to download should not take more than 10-15 minutes.

2. Setup and Configuration

Setup and Configuration for the IBM OS method requires a technical person. And often times even a technical persons will have trouble getting it setup and configured correctly. The steps and process for setting up and configuring the AS400 Email Method is lengthy (and technical) so they have been given their own web page here. Some Third Party Software Solutions are simply a user friendly interface to using the IBM OS Email functionality so the Setup and Configuration for the IBM OS Method would still have to be done for those Third Party Software Solutions. Our Third Party Solution (SpoolFlex) does not use any of the Email functionality built into the IBM OS therefore the setup and configuration is a simple one step process of selecting a menu option  and entering the IP address of your Email Server and specifying whether you want to add the option E=Email on the AS400 Work Spooled File (WRKSPLF) program and Work Output Queue (WRKOUTQ) program.

3. Use

Simply sending an email from the AS400 is not what the vast majority of users want to do as they can do that with their desktop email software such as Outlook. Usually what the user wants to do is to email a report that has been generated by their ERP application. The IBM OS Method for Email does not include the ability to convert spooled files to PDF so that step has to be done separately before using the IBM API Send Distribution (SNDDST) to send the resulting PDF as an attachment to an Email. Also, the IBM API SNDDST for Email has no ability to be automated. Automating the IBM OS Email Method requires a programmer to write a program or some other software be purchased. Their are many other limitations of the IBM OS method, some are listed in the table below. Third Party Software Solutions such as SpoolFlex, for AS400 Email mostly have the ability to convert a report to PDF and Email in one step. Most of them also have the ability to automate the PDF conversion and Email process with any programming. Some of the differences between using these two methods can be found in the table below.

4. Troubleshooting

Trouble shooting the IBM OS method for AS400 Email is practically nonexistent other then trial and error and hope a message is generated to give a hint as to where the issue could be. Troubleshooting the IBM OS method requires a highly technical person. And due to the fact that the IBM OS method of Emailing is prone to errors this can be a major issue and you will become very familiar with using Google. The better Third Party AS400 Email Solutions have some type of Audit Trail for the Email Process. An Example is our software SpoolFlex has an Audit Trail for both sent Emails and failed Emails. If there ever is an instance where someone reports they did not receive an Email you can simply look in the Failed Log and read the cause for the failure, correct the issue and resend the Email.


IBM OS Email 3rd Party SW
Send Email Directly from AS400
Setup/Configuration Requires Technical Person
Programming Required
Attach a Report
Burst Report During Email Process
Automated Conversion to PDF and Email Process
Convert Report to PDF during Email Process
Password Protect PDF Files
Add Logos/Graphics During Email Process
Add Color Highlighting to PDF
Audit Trail for Tracking Sent Email
Simple Troubleshooting Process
Email Reports as Excel Files
Can Attach Multiple File to a Single Email
Supports Email Authtication

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Today, customers and vendors insist more and more on getting their documents by AS400 Email. To accomplish this task without losing track of documents, you need an AS400 Email solution that integrates seamlessly into your existing AS400 (IBM i, iSeries) enterprise, minimizes the learning curve for your users and at the same time offers automatic archiving of all documents emailed for quick and easy search and retrieval when needed.

SpoolFlex by DRV Technologies provides complete AS400 Email functionality and management in one simple and affordable solution.


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