FormFlex Generates PDF417 Barcode

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IBM i shops that find themselves needing to print Portable Data File 417 (PDF417) barcodes to comply with requirements from the Department of Homeland Security or FedEx can now get that capability with an update to the FormFlex electronic forms software from DRV Technologies.

The PDF417 standard is a stacked linear barcode label that’s commonly used in transport, identification cards, airline boarding passes, and inventory management. According to itsWikipedia entry, the two-dimensional barcode standard is useful for several reasons, including the capability to link PDF417 barcodes to other symbols when they’re scanned in sequence, thereby boosting data storage; the capability of the user to define the X and Y dimensions; and the capability to use the format without a license.

According to DRV president Richard Voss, PDF417 is an ideal format for companies to use when they’re required to put some type of barcode on their documents for identification or tracking purposes.

DRV’s implementation of PDF417 is notable, Voss says, in that it doesn’t use any fonts. This eliminates any compatibility or printing issues when converting electronic forms to Adobe‘s portable document format (PDF), or when using different printers, he says.

FormFlex is an electronic forms overlay package for the IBM i server. The software helps customers save money by eliminating preprinted forms and checks, and by enabling customers to use standard laser printers to print professional-looking documents (in PCL format) that include company logos and other graphics.

The software can also convert documents into the PDF format for distribution via email or archiving in the IFS or on a CD, with the purchase of the optional PCL to PDF converter. Other optional add-ons include the E-Mail2Fax module and Secure Checks.

The new PDF417 barcode capability is included in the base FormFlex product, which starts at $2,695. For more information, see