Do You Know Where Your IBM i Reports Are?

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ibm i, ibm, as400, softwareIBM i spool file distribution requirements are different when you’re in an industry subject to regulatory standards, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Regulated shops need to do more than just email and archive spool files. They also needs to secure, track, and search sent reports, in order to keep their data safe and to keep our friends the auditors happy.

A regulated shop needs an industrial strength spool file management, conversion, and distribution solution. Since auditors can be demanding, relentless, and general pains in the you-know-what, it pays to make sure your conversion and distribution solution has the following essential features to make life easier come audit time.

(Note:  Keep reading this post even if you’re not in a regulated industry. These spool file management features are valuable for any business that gets audited or needs to track spool file distributions, even in non-regulated industries)

Here are 5  essential features to look for in Spool File Conversion and Distribution Tools that will make your job easier at audit time:

  1. Spoof file software should add a layer of security by designating an archived spool file or groups of spool files as sensitive documents and restricing access to authorized personnel only. More specifically,  security measures should include restricting user access to individual spool file management menus and options, and cutting off command line access when viewing reports.
  2. Spool file software should track who your reports have been sent to. You should be able to tell not only who has received each sent report, but also when it was sent and what delivery method was used to send it.
  3. Spool file software should be able to encrypt PDF reports for additional security. You should be able to encrypt sent PDF files for security and compliance.
  4. Spool file software should provide a way to let authorized users search sent reports, view sent reports, and reprint the original report for auditor access. Spool file management, conversion, and distribution software should allow your users to view previously delivered reports and reprint the reports as needed. The reprint function is invaluable when you have to produce old reports for auditors.
  5. Spool file software should come with great customer service. Your IBM i software provider should have live people answering the phone (and United States-based call support for US customers); in-house support that can access the software developers for Level 3 support (instead of farming tech support out to another company or country); and trained support specialists. Check out my article on the eight critical questions you should ask your software provider about customer service for more on the right way vendors should support their customers.

Spool file software can do so much more than burst data. Make sure to look for features that support business and compliance goals.


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