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Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

 
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Homer Shoemaker
Frequent Advisor

Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

Our business management application on our Alpha (written in COBOL) creates and formats text files to be faxed and then uses a DCL procedure to add a few parameters and then sends them to an OLD version of OMTOOLS FAXSR. The FAXSR program is not going to port over. And besides, I have another idea.

Although we mostly keep our Windows stuff and OpenVMS stuff completely separate, we DO already have GFI Faxmaker running on our Exchange Server. And that has a pretty cool feature where you can just drop a properly formatted text file into a folder and it faxes it without any more interaction.

My concern is getting the files from the Integrity to the Exchange Server. Should I have any OpenVMS (v8.3) problems opening up multiple FTP sessions and dropping files into a folder on a Windows server? We don't usually have more than a couple hundred sessions open at time, but almost any of them could be faxing a Statement or Invoice or Purchase Order.

Does anybody see a problem with this approach? Any other suggestions for dropping files into a folder on a Windows system programmatically ?

I realize that I'll at least have some DCL work to do.

If this works, the next thing I'll be considering is how to let users view the status of the faxes they've sent. (The GFI program changes the extension and adds some data to the beginning of the file to indicate whether or not it was sent properly.) I'm thinking it might be easier to just FTP the changed files back to my Integrity Server every now and then, rather than to figure out how to let them browse and view files on a Windows server. Any comments?

Thanks.



6 REPLIES 6
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

I know nothing, but COPY /FTP (or any similar
SSH-related scheme) sounds pretty harmless to
me. I don't deal with Samba much, but isn't
there an smbclient program which might fit
here, too? (Is that available on VMS?)
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

I don't think anybody here will be able to answer your question here; there are just too many variables.

I might well look to porting over Asterisk and Asterfax, if this is really what you're up to here.

That, or a print-to-fax printer device.

Other options:

http://loll.sourceforge.net/linux/links/Hardware/Scanners_-_Faxes/index.html

There's also a USB option, with a fax widget that provides SANE. The following is an old page, but still useful:

http://www.buzzard.me.uk/jonathan/scanners-usb.html

any of which (other than maybe the print-to-fax option) would require coding.
Phil.Howell
Honored Contributor

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

I would have a batch queue with a job limit of 1 and have your dcl submit a job to do the ftp - this would avoid any concurrency problems and give you visibility of any queued faxes, plus the ability to rerun failed faxes.
Some fax packages have a "network printer interface" which queues faxes in a similar way.
The fax package I use has a "notify" facility where you supply a # command and an email address and it notifies the originator of success orfailure.
Phil
Homer Shoemaker
Frequent Advisor

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

Thanks, all. I appreciate that you take the time to read and comment. I'm the only VMS person in my company and it's nice to be able to bounce ideas off the forum.

Well, time for me to get back to work.
Ruslan R. Laishev
Super Advisor

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

Hello!

GOLDFAX & CompuFAX still available for OpenVMS Alpha & Itanium. Make sense ?
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Porting Fax Application to Integrity... kind of

Homer,

I have constructed such connections for clients using FTP. Using single FTP commands (e.g., COPY/FTP and the command file option on the FTP command) work quite well, provided one carefully checks the return codes after each command.

Another option is to use NFS, either serving from the OpenVMS system(s) or on the Windows system, thus giving potentially more access to the files in the queue.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com