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ASF Replacement

The DOPiX ARK (ASF Replacement Kit)

The DOPiX ARK replaces the batch and online document creation and output functions of IBM's software 'Application Support Facility for z/OS', program number 5655-002, aka ASF. The DOPiX ARK also completely replaces the ASF template development, but allows the customer to retain their investments in the ASF databases. The ARK Package is an immediate modernization tool for ASF installations which will allow IT personal to inform the organization's many stake holders of a pathway to even greater state-of-art features and functionality with a full DOPiX CCM implementation.

There is no need to replace ASF databases (ASF, GIL, SLL/CLL, UPL), because these can be used directly by DOPiX ARK. The DOPiX server components run on z/OS. This configuration allows optimum performance, as all data is kept on one system close to existing business applications and high volume output environments. The DOPiX/Server connects via the well-known ASF SIB interface to the client's business applications. Thus, no changes to calling programs will be required.

DOPiX/ARK also supports all ASF callbacks of user programs, such as PDP, PVP and DCP, using the SIB interface. Therefore no modification these user programs is required. As DOPiX may operate on the ASF databases, a 'big bang' migration is not necessary. If needed, templates and content can be modernized step by step according to the business needs and business applications.

The administration of document templates by DOPiX/Admin is done using a fat client written in Java and running on Windows and Linux. The ASF administration and document maintenance teams can utilize their existing knowledge, as it is similar methodology, but implemented in a state-of-the-art tool.

The DOPiX/Dialog thin client is an easy-to-use GUI. Users can use the keyboard and/or mouse to efficiently create online documents with syntax highlighting and spell checking to ensure technically and textually correct documents. An immediate online WYSIWYG preview of the output document is available for all users, thus minimizing proof printing.

DOPiX ARK also contains the DOPiX/Compose rendering engine, that replaces IBM's Document Composition Facility, program number  5748-XX9 (further called DCF). DOPiX/Compose is a highly IBM DCF compatible formatter and at the same time delivers a much broader functionality. Direct generation of data streams like AFP, PDF, PDF/A, PCL, PostScript, and all common image formats is supported out of the box.

DOPiX ARK Architecture

ASF compatibility considerations

The following ASF features require review and/or are replaced by DOPiX functions:

  • ASF GIL versioning and staging
  • ASF WebClient and SIB-W
  • ASF paragraph group objects
  • ASF User-Exits
  • ASF FLL (formatted letter library)
  • ASF DXB variables
  • Several rarely used ASF function codes

How to migrate

The following steps are performed:

  • Prepare
    • Send your ASF system documentation to icon
    • Kick-off workshop with icon
    • Define customer specific mapping between Host and client user id
  • Install new DB2 databases
    • DOPiX/Client Manager database
    • DOPiX UPL
  • Install DOPiX ARK java components
    • DOPiX/Server
    • DOPiX/Rendering Engine
    • DOPiX/Client Manager
  • Install DOPiX/Host
  • Install client components
    • DOPiX/Dialog thin client
    • DOPiX/Admin
  • Install DOPiX objects
    • DOPiX GIL resources
    • Load AFP resources in GIL for DOPiX/Compose access
  • Customization
    • DOPiX components by icon
    • Replace the original ASF online transaction calls (prefix FSN) with DOPiX transaction calls.
    • Replace the original ASF batch calls (prefix FSN) with DOPiX calls.
    • Replace ASF user exits with DOPiX solutions.
  • Integration test
  • Go into production with all or a part of the ASF applications

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