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    univar corporation

March 25, 2004 

To Whom It May Concern: 

In the fall of 2002 Univar needed a universal bar code printing solution that would work on more than one kind of printer and did not require a protocol box or interface card to print bar coded documents.  Experience has taught us that a hardware solution will inevitably need to be replaced, and with each replacement, you scrap your previous work and start over.  Adding to the problems was the fact that we now needed to print bar codes on hundreds of printers.  We needed a software solution.  Enter Sound Software’s IBM Mainframe Server product, the Bar code Print Facility (BPF).  Univar started a trial of BPF at the end of 2002.  During early 2003, Sound Software worked with our tech support to get the sample BATCH and CICS programs that come with BPF working to print bar coded documents to both HP PCL and IBM IPDS style printers.  Shortly after implementing BPF in our production environment, we had a request from a branch to consolidate their printing functions by utilizing their copier as a printer.  With a few minutes of effort, we were printing bar coded documents on a Cannon copier.  Additionally we discovered BPF generates the correct printer data format to be transferred over TCP/IP lines.  During the installation, Sound Software always promptly returned all calls and emails and provided resolution to all problems even when the problems were not with BPF.  After we had proved that BPF was a workable solution, we had yet another hurdle.  All of the documents we initially targeted for bar code enhancement are sent through a central spooling program written in assembler (circa 1980).  We eventually sent this program to Sound Software – which they agreed to modify at no extra cost.  Sound Software updated the program and resolved our problem. This program reads records from a spool file and formats calls to BPF CICS API.  BPF then translates the page to the desired printer language and sends the data to the printers.  To make a long story short, Sound Software worked with us through it all providing timely tech support and any needed enhancements to the get the job done.  We would not hesitate to contact Sound Software for any of our IBM Mainframe Server printing needs.


Michael Layson

Univar Corporation

Work phone: (916)371-3587

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Revised: November 24, 2008