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How do the parameters IMBOUT, IMBCTL, and IMBSER work together with IMpb serial numbers, and Shipping Services File serial number using MailStream Plus


Product Affected:  MailStream Plus™ 8.3.7
There are 3 ways to get the IMpb serial numbers in MailStream Plus™ (MSP):
  • IMBOUT position 44 can be A for 'Auto', M for 'Manual', and R for 'Read from input Name-Address records'.

There are 2 ways to get the Shipping Services File (SSF) serial number (which is part of the SSF's 'Electronic File Number' field):
  • IMBCTL position 39 can be A for 'Auto' or M for 'Manual'

Here is a discussion of how the numbers get assigned for the 6 combinations.  (Leading 0's are not included in the discussions below.)

If IMBOUT is Auto, and SSF is Auto:
  • The serial numbers are assigned through the optional Pitney Bowes Software "Mail360 Manager" application.  All the mail pieces will first be assigned sequential S/Ns starting from the next available number based on the Manager's DB.  Then the *next* number will be assigned to the SSF file.
  • So if you do a 500 piece mailing, and the next available serial number happens to be 1001, the mail pieces will get 1001-1500, and the SSF file will get 1501.  (The next available serial number will then be 1502.)
  • If a second 500 piece mailing is done, the mail pieces will get 1502-2001, and the SSF file will get 2002.

If IMBOUT is Auto, and SSF is Manual:
  • The job will abend with a Context Checker message in the .rpt file (or DD MSRPRPT or PRNTRPT depending on the computer platform.)
  • "***   ERROR   ***  Cannot have both Auto and Manual IMB serial number"
  • because MSP does not allow one serial number option to be Auto and the other be Manual.  

If IMBOUT is Manual, and SSF is Auto:
  • The job will abend with a Context Checker message in the rpt file (or DD MSRPRPT or PRNTRPT depending on the computer platform.)
  • "***   ERROR   ***  Cannot have both Auto and Manual IMB serial number"
  • because MSP does not allow one serial number option to be Auto and the other be Manual.

If IMBOUT is Manual, and SSF is Manual:
  • In this case the IMBSER parameter is used to tell MSP the starting serial number.  User's have to keep track of their mailings to know what the next available serial number to be used should be, and put it on the IMBSER parameter each time they run a job.  
  • Other than that, it is similar to the the Auto-Auto first example above.  The mail pieces will be assigned sequential serial numbers starting with the IMBSER value, and then the SSF S/N will be assigned the next one.  If IMBSER says to start at 1, then a 500 piece mailing would get the number 1-500 on the mail pieces, and the SSF S/N will be 501.

If IMBOUT is 'Read from input Name-Address records', and SSF is Auto:
  • The IMpb serial numbers will be read from the input records, and the SSF S/N will come from the Mail360 Manager.  Since only one serial number is used in the SSF file per job, if the first job got 1, the next job would get 2, etc.  
     

If IMBOUT is 'Read from input Name-Address records', and SSF is Manual:
  • The IMpb serial numbers will be read from the input records, and the SSF S/N will be whatever is on the IMBSER parameter.
UPDATED:  May 10, 2019