Understanding printer drivers, port monitors, windows gateway printers, and passthrough printers
Before you decide which type of InfoPrint actual destination to create, you should first understand these terms and concepts. Figure 1: InfoPrint Manager print data stream flow illustrates how these items can fit into your InfoPrint Manager system.
- Printer driver
- Software that accepts the output of your applications and converts it into a data stream that the printer can understand. Most printers come with one or more drivers that you can install and use; the printer documentation provides more specific information about the capabilities of the drivers. The driver you use determines what data stream is sent to the printer. In InfoPrint Manager, the driver might process the data before it is placed on the print spool.
- Port monitor
- Software that controls how the data stream that is generated by the printer driver
gets to the printer. If your printer is local- or parallel-attached to your system,
you use a local port monitor; if your printer is attached over TCP/IP, you can use
a TCP/IP port monitor. InfoPrint Manager includes these port monitors:
- InfoPrint port monitor
- Use this port monitor to send print data to the InfoPrint Manager spool.
- InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor
- Use this port monitor to send print data with PJL to the Windows spool.
To use the InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor, the printer must support the
InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor is distributed with the InfoPrint Manager server.
When you use the InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor with the Passthrough DSS, InfoPrint Manager provides accurate page completion information.
If a job is printing and another job is sent to the same printer from a different machine when you use the InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor, the page count shown in the server accounting log might not be accurate. The PJL implementation in the printer causes this situation. This does not happen for jobs sent from the same machine.Note: When you use Class drivers (type 4 printer drivers), InfoPrint port monitor and InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor are not supported. Use V3 print drivers either shipped with the Windows installation base or downloaded from the manufacturer's website.
- A Windows entity that represents a particular output device or target. The data stream that the driver creates is sent to the printer through a port. A port is always created with and controlled by a specific port monitor. InfoPrint Manager creates ports that use the InfoPrint port monitor when it needs them. You might have to create some ports yourself (such as a port that uses the InfoPrint TCP/IP Network Port Monitor), but you should never have to create an InfoPrint port.
- Windows printer
- The combination of a printer driver and a port. You can create a Windows printer using the Windows Add printer wizard. A Windows printer receives print data, sends it through the printer driver to create the data stream that you want to use, then sends the data stream to an output device (printer) or target through the port. InfoPrint Manager sometimes creates Windows printers under the covers and names them IPM-<actual destination name>. You will be able to see these printers in the Windows Printers window, but you should never open and modify them from there.
- Windows shared printer
- A Windows printer that is defined so that a remote Windows user can send print jobs to it. When a user on the network uses the Windows Add printer wizard to create a network printer on his or her desktop, the wizard provides a list of the Windows shared printers that are available. In InfoPrint Manager, a Windows gateway printer is a type of Windows shared printers.