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As you can probably tell by the number of ‘parts’ to this series, I’m going to walk through the screens for this new functionality.
See the entire series here:
Today, it’s the IPP Print tab. This tab allows users to select any number of IPP printers to print the results of the concurrent request once the data is generated.
This screen allows users to enter:
What is IPP Print vs Regular EBS Printing functionality?
IPP stands for Internet Printing Protocol and is an open standard for printing. CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) is the most common consumer of IPP and is an open source printing system. Printers are setup within CUPS and then printed to as normal. The ‘Regular Print’ functionality of EBS is a bit different, while it can utilize CUPS it does not typically communicate directly over IPP. EBS has traditionally used drivers and styles to setup how to print to the system print spooler. When using this new functionality your current print drivers/styles/types that are setup in EBS will not be used.
In order to allow users to choose a printer, the printers must be setup and made available. This is done via the System Administration responsibility following the Delivery Options menu item.
To setup a printer:
1. Install CUPS
2. Setup your printers within CUPS
3. Setup your printers defined via CUPS in EBS using the above form with the following options:
Once you have setup all of your printers, your users will be able to select them and print their reports!
Pros and Cons
Like anything, there are pros and cons to all new functionality. Getting the cons out of the way first, this is what I see:
1. Standard printing is still executed upon completion of the concurrent request. For years, users have been using the Upon Completion form to specify a style and printers to print the concurrent request output.
This functionality has not been changed or removed, if a user specifies a printer using the new Delivery Opts form and there is a printer defined for the report itself, the concurrent request will print to both as shown in the log below below.
+------------- 1) PRINT -------------+
Printing output file.
Request ID : 5871047
Number of copies : 1
Printer : marketing
+————- 2) DELIVER ————-+
Beginning post-processing of request 5871047 on node WOLFMANR12 at 12-AUG-2010 06:00:31.
Post-processing of request 5871047 completed at 12-AUG-2010 06:00:43.
Finished executing request completion options.
The fact that it does this opens up the following cons:
2. User Re-training – If organizations want to use this functionality, users will need to be retrained to specify printers here vs. in the Upon Completion form.
3. System Configuration – All of the print drivers, styles and types that currently define printers are no longer needed for this functionality, all of the printers will need to be setup using the new printer definition form shown above. This also has an impact on concurrent program definitions as default styles and printers can be setup on a report basis. If this is not changed and duplicate copies of the information is not desired, users will need to change the print options upon submission. Finally, users have specific printers assigned to them via the profile value “Printer”. This profile value does not translate to this new form.
4. The power of EBS Print Drivers and Styles – EBS print drivers and styles allow for some fairly complex processing and configuration including paper size selection, initialization strings, tray selection and running custom programs. This new functionality does not take any of this into account.
As far as the pros go, the only thing I was able to come up with is
1. In conjunction with the rest of the functionality the new Delivery Opts form brings (Email, Fax, FTP), it makes sense to have a user specify all of the ‘delivery’ information in one place.
I’d love to hear any comments on this new print functionality. What do people think, will you use it?