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Requirements for job redirection (load balancing or Find-Me printing)

This page applies to:

When redirecting a job from one queue to another, the job is rendered by the source queue’s driver, and printed by the destination queue’s printer. It is therefore vital that the destination printer is compatible with the source driver.

To be compatible, the source (or virtual) print queue and the destination print queue must at least use drivers that produce the same print language (e.g. PostScript to PostScript or PCL5 to PCL5). However, due to the differences in the way each manufacturer uses a print language, and even differences between models from the same manufacturer, compatibility can be limited to printers of the same or similar models.

The ideal setup for job redirection is when all target printers are of the same model. If this is not the case, select a driver for the virtual queue that gives the best result across your fleet of destination printers.

A great way to achieve compatibility with a wide range of PostScript printers on Windows is to use PaperCut NG/MF’s Global Print Driver on the virtual (source) print queue.

If instead you want to use a manufacturer driver for the virtual (source) print queue, pick a simple lowest common denominator driver and test it for compatibility with each one of your printers. On the Mac the “Generic Postscript Driver” is a good choice. On Windows select a Color Postscript driver for a mid range popular model. Always carefully test driver compatibility before implementing Find-Me Printing. Take care to address corner cases such advanced graphics options, grayscale mode, paper sizes, duplexing, tray selection, etc. If a common driver cannot be found, you might need to implement multiple virtual queues as discussed in Example 2 above. The following sections provide a simple procedure that you can follow to test printer compatibility.

Compatibility testing

  1. Select your candidate driver to use for your global virtual queue. Use it to set up a print queue on the server, and share the queue.

  2. Select the new printer in PaperCut NG/MF and change it to a virtual queue.

  3. In the list of compatible queues, select the printers for which you want to test compatibility.

  4. In the Hold/Release Queue Settings area, select the Enable hold/release queue check box.

  5. Print a test document (e.g. print an email) to the virtual queue from a computer. The job should hold in the virtual queue.

  6. Select Printers > Jobs Pending Release.
    The Jobs Pending Release page is displayed.

  7. Release the held job. Select a target queue to test when prompted.

  8. Verify that the job printed correctly. Also check the Logs > Application Log tab for any error reports.

  9. Repeat the previous 3 steps for all printer types and using different document settings and applications.

Make sure you test a variety of print options targeted at all device types. Problems can manifest in various and subtle ways:

  • Error events logged in PaperCut NG/MF’s App Log.

  • Error status on the printer (e.g. a red light and failed print status message).

Or more subtle issues such as:

  • Truncated documents because of different device margin sizes (printable area).

  • Errors only when non-default options options are selected (e.g. finishing options).

  • Issues only on very large documents (due to printer memory limitations).

  • Errors/problems when certain paper sizes are selected.

If issues/problems/errors occur:

  1. Disable the Enable Advanced Printing Features option in Windows on the virtual queue on the server. This is accessed by right-clicking the printer, selecting Properties, then the Advanced tab. This change can improve redirection results with some drivers and is required if using the PaperCut Global Print Driver.

  2. If you continue to experience compatibility issues, consider setting up multiple virtual queues (for each printer type/class) as discussed in Example 2: Multiple Virtual Queues (Different Printer Types) .

Find-Me printing implementation checklist

Setting up Find-Me Printing involves several configuration steps that you must complete before the setup will work. Following is a checklist that you can use to ensure that the main requirements have been carried out. It can also serve as a troubleshooting guide in case of unexpected results.

  1. Create a new print queue to function as the virtual queue. Create this print queue using the standard methods or tools provided by the host operating system.

  2. Confirm that the driver in use by the virtual queue is compatible with the target printers. The output produced by this driver is what is sent to the printer, so it must be compatible.

  3. Configure the following settings in the PaperCut NG/MF Admin web interface for the virtual print queue:

    1. Click the Printers tab.
      The Printer List page is displayed.

    2. Click the virtual queue.

    3. In the Configuration area, in Queue type, select This is a virtual queue (jobs will be forwarded to a different queue).
      The Job Redirection Settings area is displayed.

    4. In the Job Redirection Settings area, in Jobs may be redirected to these destination queues, select all the target print queues this Find Me queue can redirect to.

    5. In the Hold/Release Queue Settings area, select the Enable hold/release queue check box. This ensures that jobs are held in the print queue until users are ready to release their jobs.

    6. In Release mode, select one of the following:

      • User Release — (default) allows users to release and view only the jobs printed under their name/user account.

      • Admin/Manager only release — jobs can only be released by administrators or hold/release queue managers.

    7. Click OK.

  4. When using Find-Me Printing, Release Stations are recommended because they can automatically select the best nearby printer (based on a match between the virtual queue’s configured compatible queues, the Release Station’s configured “releases on” queues and current printer load). If the web based release interface is used instead, the user must select the desired printer from the list of all compatible queues.

  5. Configure the releases-on option in the Release Station configuration file to reflect where jobs released at this station can be sent. PaperCut NG/MF compares this list with the Jobs may be redirected to these destination queues setting of the virtual queue to find possible target queues. Take care to ensure the name is spelt exactly the same as listed in the printer list.

  6. The show-jobs-from-queues option in the Release Station configuration file can optionally be configured to limit the jobs shown in the Release Station to one or more queues. This is useful for situations with multiple virtual queues and Release Stations running in Release Any mode.

  7. If there are multiple print servers and the ability to redirect jobs across print servers is required, ensure that the requirements in Cross-Server Job Redirection are met.