The PrintKit Network Printing Interface software provides “open architecture” printing services for the OpenVMS environment. This means you can: choose the printer models from your preferred vendors that match your usage profile; implement a printing strategy that puts those printers on the network as shared resources; retain the security of compatibility with the OpenVMS printing architecture; and enhance your ability to stay abreast of changing technology.
The PrintKit software consists of a print symbiont that is integrated with the OpenVMS printing services, and an accompanying management utility. Its design reflects knowledge gained from Northlake’s decade-long experience delivering printing solutions to OpenVMS customers.
PrintKit is designed to work with printers in standard network configurations using TCP/IP based protocols – so you can just take the printer out of the box and plug it in. This “off the shelf” technology also offers fewer points of failure than solutions based on specialized hardware interfaces and is easier to trouble-shoot when problems do occur.
The product’s support plan provides assistance when you need it, by telephone or e-mail. It provides updates for new printer models, and periodic software revisions.
PrintKit provides compatible OpenVMS printing services. It matches the DECprint user and application interfaces, including the full parameter set and ANSI-PPL3 (LN03) emulation. This allows migration of applications without re-engineering, and it allows applications to use a single, consistent printing model. It also means your users can continue to use familiar printing operations.
Where PrintKit extends the DECprint model, the new features are consistent with the ISO 10175 (Document Printing Application) standard on which the DECprint interface is based.
PrintKit gives you full control over features, such as tray selection and duplexing, that are provided by the printer model you are using.
You can select printer features in a consistent fashion (standard tray names, for example) and specify requirements in a portable manner (paper selection by size, color, weight and type, for example). This makes it easier to use printers interchangeably in a mixed configuration, and it makes printing more dependable.
The information to provide these controls comes from PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files, a standard developed by Adobe Systems – a PPD file describes the features of a particular printer and provides the printer-specific commands required to control the printer. PrintKit ships with a database of validated printer model definitions, and Northlake supplies updates as we validate new printer models. (You can also define your own models.)
Configuration of the PrintKit software is managed by an interactive administration utility, KITCP.
KITCP lets you define, modify and display queue configurations. To make this task easier, configuration information is preloaded for each printer model. A typical queue configuration requires that you select the queue name, and the printer’s address and model – the software determines details such as communications requirements and printer features from its configuration database.
KITCP provides similar capabilities for managing job specifications (document format, media selection, imposition specifications). Advance definition of job specifications simplifies the printing process and makes it more reliable.
Support for stock printer configurations and standard networking protocols, interoperability with the standard OpenVMS printing interface, compatibility with network printers from all the leading manufacturers, and the ability to “plug in” new printer models as they become available – these capabilities contribute to PrintKit’s practical flexibility.
The PrintKit software allows you to assemble a printing configuration that meets your business needs. And as your needs change, your printing services will be able to keep up.