PrintManager

System Overview

The PrintManager enables the printing of a queue from within the iNEWS client. It consists of the PrintClient and the PrintServer. The PrintClient is used by the iNEWS user to select the queue to print, the PrintStyle and the printer or print preview. The PrintServer processes the print requests. After the user started the print job the PrintClient sends the print request to the PrintServer. After interpreting the request the PrintServer opens a connection to the iNEWS server and downloads the queue contents. It uses the PrintStyle to transform the contents of the queue into a PDF file. The resulting PDF file is saved into a special directory on the PrintServer machine. The PrintClient polls this directory and if the requested file appears the PrintClient downloads it. The PrintClient presents the file to the user or prints it to the printer selected by the user. The whole procedure from starting the print job until the result is presented to the user takes usually lesser than 10 seconds.

PrintClient

The PrintClient is the graphical user interface (GUI) of the PrintManager. It is installed on the iNEWS client machine. The user chooses the queue to print in the iNEWS client and simply puts it into the PrintClient by drag-and-drop. After selecting an appropriate PrintStyle and printer the print job can be started. There is also an option to display the result in the Adobe Acrobat Reader instead of printing it.

printclient window

An alternative proceeding is to specify all necessary information required for printing by the PrintClient as command line parameters at the start of the PrintClient program. Then the PrintClient starts the print job in the background without presenting its GUI. In this way the print job can be started from within iNEWS by a button.

PrintServer

With the PrintServer the printing system becomes redundant by assigning several PrintServers to one iNEWS system. There is also the possibility to use one PrintServer for several iNEWS systems. This reduces installation- and maintenance effort. In both cases the PrintClient automatically chooses the proper PrintServer depending on the print job.

As the PrintServer is implemented in Java it is platform independent.

PrintStyles

PrintStyles are XSL files which describe the transformation of the contents of queue into XSL-FO. The XSL-FO is then being used to create the resulting PDF file. With the knowledge of News Story Markup Language (NSML) that is used by iNEWS and basic XML concepts one can easily create a PrintStyle. With this technique all of the fields contained in an iNEWS story (e.g. text fields or time fields) can be evaluated and processed.

Due to the modular architecture of the PrintManager, it can easily be adapted to process XML documents from other sources than iNEWS. The output is not limited to PDF; it can be PostScript, SVG, Bitmap or Plain Text as well.

System Requirements

PrintServer

  • Linux or Windows
  • Java 6
  • FTP Server (e.g. VSFTP unter Linux)
  • Privilege to open a FTP connection to the iNEWS server

PrintClient

  • Windows
  • .NET Runtime Environment 2
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 or 8
  • Privilege to open a FTP connection to the PrintServer

Sample printouts

  • Sample for a planned show (german) plan.pdf

Versions

PrintManager 2.5.0

  • New PrintClient Look&Feel
  • Printing single or selected stories (requires iNEWS 2.8.3.11 or higher)
  • Single-click queue printing
  • Granular filtering of displayed printstyles (e.g. for a dedicated queue)
  • Number of copies can be entered in the PrintClient UI
  • PrintClient connection timeout reduced
  • Time to wait between download retries can be changed by the administrator
  • Fixed handling of stories deleted during print
  • Fixed handling of FTP connections during PrintClient termination.

PrintManager 2.3.0

  • Added support for local databases
  • Added support for Acrobat Reader 8.x
  • PrintServer backend for iNEWS connection refactored
  • New license implementation

PrintManager 2.2.1

  • Added support for iNEWS 2.6 and Unicode
  • PrintServer runs as a system service or demon, respectively
  • Added setup programs for PrintServer for Windows and PrintClient
  • PrintServer for Linux is deployed as RPM package.

PrintManager 2.2

  • Added support for custom fonts.
  • Added support for non-latin character sets (e.g. Cyrillic).
  • Added support for right-to-left scripting languages (e.g. Arabic).

PrintManager 2.1

  • Added PrintServer feature PrintServerControl as a Graphical User Interface for the PrintServer under Windows.
  • Added PrintServer feature Config-Checker to check the PrintServer configuration and warn administrators of syntax failures in the configuration.
  • Display of version and license for the PrintServer.
  • Improved display of FTP connection errors (if any) to the iNEWS database.
  • Resolved Bugs:
  • Printing problems (empty printout) in MOS Gateway / Chyron© CAMIO environments.

PrintManager 2.0

  • Initial version

Some of the following links are restricted to specific users. Read the overview on page Welcome who has which permissions.

Bugs & Features

Downloads PrintManager 2.2

Downloads PrintManager 2.3 and higher

Forum

Roadmap

  • Release of PrintManager 2.4 is planned for QI 2009. PrintManager is then not only able to print all stories in a queue but a bunch of selected stories. Also PrintClient will get a refreshed user interface.

References

These broadcasters already use the PrintManager:

  • Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen - ZDF
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk - MDR
  • Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg - RBB
  • Deutsche Welle TV - DW-TV

Andreas Hartmann 24.05.2007 10:22

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products/printmanager.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/30 12:59 (external edit)


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