Solved

Custom Printer  Driver

Posted on 2007-11-28
7
526 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi There,
     Got a unique printer driver question.

     Is there a driver or if it can be developed, which will accept the print job from the application and just returns ok (so application presumes that it has printed OK). And then it saves it a temporary file (BYTE BY BYTE) and passes the file as an argument as to another program. Generic Text Only is FINE. It is almost like having a Generic Text/Only printer with FILE port. But in place of prompting the user for a FILE output, it will just save in a temporary file and pass the file to a predefined EXE/BAT file WITHOUT any user intervention.

     You may ask why we are doing this?

     It is quite a unique situation where a legacy software can only PRINT. But we need to the print output to go to a different place than a windows printer!

     It must also be Terminal Services compliant. E.G. the EXE/BAT execution has to happen under the current user session in a multi-user environment.

    If someone can advise something here, it will be greatly appreciated! I am willing to pay for it if development is required:) (I.E. I am desperate)

Cheers
Simon
0
Comment
Question by:simon1663
  • 4
  • 2
7 Comments
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 20371088
How about this way:

Using your favourite driver (Generic/tect Only is fine), create a fixed file as its "port". Go to to printer Properties, click on the Ports tab, and click on the Add Port button. Select Local Port and click on the New Port button. For the port name enter the drive, path and name of the file. The driver will now always send its output to that file without any prompting for a name.

Your program should watch that directory and grab the file when one appears.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 20371221
Here's a simple batch file that watches the temp direcory for a file:

:start
If not exist C:\temp\printfilename goto wait_10_sec
your_program.exe c:\temp\printfilename
del c:\temp\printerfilename
goto start

:wait_10_sec
ping 1.2.3.4 -n 1 -w 10000 > nul
goto start

The ping command tries to ping once, for 10000 ms. The address (1.2.3.4) should not be pingable. To change the delay, change the number 10000
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Thejaka
ID: 20371390
You could use a named pipe to direct the output to a pipe server.
0
PRTG Network Monitor: Intuitive Network Monitoring

Network Monitoring is essential to ensure that computer systems and network devices are running. Use PRTG to monitor LANs, servers, websites, applications and devices, bandwidth, virtual environments, remote systems, IoT, and many more. PRTG is easy to set up & use.

 

Author Comment

by:simon1663
ID: 20371798
Thanks guys.

Really appreciate the help. The solution seems to work only in single user. We are trying it in a Terminal server with multiple users AND obviously if two people printed at the same time, one's job will overwrite the others! Unless you can add the port with unique names/path. E.g. I tried doing %TMP%\print.txt but that did not work. It needs a full path.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 20372524
It should work, if you use quotes, i.e. "%TMP%\print.txt"

However, if 2 people print at the same time you will still have problems, unless each one uses a separate filename. You could use something like USERNAME in the filename, i.e. "%TMP%\print%username%.txt". In that case you can then use a loop to find all the files to print, as in:

for %%f in ("%TMP%\print*.txt") do print_it.bat %%f

Where print_it.bat contains this:

your_program.exe %1
del %1
0
 

Author Comment

by:simon1663
ID: 20373745
Thanks hdhondt, but I still get the error : "%TMP%\print.txt" is an invalid port name

I am using Windows XP SP2
0
 
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
hdhondt earned 125 total points
ID: 20377497
Oops, I overlooked that one. I was only thinking of its use within the batch file. You are correct, Windows will not accept wildcards or system variables as part of the port name.

Another way to do it is with something like RedMon, which can redirect a printer port to a program. See:

http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/redmon/
0

Featured Post

Is Your Active Directory as Secure as You Think?

More than 75% of all records are compromised because of the loss or theft of a privileged credential. Experts have been exploring Active Directory infrastructure to identify key threats and establish best practices for keeping data safe. Attend this month’s webinar to learn more.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

If you use a Brother DCP 130C or similar Brother printer, at some point you might encounter the following problem: after you change the ink cartridge, the printer displays an "ink empty" message. Sometimes you just need to follow the instructions…
I. Introduction There's an interesting discussion going on now in an Experts Exchange Group — Attachments with no extension (http://www.experts-exchange.com/discussions/210281/Attachments-with-no-extension.html). This reminded me of questions tha…
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview how to record your screen with Microsoft Expression Encoder. This program is still free and open for the public to download. This will be demonstrated using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4.
Internet Business Fax to Email Made Easy - With  eFax Corporate (http://www.enterprise.efax.com), you'll receive a dedicated online fax number, which is used the same way as a typical analog fax number. You'll receive secure faxes in your email, f…

895 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

15 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now