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How to print from a Web Service

Hello Experts,

I have a web service created in VB.Net that is used by a handheld to instantiate and call methods so that the server is doing all the major processing and not the whimpy ARM processor on the handheld.

Anyways, when all the data crunching/ capturing is complete I want to be able to automatically print out the results to a nearby printer. I do this with a seperate class contained in the Web Service. It uses a .rdlc with no report viewer.. simply sends straight to the printer.

Debugging the Web Service locally works like a charm, but when I publish to the server hosting IIS and call the same print method it comes back with Success, but never any print out.
Also, there are no errors ever returned. I still believe this is some kind of permission issue, not an issue with the code.

Here is a list of the things I have done to try getting this to work:
1) Run the Web Service in an application pool with the identity of network user SQLAdmin
2) Logged into the server as SQLAdmin and installed the printer and set it as default
3) Made sure that SQLAdmin is part of the IIS Worker process group
4) Tried using Impersonation in the Web.config for SQLAdmin
5) Tried a registry hack from Microsoft - changing HKEY_CURRENT_USER to HKEY_USERS\.Default
6) Modified .Net framework on the server for Full Trust
7) Set IIS to allow Scripts/Executables (btw.. this is internal to our organization, not open to the public, or else I would tighten security)

Any further ideas would be most helpful.
Also, I didnt post any code due to the size of this original post.
If you feel that it might be a coding issue, just holler and I'll post the Print class

Thanks much,
James
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ASA_MIS
Asked:
ASA_MIS
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1 Solution
 
cookreCommented:
Anything of interest in any of the event logs?
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ASA_MISAuthor Commented:
No sorry, nothing in the event logs as to the problem.

My searching has led to this by Willy Denoyette [MVP]:

You can't use the printer classes from a service (a webservice runs in the context of a windows service) Printer devices are bound to the context of an interactive user, their attributes are strored in the profile (user hive) of the current user (see HKCU).
A web service runs in the context of a non interactive user (ASPNET by default), so there is no specific user profile loaded for webservices or any other service for that matter (aspnet has no user profile).

If printing is required from a service (but you shouldn't), you have to send the request to another service (or better a COM+ server application - see System.EnterpriseServices) This service as to create a logon session for a user by calling LogonUser() (Win32 API) followed by a call to LoadUserProfile() (Win32 API) and ImpersonateLoggedOnUser() (Win32 API) before printing. Note that calling LogonUser is not required if the appliaction is a COM+ application that runs with the credentials of an existing interactive user.

I also see posts from others saying it can work if you use Impersonation.
I've been messing around with that as I have no clue how to write a MFC and dont want to be writing COM+ either. Still can't get it to work. Getting close to Plan B, which is not nearly as sexy.

Thanks,
James
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ASA_MISAuthor Commented:
OK.. Im getting a little closer as I was able to find an error to at least try to troubleshoot.

Here is the Inner Exception:

Microsoft.ReportServices.ReportProcessing.WrapperReportRenderingException: An error occurred during rendering of the report. System.IO.IOException: The process cannot access the file 'c:\windows\SerialNumber_1.emf' because it is being used by another process.

Note: SerialNumber.rdlc is the name of my report

I suspect it's being copied to a temp file and then cant access it?
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ASA_MISAuthor Commented:
OK for anyone out there wondering if this has been solved it has.

The problem was actually in the code to CreateStream as it was using a FileStream object and for whatever reason was not able to read it back saying it was being used by another process.

So my solution was to use a MemoryStream instead of a FileStream and now it works like a charm.

FYI, I did not have to resort to using Impersonation in the Web.config file, setting up the Application Pool with a custom user was all that was needed.

Hope this helps someone in the future.
James
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