Enterprise Software

Implementing NDPS on NetWare 5.1

One of the new features with NetWare 5.x is NDPS. In this Daily Drill Down, Ron Nutter shows you how to configure the NDPS Broker and Manager objects, as well as how to install and inventory printer drivers.


Since I wrote the Daily Drill Down about implementing NDPS, a couple of things have changed. Novell shipped Service Pack 1a for NetWare 5.1, which included some updates to NDPS. The basic principles of NDPS haven’t really changed since these updates were made, but there are some differences in how you set it up and maintain it once it’s running. For the purposes of this article, I will assume that you have read my previous article and understand the basic building blocks of NDPS. In this Daily Drill Down, I will focus on setting up NDPS on NetWare 5.1.

Setting up the foundation for NDPS
To begin the NDPS setup, you first must set up the NDPS broker. To do so, start NetWare Administrator. Right-click the container where you want the NDPS objects to reside and select Create from the menu. When the New Object window appears, scroll down the list of available objects until you see the NDPS Broker. You should see a list of NDPS objects similar to those shown in Figure A.

Figure A
Before you set up NDPS, you must set up the NDPS Broker.


Select the NDS Broker object and click OK. When the Create NDPS Broker Object window appears, enter the name by which you want the NDPS Broker object to be known in the NDPS Broker Name input field. This would be a good time to think about some type of naming convention for your NDPS NDS objects. If you have more than one NDS server in a particular partition, you might want to think about a naming convention something like SERVERNAME_NDPS_BROKER.

As you can see in Figure B, you must specify a volume for the Resource Management Service. Click the Discovery button (the square button with three dots on it) and browse the NDS tree until you find the name of the Volume object where you want the NDPS directory structure to be created.

Figure B
You must specify a volume for the Resource Management Service.


If your NetWare server has a fairly small SYS volume, you may want to put the Resource Management Service database on a volume with enough free space to allow it to grow as you add printers to the network. Free space can be a concern, because the database that stores the printer drivers for NDPS printers can become quite large if you are supporting a large number of printers. Once you’ve selected the location for the RMS database, click the Create button to create the NDPS Broker object.

Once the object has been created, you will next need to load the Broker object. You’ll do this from your server’s console prompt, or you may Rconsole into the server to get to the console prompt.

At the system console, you can load the Broker object one of two ways. The first is by typing broker at the system console prompt, browsing the NDS tree for the name of the Broker object that you have just created, and then pressing [Enter].

Alternatively, you can type broker followed by the full NDS name of the NDS object for the NDPS Broker. If the NDS object name for the NDPS Broker includes spaces as part of its name, put quotation marks around the NDS object name and context to make it load properly. For example, if you want to start a broker with the name of NDPS Broker.NW5, you’d type broker “NDPS Broker.NW5”.

You should see a screen similar to the one in Figure C when the NDPS Broker has successfully initialized. Then, it is ready to start providing a NDPS service to the workstations on your network.

Figure C
You’ll see this screen when the NDPS Broker successfully loads.


Once you have verified that the NDPS Broker has successfully loaded, you should edit the server’s Autoexec.ncf file and add to it the Broker command you just used. That way, each time the server is started, this service will load automatically.

Setting up NDPS Manager
The next step is to set up the NDPS Manager. In NetWare Administrator, right-click the container where you want the NDPS objects to reside and then select the Create menu option. When the New Object screen appears, scroll down the list of available objects until you see the one named NDPS Manager. Select the NDPS Manager object and click OK. When the Create NDPS Manager object screen appears (as shown in Figure D), enter the name by which you want the NDPS Manager object to be known in the NDPS Manager Name input field.

Figure D
After you configure the NDPS Broker, you must configure the NDPS Manager.


Next, you will need to tell NDS on which server you want to create the NDPS Manager. Click the Discover button (the little square with three dots on it) and then browse the NDS tree until you see the server object on which you want the NDPS Manager to reside. When you’ve selected the target server, click OK to return to the Create NDPS Manager Object screen.

You’ll then notice that the Database Volume input field is no longer grayed out. Now, you will need to select the Volume object on which the NDPS Manager database will reside.

The Volume Selection screen shows you which volumes on the server are available to place the NDPS database on, along with the amount of free space on each volume. Select the desired server volume and click OK. When you return to the Create NDPS Manager Object screen, click the Create button.

Once the object has been created, the rest of the procedure is quite similar to the one you used to create the NDPS Broker object. Go back to the server console prompt by using Rconsole or by going to the server console and bringing up the system console prompt. As with the NDPS Broker object, you have two ways of loading the NDPS Manager.

First, you can type ndpsm at the console and then browse the NDS tree for the name of the NDPS Manager object. When you find it, press [Enter]. Alternatively, you can type ndpsm followed by the full name of the NDS object for the NDPS Manager. Like the NDS Broker, if you have spaces in the name, you will need to put quotation marks around the NDS object name and context for it to load properly.

You’ll see a verification screen (shown in Figure E) when the NDPS Manager has successfully initialized and is ready to provide service to the workstations on your network. Don’t be overly concerned if you see a blank box under the Printer Agent List. This will fill up as you create the NDPS Printer agents to service the printers on your network.

Figure E
You’ll see this screen when the NDPS Manager successfully loads.


When you’ve verified that the NDPS Manager has loaded, add the command to the server’s Autoexec.ncf file to make sure the service automatically loads when the server is started.

Taking inventory of the printers on your network
Before you create the NDPS printer agents, make a list of the types and numbers of printers on your network. Then, go into the NDPS Broker object in NetWare Administrator and click the Resource Management Services (RMS) button. When you see the RMS screen, click the Add Resources button. You’ll see a screen like the one in Figure F.

Figure F
Here you add resources to the NDPS Broker.


As you scroll across the Resource Types pane, you’ll see a listing of printers broken down by operating system. If you support operating systems other than Windows, you should consider using the LPR functionality in NDPS. For those clients, you’ll have to manually install the drivers.

After you have identified the printers with drivers currently in NDPS, compare them with the ones on your list. If you have printers that do not appear on the list of ones with drivers currently in NDPS, you should check the manufacturer’s Web site for the proper drivers and download them directly from there. You’ll then need to extract the drivers onto your workstation in a structure something like \Printers\Printer name and model number.

When you have the printer drivers downloaded and extracted, add them to the NDPS database. For an example, I will add the drivers for a HP4L to the NDPS database. With the Manage Resource properties screen still open, click on the Windows 95/98 Printer Drivers icon in the Resource Types box. Then, click the Add button. An Add Resource screen will appear. Click the Browse button and browse through the directory structure until you find the directory where you extracted the drivers for the printer. When you are in the correct directory, you’ll see one or more .inf files listed below the Filename input field. If you have more than one .inf file listed (i.e. one for PCL and one for PostScript), click on the one you want to install and then click OK to proceed.

When you return to the Add Resources screen, you’ll see a list of printers to be added as resources. (You should see at least one printer, but you may have more depending on the printers that the driver you are importing was written to support.) Click OK to continue. If a Name Configuration screen appears, though, don’t panic. This just means one or more of the drivers you are about to import already exist in the NDPS database.

Although this is how you would add a new printer driver to NDPS, you would use the same process to install an updated driver for a printer. If you are updating a driver, you should put a date in the Annotation String field to serve as a reminder of how recent the drivers are. Then, select either Replace or Add to suit your needs. (Select Replace if the drivers you are importing into NDPS already exist within NDPS; select Add if the printer drivers you are working with are new to NDPS.)

If you don’t put anything into the Annotation String field, only the Replace button will be available for use. You might want to consider putting a text string into the Annotation String input field, though, so you can use the Add feature. That way, if you Add drivers later, you’ll keep the older drivers and have the newer ones available, too. Older drivers can come in handy as troubleshooting tools when newly installed drivers don’t work properly. You can use older drivers to temporarily resolve the problem until you get it fixed.

For this example, I’ll enter the date 10/24/2000 into the Annotation String input field and click the Add button. Depending on the number of printers that a particular driver will support, the importing process may take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Once the process is complete, you will return to the Manage Resources window where you’ll see the printer drivers you just added. Since you put a date into the Annotation String input field, the new drivers will be easily spotted by the date appearing in parenthesis after the name of the driver (as shown in Figure G). Repeat this process for each printer driver you have downloaded. Once you have finished, click OK to close the Manage Resources window. When you return to the NDPS Broker properties screen, click the Cancel button to return to NWAdmin.

Figure G
You can view available printer drivers in the Current Resources pane of the Manage Resources window.


Conclusion
In this Daily Drill Down, I’ve shown you how to set up and configure NDPS for your network. I explained how to set up the NDPS Broker and NDPS Manager objects and how to inventory and add printer drivers for NDPS. In another Daily Drill Down on NDPS, I’ll show you how to create a controlled access NDPS printer.
The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.

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