Creating a controlled-access printer in NDPS

Ron Nutter previously introduced you to NDPS and how to configure it. In this Daily Drill Down, he continues his discussion by showing you how to install printer drivers for it and how to create controlled-access printers using NDPS.

In “Implementing NDPS on NetWare 5.1,” I showed you how to install NDPS support on your NetWare server and how to make sure that you have the proper drivers for the printers you’re supporting. In this Daily Drill Down, I’ll show you the types of NDPS printers you can create and how to configure and create a controlled-access NDPS printer.

What kinds of NDPS printers can I create?
There are two types of printers you can create in NDPS: public and controlled. While the controlled type is a little more difficult to set up, it has a hidden benefit that many people don’t know about.

When implementing NDPS, you must reconfigure all of your clients to support NDPS. Doing so may involve installing the NDPS service at the workstations before you can start converting them from talking to the printers directly. You may also have some applications that only understand how to talk to a print queue and therefore can’t be used with NDPS.

A controlled-access printer gives you the best of both worlds. It allows your users to start using an NDPS-based printer while still talking to a print queue. You can then take your time converting the workstations to use NDPS natively.

Drivers wanted
Before actually starting the printer-creation process, you should take a minute to make sure that the printer drivers you need for your printers are present in the NDPS database. Double-click the NDPS Broker object and click the Resource Management (RMS) button on the right-hand side of the NDPS Broker screen.

When the Resource Management (RMS) screen appears, click Add Resources to get access to the printer driver database. When the Manage Resources properties screen appears, you’ll see a series of icons in the Resource Types field that will reference the banner, the NPD files, and the various desktop operating systems that NDPS supports.

Slide the selector bar until you see the icon and text for the desktop operating system that you’ll be supporting and select it. In this case, we’ll be using Windows 95/98.

You will see a list of printers in the Current Resources part of the Manage Resources screen, as shown in Figure A. By dragging the selector bar down the Current Resources section, you’ll see the printers that NDPS currently knows about. If your printer is not listed, you have two ways of getting the printer driver into the NDPS database.

Figure A
You can check here to see if the printer you want supports NDPS.

If the printer driver you want to install works with the client on which you’re running NWAdmin, choose the Extract From File option. This option works only when the printer driver matches the version of the desktop operating system you’re using—in other words, you can’t extract a driver for Windows NT 4 if you’re running Windows 98. Now you’ll see a list of printers that work on your workstation.

Select the printer you want to add and click OK. NWAdmin will start looking for the printer driver file. If you’re running Windows 95/98, you’ll get a prompt asking you for the location of the printer’s .cab file. Enter the drive letter and path to your Windows .cab file directory. Usually the location is C:\Windows\Options\Cabs. For Windows NT, it will be something like C:\i386, depending on where the i386 directory was placed on your NT workstation.

Once the driver has been extracted, you will return to the Manage Resources properties screen. If the driver you’re looking for isn’t on that list, you’ll need to either locate the driver CD or floppy that came with the printer or download the latest drivers from the printer manufacturer’s Web site. Once you have the files available, click Add.

On the Add Resources screen, click Browse and go to the directory where the printer drivers are stored. You’ll know that you’re in the right directory when you see at least one INF file appearing in the File Name box.

Depending on how the drivers were packaged when you downloaded them, you may get an error when you try to import the drivers into the NDPS database. Some vendors, such as HP, have the files spread over multiple directories (i.e., Disk1, Disk2, etc.). If you get an error saying that a certain file can’t be found, stop the driver-import process, copy all of Disk1 (or whatever the vendor has labeled them) into one directory, and restart the driver-import process. Once you’ve finished importing the drivers you need, you’re ready to start the NDPS printer-creation process.

Creating the NDPS Printer object
To start the printer-creation process, right-click the container where you want the printer to be placed, choose Create, and click OK. If you have a large number of printers, you might want to create a container for just the printers and NDPS Broker/Manager objects to help keep the tree a little less cluttered.

When the New Object screen appears, drag down the selector bar and double-click the NDPS Printer object. On the Create NDPS Printer screen, the first thing you will do is assign a name to the printer. The way you have connected your printer to the network (via a print server, file server, etc.) may influence how you name the NDPS Printer object. For the purposes of this particular printer, we’ll assume that it will be directly connected to the server. Enter the name of the printer in the NDPS Printer Name field, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B
You must now name the NDPS Printer object.

Since we’re creating a controlled-access printer, we’ll leave the Create A New Printer Agent option selected, as this is the option that you’ll use to create a controlled access printer. You should also check the Define Additional Properties check box in the After Creating The NDPS Printer Object area. Click Create to start the NDPS Printer Creation object.

The Create Printer Agent screen, shown in Figure C, will now appear. The printer name you entered on the previous screen should automatically be entered into the Printer Agent (PA) Name input field. Click the discovery button (the square with three dots on it) to the right of the NDPS Manager Name field and browse the NDS tree until you see your NDPS Manager object. Choose the NDPS Manager object and click OK.

Figure C
The NDPS Printer object name automatically flows to the Create Printer Agent screen.

When you return to the Create Printer Agent screen, the full NDS name of the NDPS Manager object will appear in the NDPS Manager Name input field. Since we’re directly attaching the printer to the file server, we’ll be using the Novell Printer Gateway. Use of the other gateway types will depend on the type of network printer you’re using. I’ll cover the other gateway types in a later NDPS Daily Drill Down. Click OK to create the Printer Agent for the printer you’re working on.

You will now see the Configure Novell PDS For Printer Agent screen. If your printer doesn’t show up in the list, you can go with either a generic listing for the printer or the None option. The port handler type for this printer should be Novell Port Handler. Click OK to proceed. You will be asked to configure the port handler for this agent. Since we’re connecting directly to the server for this printer, choose the Local connection type. The port type should default to LPT1. Change the port type only if you’re connected to a different port type. Click Next.

If you have network printers directly connected to a file server, you’ve probably experienced fewer file server performance problems by going with polled mode. Polled mode is the default selection, so you don’t have to change anything. Click Finish.

Next, you’ll see a status box that indicates that the printer agent is being loaded. Although the message says that the process may take up to 60 seconds, we’ve found that it usually completes in less time. If, after the process finishes, you get a message that there was a problem initializing the printer, check the cable between the printer and the server to make sure that everything is connected securely and that the printer is turned on.

The next screen is the Select Printer Drivers screen, where you will select the printer drivers that you imported earlier. Choose the appropriate printer driver for each operating system that you’ll be using to access this printer and click OK. You will see an information screen that confirms the selections you made for each of the operating systems supported by NDPS. Verify that everything is correct and click OK. An NDPS Printer Object Creation message will appear briefly.

When everything has finished, you’ll see the NDPS Printer properties screen showing the NDPS Printer object you just created. You can’t do a lot with it at this point. You must first close the Printer properties screen by clicking Cancel and then reopen the screen by double-clicking the NDS object for this NDPS printer. When the Printer properties screen reopens, you will immediately notice that the buttons for this printer are no longer grayed out.

Connecting your printer to a queue
To enable NDPS to service a particular print queue, click Jobs | Spooling Configuration. On the Spooling Configuration screen, click Add. Browse your NDS tree until you find the print queue that you want this NDPS printer to service, select that print queue name, and click OK. When you get back to the Spooling Configuration screen, you should see the print queue name in the Service Jobs From NetWare Queues section. Click OK to return to the NDPS Printer properties screen.

The next step is to make sure that the appropriate NDS group has access rights to the printer. Click Access Control and then the Users icon in the Role window. You should now see a list of users and/or containers that have access rights to this printer.

By default, the container where the printer was created will have immediate access to this printer. You must grant specific access to the printer to any user outside of that container or any other NDS container before they will be able to use it.

You now can distribute the printer setup to the workstations by pushing it out to them. Click NDPS Remote Printer Management to start the process. By default, the NDS context where the printer was created will initially be used to distribute the printer drivers and configuration. Check the Install To Workstations In This Container check box. You can also set this printer as the default printer for the workstations that will be getting information about this printer. Click OK to close out the NDPS Printer properties screen and start the process of distributing the printer drivers to the workstations. The next time the users log in to the network, the printer configuration will be automatically pushed out to them. Depending on the speed of the processor in the workstation that is logging in, you may be able to see an extra screen or two pop up while the printer information is downloading.

In this Daily Drill Down, we’ve shown you how to get NDPS up and running and how to configure a controlled-access printer. You have a basic system up and running at this point. In future Daily Drill Downs, I’ll explain how to set up a public-access printer, enable third-party print services, such as Intel Netport, to coexist with NDPS, and implement NDPS solutions from companies such as LexMark.
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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