Adding a remote printer to the system

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Real practice and deployment of trading systems often involves adding a remote printer to a restaurant or retail system. There are several separate technologies for creating such a connection. Depending on the technology, the advantages, disadvantages and restrictions at the real performance can be identified. For proper system design, below is a list of all options.

Contents

Remote printer connection

Remote printers can be connected to the system via different technologies:

  • Standard technology via Windows driver. Windows printer management tools are used;
  • A printer with a network interface. In this case, the printer itself has its own LAN card and connects to the computer network. The printer is a standalone device with an unique IP address on the network;
  • Print server. In this case, one of the workstations is the server for printing the other workstations. It processes print queries from other computers;
  • LAN-2-COM adapter. With an optional module, a standard COM printer is included as a network LAN printer.

The technologies listed here are arranged according to the recommended technology. It is best to use Option 1 if this is not possible - to use Option 2 and so on.

Standard technology via Windows driver

The remote connection via Windows driver uses the built-in operating system shared printer management tools. This is the most popular way to connect to an office printer, in particular a kitchen printer. The printer share steps are as follows:

  1. A Windows driver for the printer is installed on the remote computer to which the printer is connected;
  2. When installing the remote computer driver, the printer is referred to as a Shared Printer. This makes it available for printing over the network;
  3. A new network printer (Map Network Printer) that leads to the remote computer is added to the local computer;
  4. On a local computer in Microinvest Warehouse Pro Light, the Standard Printer is selected and the driver that matches the network printer is specified.

This sequence ensures remote printer management as a standard document printer through Windows tools. The exchange takes place at the driver's level of the printer, and the program "does not track" whether the printer is local or remote. Advantages:

  • Windows printer sharing tools are very reliable and work flawlessly;
  • The documents are queued and there is no danger of mixing documents with simultaneous printing;
  • The setting is easy and fast.

Some disadvantages of this solution:

  • The printer connects to a computer, so there must be a computer workspace nearby;
  • Managing is done through a standard Windows driver, which limits the use of specialized commands to the printer (for example, forced activation of a knife).

LAN printer

The LAN printer connection is the second most reliable remote printer management scheme. In this case, the printer appears as a standalone network device with an individual IP address. All workstations send the data to this IP address and the printer processes the received information. The connection is direct, uses network resources and does not require an intermediate computer.

Advantages:

  • Easy setup. Select the appropriate printer model with a LAN interface and set its IP address. If the printer is not in the list, Generic TCP is selected and an address and communication port is set;
  • Possibility for a very long distance between the computer and the printer. Practically, the distance is limited only by network parameters;
  • Equal management from every workstation.

The drawbacks of the technology are:

  • Ability to mix data if two computers print simultaneously;
  • Mandatory Firewall setting to enable the printer to receive information over the network;
  • Lack of feedback about printer status.

Print server

The Print Server service is run by one of the Microinvest Warehouse Pro Light workstations. This workstation accepts commands from remote computers and manages all printers that are directly connected to it.

Advantages:

  • Easy setup. The central workstation is selected as "Server 01", all other workspaces add a "Print Server" printer and specify "Server 01";
  • Possibility for a very long distance between the computer and the print server. Practically, the distance is limited by network parameters only.

Disadvantages:

  • Unbalanced workload. The server processes all queries and is heavily loaded;
  • The distance between the print server and the physical printers is limited;
  • When working on a print server, the documents are delayed, they wait for the local operator.

LAN-2-COM adapter

A LAN-2-COM printer has the same features as a LAN printer. Settings, advantages, disadvantages and behavior are the same.

Other features

The right choice of a remote printer printing technology is extremely important for the proper functioning of the entire system. Changing settings and switching from one technology to another is easy, unobtrusive to operators. Experts in system implementation require proper planning and preparation of the real-time system.

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