6.3 Managing the Broker

Although the default settings lets users print without additional configuration, you probably want to modify some settings so that you can manage your printing resources most effectively.

6.3.1 Accessing the Broker Health Monitor

You can use the Broker Health Monitor to monitor and view statistics about the brokered services. To access the Health Monitor from Novell Remote Manager, complete the following:

  1. Use your Web browser to log in to Novell Remote Manager at https://server_ip_address:8009.

  2. Under Diagnose Server, click NDPS Broker Health.

6.3.2 Adding or Updating Brokered Resources

The following procedure explains how to add banner pages, printer drivers, and printer definition (NPD) files to the resource database available through a Broker’s Resource Management Service.

To add new resources through the Resource Management Service:

  1. Make sure the Resource Management Service is enabled either in Novell iManager or by going to your server console and viewing the Broker status page.

  2. In Novell iManager, click iPrint > Manage Broker and then browse to and select the Broker you want to work with.

  3. Click Resource Management Service, then select the resource you want to work with.

  4. Add or Delete resources.

  5. Click OK.

6.3.3 Changing the Location of a Broker

You can customize your printing setup for maximum efficiency. You might occasionally want to change the location of one or more Brokers. For example, you might want a Broker to be in a different eDirectory container. If you want to change the location of a Broker after it has been created, you can use NetWare Administrator to move the Broker object into the desired container, provided you have Supervisor or equivalent rights to the new container.

6.3.4 Adding Banner Pages

IMPORTANT:Beginning with NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 2, we recommend that you transition to using the Printer Banner Configuration task in iManager. Although you can still use the banner pages as discussed in this section, the Printer Banner Configuration task provides reliable and consistent banners that should be flexible enough to meet your organization’s needs without requiring you to create a separate banner file. For more information, see Section 6.2.7, Using Printer Banner Pages.

Banner pages are pages that are printed at the beginning of a print job and that normally contain job identification information. Banner pages can be configured for PostScript, PCL*, and text formats.

There are a variety of options for creating and selecting banner page designs. You can choose from several ready-to-use banner page designs, or you might create a unique design that includes your company’s logo, a drawing, or even a photograph.

When you add a new banner, it is immediately available for printer configurations. If you want a banner page to be printed, you can select which banner design you want to use at the General tab on the Configuration page. The Configuration page lists only banners available in the format your printer supports. For example, if you are using a PostScript printer, only banners in PostScript format are available at the General configuration page.

Each banner page includes the following information in an information box at the bottom of the page: Job Name, Job Owner, Time Printed, Date Printed.

If your client, printer, and server are not all configured for the same language, you might experience problems with the output of your banner pages, such as the job name being corrupted. If you are working in this type of mixed environment, you should consider not using banner pages.

Banners are added to the resource database through the Broker’s Resource Management Service.

Adding Banners to the Resource Management Service

Make sure the Resource Management Service is enabled either in Novell iManager or by going to your server console and viewing the Broker status page.

  1. In Novell iManager, click iPrint > Manage Broker and then browse to and select the Broker you want to work with.

  2. Click Resource Management Service > Banners.

  3. Add or Delete banners.

  4. Click OK.

What Printer Types Support What Kind of Banner

A list of supported banners is supplied by both the Novell Gateway (through the PDS) and third-party gateways. The gateway first determines which file extension (.pcl, .ps, or ..txt) is appropriate for the way the Printer object (or Printer Agent) was configured during creation. It then queries the associated Broker for a list of banner page files with that extension. For a list of formats supported by a specific printer, go to the main Printer Details page and click the Features button.

Creating Banner Files

Administrators with knowledge of printer languages can create custom banners. Three types of custom banners are currently supported:

All custom banners that are created should have one of these extensions. When creating custom banners, keep in mind that complex banners increase the print time for jobs. Here are some tips for creating an efficient banner:

  • Use internal/resident printer fonts instead of rasterized system fonts.
  • When using graphics, use vector graphics when possible. Bitmaps take up a lot more space.
  • Avoid halftone images.
Creating a PCL Banner

A working knowledge of the Hewlett Packard* (HP) PCL printer language is needed in order to create a custom PCL banner. The easiest way to create a PCL banner is to create the banner using a word processor. Be sure to leave the lower third of the custom banner page blank because the print system overlays the following information in a PCL banner page:

  • Job Name
  • Job Owner
  • Time Printed
  • Date Printed
  1. After formatting the banner page, print the banner document to a file using the appropriate PCL printer definition.

    The driver properties need to be changed from printing to a port/network to printing to a file on disk. All PCL banners must have the .pcl extension.

  2. Remove the form feed and reset commands in the file that was printed to disk.

    You need a binary editor to remove the form feed and any reset commands from the file. The form feed and reset commands are in the overlay that the print system provides. A form feed in PCL is a decimal 12 (hex 0C). There are several possible reset commands that need to be removed. Decimal 27, 69 (hex 1B,45) is the printer reset in PCL. The following Universal Exit Command (UEL) also needs to be removed:

    Decimal 27,37,45,49,50,51,52,53,88 							
    
    (Hex 1B,25,2D,31,32,33,34,35,58)
    

    After the form feed and reset are removed, you have a banner file that can be used.

  3. Add the banner to the Resource Management Service.

    See Adding or Updating Brokered Resources for more information.

Creating a PostScript Banner

A working knowledge of the Adobe* PostScript printer definition language is needed in order to create a custom PostScript banner. The easiest way to create a PostScript banner is to create the banner using a word processor. Be sure to leave the lower third of the custom banner page blank because the print system overlays the following information in a .ps banner page:

  • Job Name
  • Job Owner
  • Time Printed
  • Date Printed
  1. After formatting the banner page, print the banner document to a file using the appropriate PostScript printer definition.

    The driver properties need to be changed from printing to a port or network to printing to a file on disk. All PostScript banners must have the .ps extension.

  2. Using a text editor, remove the PostScript operator named showpage from the file that was printed to disk.

    The driver probably has a procedure that includes the showpage command. (The showpage command is in the overlay.) Sometimes showpage is embedded in another function within the driver and you must use care in removing it.

  3. Add the banner to the Resource Management Service.

    See Adding or Updating Brokered Resources for more information.

Creating a Generic Text File

A generic text banner must have a .txt extension. The banner can be formatted in any printer language. The print system does not overlay any additional information on this banner page.

6.3.5 Adding or Updating Printer Drivers

A printer driver is a software entity that directly supports a physical printer, enabling it to carry out the functions it is intended to perform.

Hardware vendors develop printer drivers, which are specific to each printer. Most printers require different printer drivers for each operating system they interact with. You can view a complete list of printer drivers currently loaded in the Broker’s Resource Management Service (RMS) for Windows, and to add additional printer drivers from diskettes and Windows .cab files.

The print system ships with only English-language drivers. To make drivers in other languages available for installation on workstations, you first need to add those drivers to the RMS through the procedure described in this section.

While the majority of printer drivers in common use today can be used, some cannot. A few drivers do not work on a network at all, while others might not contain an index file or have an index file that is incorrectly formatted. If you attempt to add a printer driver to the Resource Management Service from a diskette and receive an error message stating that a printer driver cannot be found, you should contact the driver’s vendor.

Procedure

Make sure the Resource Management Service is enabled either in Novell iManager or by going to your server console and viewing the Broker status page.

  1. In Novell iManager, click iPrint > Manage Broker and then browse to and select the Broker you want.

  2. Click Resource Management Service and then the type of printer driver you want to add.

  3. Click Add From File to add drivers from a printer driver .inf file.

    or

    Click Add From System to add drivers from the workstation where you are running iManager. The drivers installed on your workstation are made available for upload to the Broker. You can only upload drivers to the same platform as the workstation.

  4. Click OK or Apply to save your changes to the database.

    The drivers are not added to the database until you do this.

The process described above might not work if the driver installation .inf file uses subdirectory paths in filename designations within the Copy Files sections of the .inf file. This format is not currently supported. There are two possible solutions for this problem:

  • Look for an .inf file that does not use this format for filenames.
  • Edit the .inf file and remove path information from filenames. Then ensure that all the files are in the same directory as the .inf file.

6.3.6 Enabling Event Notification Delivery Methods

The Broker provides an Event Notification Service (ENS) that allows printers to send customized notifications to users and operators about printer events and print job status. ENS supports a variety of delivery methods, including pop-up messages, log files, e-mail, and programmatic. Third parties can also develop additional methods.

The Event Notification Service allows you to enable delivery methods such as e-mail and third-party methods not provided directly. The executable files for these methods have an .enm extension (filename.enm) and must be added to the server\sys:\system directory or another location in the server’s search path.

For more information about Event Notification, see Enabling and Disabling Brokered Services.

Be sure the Event Notification Service is enabled by going to your server console and viewing the Broker status page.

  1. In Novell iManager, click Manage Broker and then browse to and select the Broker you want.

  2. Select the Event Notification view.

  3. Click the Load or Unload button.

    WARNING:Do not unload the RPC and SPX Programmatic Notification methods. These are needed for communication between printers and the workstation Printer Manager utility and for driver download.

  4. Specify the ENM filename for the notification method you want to load.

    This ENM must be in your server\sys:\system directory or in another location in your server’s search path in order to be loaded.

6.3.7 Enabling and Disabling Brokered Services

When the print system is initially installed, the three network services provided by the Broker are automatically enabled on the Broker object. As your printing needs grow or change and you add additional Brokers to your network, you might want to disable certain services provided through a Broker on a specific server and allow them to be provided through a different Broker (to save disk space on the first server, for example), or you might want to enable services on a Broker that is currently disabled.

  1. In Novell iManager, click iPrint > Manage Broker.

  2. Browse to and select the Broker you want.

  3. On the Broker Control tab, deselect the Broker services you want to disable.

    To enable a service, select that service’s check box.

  4. Click OK.

Printer Agents using the services that were disabled automatically search for another Broker on the network that provide these services, so normally these printers should continue to be available for processing jobs.

However, if you want to specify a preferred Broker for a Printer Agent to use for these services, you must do this from each printer’s Printer Control page in NetWare Administrator by selecting Features/Services.

If a Broker is unloaded and then is brought back up, Printer Agents that have designated that Broker as their preferred service provider are not automatically reconnected to it. In order to reconnect to the preferred service provider, you must either unload each Printer Agent and bring it back up, or unload the Print Manager that controls the affected Printer Agents and bring it back up, thus bringing up all the Printer Agents with it.

If the Resource Management Service cannot be enabled, check for one of the following conditions:

  • The Broker object does not have rights to access the RMS data storage area (the default is ndps\resdir\). Use NetWare Administrator to grant the Supervisor right to the Broker for that subdirectory.
  • The RMS data storage area has a directory name that is longer than eight characters or includes invalid characters.

6.3.8 Reconfiguring a Broker

In most instances, the default configuration for the three support services the broker provides result in satisfactory performance. However, in certain circumstances you might want to change that configuration. Here are a couple of examples:

  • As you gain experience with your print system setup, you might want to reconfigure the default properties assigned to the Broker.
  • If disk space on your volume is limited, you might want to move the managed resources database accessed by the Resource Management Service to a different volume on the same server or to a different server in the same eDirectory tree where more disk space is available. (The default location for the RMS resources is server\sys:ndps\resdir\)

Prerequisites

  • To reconfigure a Broker, you should have Supervisor rights for the container where the Broker resides.
  • If you change the location of your Resource Management Service database, you need to have rights to the new location.
  • If you change the location of your Resource Management Service database, you need to have an existing Resource Management Service database directory to point to when you specify the volume for the RMS during this process. The path you specify must point to a directory that currently exists and that already contains resources. (The RMS data storage area must not have a directory name that is longer than eight characters or includes invalid characters.) If you point to an empty directory, you receive an error message from the server when loading the Broker saying that the Broker cannot be enabled. (You can copy resources from another RMS to this directory if you want.)

Procedure

To reconfigure an existing Broker object or move your brokered resources to a different location

  1. In NetWare Administrator, select the Broker object you want to reconfigure.

  2. If you want to change the location of your resources, complete the following:

    1. Click Resource Management.

    2. Enter the resource path you want to use for storing these resources.

      You might need to assign the Broker all rights (Supervisor right) to the new area.

  3. If you want to modify the Access Control list, click Access Control and Add or Remove users from the Managers list.

    See Section 6.3, Managing the Broker for more information.

  4. If you want to enable or disable your Service Registry, click Service Registry Service.

    See Enabling and Disabling Brokered Services for more information.

  5. If you want to load or unload Notification methods, click Event Notification.

    See Enabling Event Notification Delivery Methods for more information.

6.3.9 Broker Startup Switches

To always load a Broker with the same startup switch, add the switch to the load Broker entry in the server’s autoexec.ncf.

Syntax:

load broker broker_name_and_context /startup_parameter

Example:

load broker .sales_manager.corp.acme /dbvolume=sales_sys

The following table lists the startup switches you can use when loading broker.nlm.

Table 6-4 Broker Startup Switches

Startup Parameter

Description

noui

Loads the Broker without displaying the user interface.

noipx

The Print Manager does not support the IPX™ protocol.

noip

The Print Manager does not support the IP protocol.

allowdup

The NLM™ does not check for two Brokers using the same Broker object.