Windows Server 2008 Print Management

Windows Server 2008 includes a new print management architecture which provides a better print-server platform with improved performance. The new print management architecture is compatible with existing print drivers and applications and also enables them to use features which are found only in the newer XPSDrv printer drivers, which have a more efficient print queue operation.

As well as the TS Easy Print capability, Windows Server 2008 integrates XPS (XML Paper Specification) to provide efficient and high-quality document delivery to the whole print subsystem. The XPS format is based on fixed-layout technology and, alongside OPC (Open Packaging Conventions), defines a new format and specification built on existing industry standards such as XML and ZIP.

Installing Windows Server 2008 Print Management Components

As with all the Windows Server 2008 components, you should install the Print Services Role via the Server Manager interface. After it has been selected, three sub-services are associated with the Print Services role:

  • Print Server. Includes the Print Management MMC snap-in which manages the print servers and their prints, as well as the capability to migrate printers between print servers. This is the same MMC which is included in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Windows Vista can manage a Windows Server 2008 printer environment in small environments of up to ten concurrent network connections.
  • LPD Service. The Line Printer Daemon is designed to provide print support for UNIX-based clients.
  • Internet Printing. Enables Web-based print server management, and also provides Internet Printing Protocol support  which allows for printing to a print server from the Web. Since the Internet Printing feature operates from a web site, the print server also needs to  have the Web Server role installed. The Web Server role is automatically selected and enabled when the Internet Printing sub-role is selected.

Windows Server 2008 Print Management MMC

The Print Management MMC is focused on three core activity areas, as shown below, the navigation pane has a Custom Filters node, a Print Servers node, and finally a Deployed Printers node.

print management mmc

By default, there are four custom filters, which list all the known printers, all the known drivers, and any printer that is not in a ready state (which indicates a problem), and all the printers with assigned print jobs. More custom filters can be added to enable quick access to select groups of printers.

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