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Novell Distributed Print Services Increase Business Efficiency for Customers

Articles and Tips: article

01 Dec 1997

New Architecture from Novell, HP and Xerox Offers Powerful Printing Capabilities

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Xerox Corp. joined with Novell, Inc. recently to announce availability of Novell Distributed Print Services (NDPS), an advanced printing architecture that eliminates a majority of costs associated with network printing.

The new product leverages built-in printer intelligence to decrease administrative time managing printing resources, improves overall network performance and reduces the hassles of network printing for users. Designed in conjunction with HP and Xerox, NDPS incorporates the expertise of three key leaders in network printing technology.

NDPS draws upon existing IntranetWare components to provide an advanced printing environment for users with diverse needs. Enabled by the industry's most robust directory technology, Novell Directory Services (NDS), NDPS lowers the overall cost of network ownership for customers running NetWare 4.11, by providing valuable benefits including security and centralized management of printing resources.

NDPS is also integrated with IntranetWare administration utilities, enabling comprehensive management and control for multiple vendors' printers.

"NDPS represents the cutting edge in network printing functionality," said Coleman Barney vice president of marketing for the Platform Services Group at Novell.

"With this technology, all business environments, from small workgroups to enterprise operations, realize significant cost savings through ease-of-use and greater control of network printing devices. As the leading provider of networking software, Novell is pleased to partner with HP and Xerox, the leading providers of printing hardware, to ensure our customers have simple, intelligent printing solutions."

"Novell approached HP with an opportunity to co-develop NDPS because we have a thorough understanding of users' network printing needs," said David Harris, general manager for HP's Network Peripheral Solutions Division. "We were pleased to bring our breadth of industry experience to the table."

"NDPS is the first fully distributed print service for networks," according to Jeffrey Sisson, vice president and general manager of the Networked Products Business Unit at Xerox.

"It simplifies and streamlines the administration of network printing, enables third parties to develop value added services and gives network users greater control over printing. NDPS is a critical part of our growing print services portfolio as NDPS means smart printing, higher productivity and reduced costs in the workplace. We are fully committed to deliver leading break through print management solutions in support of leading industry network vendors like Novell. This allows us to provide leading edge network printing technologies to better serve our customers."

Easy Administration of Printing Resources

NDPS eliminates significant administrative costs by simplifying and streamlining management of printing resources. Leveraging IntranetWare's single network view, NDPS enables centralized administration of network printing devices through NWAdmin. This capability allows network administrators to create, configure and automatically install printers from a single workstation.

Used in conjunction with the HP printer gateway, NDPS further reduces administrative requirements by providing the technology to plug a printer into the network and immediately allow users to employ the new device. No additional configuration is necessary. In addition, this gateway enables more than a 10 percent increase in network bandwidth by reducing network printer SAP traffic.

Customers with Xerox printers and the Xerox gateway enjoy simplified administration through the Xerox Setup Wizard. Finally, improved feedback, status and control of network printers and individual jobs, decreases the number of support visits administrators must make to solve users' printing problems.

Users Gain Power Over Network Printing

NDPS facilitates increased worker productivity, by giving network users greater control over their own printing. Advanced capabilities such as bi-directional feedback, provide users with real-time information about printer status, configuration properties and various features.

For example, if a standard printer is busy or disabled, a print job move and copy function lets users transfer or replicate jobs to a different printer location. In addition, automatic driver downloading and installation lets users print without worrying whether the proper print driver is installed on their workstation. Access to feature information about various devices on the network allows users to select the optimal printer for customized jobs.

"With NDPS, Novell consolidated what was a very piecemeal method of printing into one solution that is extremely easy to manage," said Art Lamb, owner of DataCom. "In addition, the new technology lets network administrators identify problems with the printer before they affect users, ensuring uptime of devices during critical business activities."

New Architecture Offers Robust Development Environment

With NDPS, Novell is providing a strong development environment for ISVs and OEMs to add value to their network printing devices or software. The new architecture offers a single API for quick and easy development of advanced, customized applications for millions of Novell customers.

NDPS is portable, protocol- and platform-independent, enabling developers to create new printing solutions, without developing proprietary network print management software. NDPS is an open development platform, based on the International Standards Organization 10175 Document Printing Application specification and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Printer Management Information Base (MIB).

NDPS Provides Full, Backward Compatibility

HP and Xerox are shipping gateway solutions to enable their existing printers to take advantage of NDPS' advanced features. NDPS is fully compatible with all types of printers, whether or not they have been configured to leverage the new capabilities.

However, only printers with an NDPS-aware gateway yield the full benefits of bi-directional feedback, increased network performance and NDPS-specific functionality. NDPS can be configured to work with NPRINTER and queue-based technology in conjunction with NetWare 4.11 and IntranetWare.

Clients in mixed environments that are not NDPS-aware, but use queue-based print services can also print to NDPS printers without losing any current functionality. This backward compatibility and cross-platform support demonstrates Novell's support for heterogeneous networks and ensures current printers will continue to work as they always have.

The Future of NDPS

A draft of the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) definition, currently in the IETF standards committee, includes many of the NDPS principles. Novell is actively participating in the definition development and plans to provide support for this standard in NDPS as IPP becomes generally available. Novell is also working to further its longstanding commitment to printer manufacturers.

By providing the technology to embed software, Novell is working to enable connectivity between hardware devices and Novell software on the network. This eliminates the need for server involvement in the printing process and provides improved "plug and print" capabilities. Novell plans to extend NDPS technology into the embedded systems space in the near future, enabling printer companies to ship NDPS-ready systems.

Pricing and Availability

NDPS is available immediately for NetWare 4.1 and IntranetWare environments. The product is sold on CD-ROM for $49.95 per copy. CDs can be obtained by calling 1-800 395-7135, faxing requests to (800) 513-2800 or e-mailing requests to

International customers should direct requests to (510) 463-7391 or fax requests to (510) 657-1473. Customers with questions about NDPS should call an authorized Novell reseller or dial 1-800 NETWARE.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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