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Leverage a Windows Print Server

When I first switched over to SAP for a profession, I spent a number of hours trying to figure out what and where functional teams were printing.  We also a had a SAP implementation partner, unfortunately all of the Basis ‘experienced’ employees that came on board, the printing infrastructure had various printers and were not consistent through the landscape.

Since I have a background with Windows Server Administration and knew that within my company we have multiple print servers, I came across SAPSprint software and started preparing for printer changes.  I also had no desire to log into multiple SAP systems to keep printers consistent and I’m not a fan of transporting printers, and then came across tx PAL.

So here is how I have printers setup using Windows print servers along with PAL:

Have SAPSprint installed to the Windows server (look here for additional information – http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-30837)

I interviewed functional team leads to determine what document types need to be printed and which systems needed printing services (PI & BW for example in my setup do not require print outs)

Based on my requirements I needed Zebra printers (for labels), front end printers, spool only, check MICr printing, and only defined printers for nightly invoice batch printing.

As I was working on that process, a co-worker who still performs Windows administration suggested using DNS aliases on the print servers along with DNS host records for the printers so within SPAD it would have a line as follows for a Zebra:  \\2300-01-PRNTSRV\L2300-01-101

Why do it like this, it allows for changes to only need to occur in DNS and SAP continues to work, think along the lines of loosing a main print server and your server team setting up a backup system for you to use.

Now because I am also the lead for SolMan, I know that it has RFCs to every system for other purposes, but by using PAL it can use the same RFCs.  Now I recommend when you setup PAL to point it to client 000 on the target system; this allows you to also transfer device types through PAL.  However device types seem to always require an open client, using 000 I have far less chance of someone modifying the system (also keep in mind that device types and printers are both client independent).

Now where things really paid off for me, I received an after hours call asking for a printer redirection due to toner being changed, and the users have sent about 15 – 20 documents to the printer.  Now I don’t need to tell anyone how much work for myself or the users this typically causes.  But since I had things setup to the Windows print server I connected into that first and saw all of the ‘missing’ documents sitting on hold; I redirected the printer on this print server and all of the documents started printing.

So while it may take a little bit of work up front, in the long run its less overall management for the Basis team.

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