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Author's profile photo Billy Warring

To Postscript or to not Postscript

So currently I am in the middle of the implementation phase for ERP 6.0.  Currently we have three locations up and running, all locations have Canon printers and its been over six months without any output device specific issues.

This last Monday (July 15, 2013), I have the entire project team involved with a unit test coming after me…and I believe if it hadn’t been in Mexico, they would of found pitch forks and torches.  They reported that using any method F or G printer (leveraging SAPWIN and POST2 for device types); every document that was attempt to print using direct IP printing (no print server) the printer had garbled text on the first sheet and just spewed out blank pages.

So the first step we took was to setup a print server and have all the printers added to that and ensured we had the same driver as the other locations to ensure we didn’t have a Windows driver issue.  Functional members that were left out of the unit test helped with generating new prints and sent them to the print server to the printers and re-produced the same issue.

What I found interesting is that a Delivery note that I found in the spool had generated 1 page, on the Windows print server it shows 1 page, watching the Canon printer the print out exploded into 15 pages.  Oddly enough the Windows print server is set to use a PCL5 driver for the Canon.

At this point I am baffled on what is wrong with the print outs.

I then start some back tracking with people involved with the deployment of the Canons.  I now learn that when they went live with the printers they had issues printing from the AS/400 system that ran their business all due to PCL5 not being enabled/configured on the printer, and it would cost $11 per printer….Well if that was a HUGE mistake on someone’s part for not ensuring that was setup during the installation.

So now I track down the tech who led the US Canon deployment who informs me that PostScript (which POST2 uses) has to also be enabled.  So now with 5 days left prior to a go live, we have printers that won’t print using POST2.

I also assumed those within my company will be slightly agitated if they are informed the go live is delayed due to the only printed documents that can be printed are on Zebra printers.

Now as a backup plan to support the go live I quickly whip up a method F printer in the unit testing system, find a PCL 5 device type and track down a functional person that can generate a new print for me to test on a Canon in HQ to verify that the document not only prints, but resembles what we are accustomed to viewing…and success!

Hopefully this can save time for future viewers who may run into something similar as this took me over 3.5 days to narrow down where & what the problem was, and always remember if the end user says they tested a print out; make them send the output to you (scan & email, fax, etc) and ensure they are following the business process vs thinking on their own and negating to report in a problem with printing.

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