Supported Printers RRS feed

  • Question

  • How do we know if a printer is supported when using the report control? Is there a list of supported printers or do I just assume that if a printer is installed correctly on a machine, then the report control should work?



    Thanks in advance.
    Monday, June 11, 2007 2:33 PM

All replies

  • Yes, if the printer is installed correctly it should work. The control should interrogate the printer for settings, etc.


    However... that is not the same thing as the report layout you designed necessarily working correctly on the printer selected by the user (and this is the same as any Windows application, FWIW). 


    IOW: suppose you design a report for a large size page and the printer selected by the user doesn't handle that size paper.  The printer is going to clip the page or spread over multiple sheets or whatever its driver tells it to do.  (Some drivers have  "shrink to fit" or "scale page" options, which, if used by the user, will work pretty well for standard cases, like letter size versus A4.)


    What I'm saying is that there are two layers of "printer is supported" here.  One is the report viewer control, and that part is pretty standard.  The other part is "what printers does your REPORT, as designed and laid out, support". 


    One thing you might do is make sure that you have not extended text all the way to the borders of the page, for example, so that your report can "support" laser printers' unprintable page area.  I hope this makes sense...



    Monday, June 11, 2007 3:02 PM
  • Thank you. It does make sense what you said.


    So then there is not a distinct list of supported printers supplied by Microsoft and preesumbly all printers should be okay.


    We have a client who is having problems with a printer that has post script drivers installed. We need to be sure that it is not an unsupported printer that is causing the problems.



    Monday, June 11, 2007 9:13 PM
  • >>

    We have a client who is having problems with a printer that has post script drivers installed. We need to be sure that it is not an unsupported printer that is causing the problems.



    Well, it is probably *not* anything specific to the reportviewer.


    There are a couple of things that the reportviewer does that might place a special burden on this printer, even though other applications print fine.  Is that what your client is seeing, and why you might have asked this question? 

    IAC, um, I happen to know quite a lot about postscript printers and drivers....


    What types of problems is your client having, does the job abend, is it a resolution problem, or what?  What is the printer make and model?  How much memory does the printer have? And what drivers (under what OS) are installed for that printer?  Does every client machine printing to that printer show the same behavior? You know the usual suspects <g>.




    Monday, June 11, 2007 11:32 PM
  • The client is reporting that it can take as much as 15 seconds between pages once the report gets sent to the printer. It appears that a longer delay causes the printer to generate a time out error and it is at this point that the Visual Studio report viewer control handles the situation poorly and freezes up the application.


    What may also be of interest is that if the client prints two copies of the report, the client sees delays when the first run of the report comes out at the printer, but there are no delays for the second run and it prints as normal. There was also a situation where the printer was out of paper and when the printer was loaded with paper and brought back online there were no delays between pages.


    They are running the application hosting on the following:

    OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition Service Pack 1

    Citrix: version 4.0 with the following hotfixes installed:

    ·         PSE400R01W2K3033

    ·         PSE400R01W2K3069

    ·         PSE400W2K3R01


    The remote facilities are using HP 4350 or HP 4250 post script printers. I do not know what drivers are installed for these printers.


    We are also getting reports of another client who is experiencing delays between pages, but the delays are much smaller with only 5 seconds. The client has tried with HP 3550 and HP 1440 printers. According to the client the installed driver for the printer(s) is Brother HL-1440 Series.


    Thanks very much for your thoughts on this issue.


    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:46 PM
  • (a) Jerry is this a server mode report or a local mode report?  Sounds like server mode, just wondering...


    (b) And is the app using the web forms reportviewer or winforms version ?


    (c) IAC it does *not* immediately sound like a printer driver issue... except for one thing: you said the magic word: Citrix. So they're using the terminal server printing services, then? (I can't remember the "correct" terminology for this but you probably know what I'm talking about).  This can be the cause of a lot of grief... don't know for sure.


    Also, which type of connection is being used to "talk" to the printer?  Is this HP's embedded print server stuff, or direct connection, or what?


    (d) Another thought, because of what you said about bringing up the printer after a reboot: I am pretty sure that the pages are being sent as graphical images so the spool files are pretty big... do you know if the HPs have standard memory only or more?


    Re the other client with shorter delays: there are a lot of things that can be involved here, but all the same items above would apply except (I bet) the magic (c) word above....



    Tuesday, June 12, 2007 3:04 PM
  • a) The reports are local mode

    b) Winforms version

    c) I believe they are using terminal server printing services. I do not know of the type of connection is being used to talk to the printer.

    d) I'm not aware of the exact amount of memory, but we did ask on a conference call and the answer did not give any reason for concern, so I don't think it would be an issue.


    I did get a little more information with regards to the client who is experiencing the shorter delays. They are not working in a Citrix environment so it may be that this can be taken out of the equation for what is causing the problems. The other thing that was interesting is the client provided a screen shot of the que for the printer and the report was broken up into separate print jobs for each page rather than one single print job for all pages in the report. This is very curious behavior and I have not seen this before in my environment.


    Thanks again for any thoughts.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:12 PM
  • Well, separate print jobs for the separate pages means the control is probably rendering the pages as images and then sending the images to the printer.  Which is kinda what I thought.


    On the amount of memory: I asked because of the render-image approach to printing.  Even though they are not ordinarily having issues with memory, it takes more memory to do this than just print "regular" pages composed of text and printer commands. (At least one of those HPs has the ability to direct-print PDFs, if memory serves -- but only if you top up its memory.  This is the same sort of thing.)


    IAC this mode of processing the pages (separate print jobs, image-per-page) would, yes, be specific to reportviewer.  It would not mean that "only some printers are supported" but it would mean, for sure, that in some environments you might get "less than optimal" behavior and performance!


    The fact that the other client isn't on Citrix does *not* take Citrix out of the loop at all, actually it is corroborating evidence: Especially because you see worse problems on this with Citrix, but also see the problem elsewhere, it is probably some sort of overload or timing issue. 


    I can't remember if I asked this before but: do multiple client computers address the same computer?  Does the problem get worse when there are simultaneous requests? 


    In the Citrix system is there more than one Citrix server (because we have seen issues with different servers set up different ways in the same environment, where some users logging on to one server saw better behavior than users on the other one)?


    Do the users use  a recommended Citrix "Universal Driver" or do they use specific drivers for the printer(s)? (Pardon me for not remembering the exact terminology here -- I have erased this from my conscious mind like the pain of childbirth <g>)


    Sorry, this stuff is always a pain, so I am giving you as many avenues of inquiry as I can think of...



    Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:17 PM
  • Unfortuanately the report is demanding (in layout and processing) and one that is printed each day, so the client has to live with it each day. I guess there is little for me to do other than communicate to the client that there is not much I can do to alleviate the pauses between pages. Hopefully some review of the hardware and servers will help to alleviate some of the performance.


    Thanks again for all your thoughts on this issue. 

    Monday, June 18, 2007 3:37 PM