Purpose of the Management Center (MC)
In large environments, losing an overview of the printers can sometimes occur – particularly if these are distributed among many branch offices. Printers may be replaced, not immediately available, or such information reaches the central office too late or not at all. The Management Center has been developed to simplify and automate this process. With one mouse click, it gives you an overview of all ThinPrint printers installed in your print environment.
The most important job of the Management Center is to create the required ThinPrint printer objects on the central print servers (running Windows). This could be laborious and only be accomplished manually – aside from the fact that the replacement of a printer in a remote office is not always known of immediately. The printer objects created by the Management Center are automatically shared and can be made available to all user groups in a company – regardless of whether their applications are running on virtual or real desktops, Remote Desktop Session Hosts (= Windows terminal servers), or other systems such as Linux, SAP-R/3, or System i hosts.
The Management Center automates the configuration of ThinPrint functions such as bandwidth setting, port pooling, Driver Free Printing, and V-Layer in particular. With just a few clicks in the user interface of the Management Center, you can adjust these settings. Printers with their ports are then automatically created on the central print servers.
Configuring the V-Layer is especially convenient. This enables Driver Free Printing from RD Session Hosts, virtual desktops or workstations to non-Windows devices such as terminals (thin clients), gateway appliances (= ThinPrint Client Gateways) or network printers. With the Management Center, all it takes is a checkmark and selecting a driver template, and the necessary printer objects and ports are created automatically. Driver Free Printing can be used in pure Windows environments – also configured with just a click.
In general, the Management Center communicates with two components of ThinPrint: with the ThinPrint Clients on the client side and with the ThinPrint Engines on the server side. While the ThinPrint Engines are only installed on the central, dedicated print servers, the ThinPrint Clients can be located on the one hand on local print servers or gateway devices or appliances and on the other hand also on workstations, thin clients, or network printers. Thus, when planning your print environment, you have to decide which pathway your print jobs will take. You can print from a central print server via the pathways below:
- via the TCP/IP protocol to a local print server, to a gateway appliance or directly to network printers with an internal or external ThinPrint Client
- via the TCP/IP protocol to the client computer or thin client that initiated the print job
- via the ICA, RDP or PCoIP protocol to the client computer or thin client that initiated the print job, whereby the central print server sends the print jobs via a RD Session Host or a virtual or real desktop to the client computer or thin client
If the target computers or printers cannot be reached over their IP addresses due to masked networks or firewall settings, alternatively to the RDP or ICA protocol the print jobs can also be sent using the Connection Service (see the sections Virtual Channel Gateway and Connection Service).
As needed, the Management Center automatically downloads all required printer drivers from a file server – the Driver Pool – to install them on the central print servers. It also creates a template for each driver on a separate server for pre-setting driver properties. Thus, the necessary printer drivers are managed centrally and can be provided for the central print servers.
Management Center also offers an export function for AutoConnect – the mapping component of ThinPrint Engine. This can help to simplify the somewhat complex editing of Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers table drastically.