ThinPrint – Overview

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The ThinPrint product line offers premium print management for all IT environments. This includes server-based, virtualized or distributed PC architectures, using homo­geneous or heterogeneous hardware and operating features, with or without an inte­grated print server.

Mobile workers, home offices, as well as complete branch offices can be easily integrated into the existing corporate IT infrastructure, with no restric­tions on printing flexibility, performance or convenience. ThinPrint meets all the requirements of professional print management, thanks to high levels of print data compression, secure encryption, connection-oriented band­width control and dynamic printer deployment, as well as technology solutions such as Driver Free Printing, ThinShare and V-Layer.

The technology

ThinPrint consists of a server as well as a client component – i. e. ThinPrint Engine and the ThinPrint Client.

Terminal server environment with ThinPrint server and client components

Terminal server environment with ThinPrint server and client components

Print server environment with ThinPrint server and client components

Print server environment with ThinPrint server and client components

Note! If all properties of native printer drivers (e. g. finishing options) shall be accessible in Output Gateway’s user interface we recommend V-Layer as print mode. Otherwise with pure Driver Free Printing the use of Management Cen­ter or Management Services is necessary to transmit the printer properties from the ThinPrint Clients to the printer objects on the central print server.

Server components

The server component ThinPrint Engine is the core of the ThinPrint framework. It pro­vides complete printer driver management including Driver Free Printing. ThinPrint Engine performs the following main functions:

  • Bandwidth controlled transmission of print jobs
  • Print data compression and streaming
  • Print data encryption
  • Provision of the (virtual) printer driver TP Output Gateway (enables a radical reduction of printer drivers on printing computers = Driver Free Printing).
  • In sessions on remote desktops (terminal servers or virtual desk­tops) or workstation printers are mapped by AutoConnect, a component of ThinPrint Engine.

Driver Free Printing, V-Layer and Native Printing

Thanks to Driver Free Printing, time-consuming server-side installation and adminis­tration of printer drivers under Windows is no longer necessary. Printer driver conflicts are also a thing of the past. The native printer drivers are only installed on Windows machines (usually print servers). On remote desktops or worksta­tions, only ThinPrint’s universal driver TP Output Gateway is installed. That means that any type of printer can be used on any printer port; e.g., multifunction devices (printer, fax, copier, and scanner all-in-one) on a USB interface or a laser printer on a bidirectional interface. Just as with V-Layer, the native printer drivers are not installed on the client side, but rather on the central print server.

V-Layer: native drivers are installed exclusively on the central print server

V-Layer: native drivers are installed exclusively on the central print server

Irrespective of that, ThinPrint can also send its print data conventionally – without the use of Output Gateway – using the native printer driver: so-called Native Printing.

Print data compression

The compression of ThinPrint print data can be influenced as follows:

  • In Driver Free Printing mode, one option is Advanced Adaptive Compression level of the Output Gateway driver (see ThinPrint compression). This method analyzes the individual components of a print job and compresses each with the corresponding best algorithm before transmitting the data. Addition­ally, user errors that can occur when inserting images into a document are cor­rected. This reduces data volume by up to 98 %. Alternatively, you can also influence the compression in the ThinPrint Port configuration.
  • In V-Layer and Native Printing modes, the compression can only be influenced in the ThinPrint Port configuration (see ThinPrint compression).
  • In the case of printer shares connected to computers in branch offices, it’s addi­tionally possible to compress the print data in the opposite direction – between the computers in the branch office – where the applications run – and the cen­tral print server. This compression of the share’s print data is called ThinShare; it’s available with Driver Free Printing and V-Layer print modes (see ThinShare compression as well as the section Workstations and virtual desk­tops).
print data compression

print data compression

Client component

On the client side, ThinPrint Client is generally responsible for receiving print data, decompressing it, and sending it to the print device. There are many ThinPrint Clients available for different end devices and types of use: for all Windows, for Mac OS and Linux as well as for both internal and external print servers of network printers. Please note that there are different ThinPrint Client types for the protocols RDP, ICA and TCP/IP – the latter as both an application and a Windows service. Furthermore, the PCoIP type is embedded in the VMware Horizon View Client.

ThinPrint Clients are not necessary on workstations or thin clients, if neither printer mapping with Dynamic Printer Matrix nor compression or encryption is required and if the print jobs are to be rendered on the central print server (e. g. using V-Layer). In this case all printer drivers will be installed on the central print server, and the print jobs are sent directly to network printers, gateway appliances or local print servers.

The ThinPrint Clients can be downloaded from the ThinPrint website. The website also includes information on devices which are already embedded with ThinPrint Cli­ents. If you require a ThinPrint Client which is not listed on the website, please send an e-mail to info@thinprint.com.

Print routes

The ThinPrint Engine can send print jobs via the following routes:

  1. Via TCP/IP directly to network printers, gateway appliances or local print serv­ers. Here, ThinPrint Client (TCP/IP type) is required only if the target device needs to be able to decompress or decrypt print data or to render the print jobs using the native printer driver.
  2. Via TCP/IP directly to workstations or thin clients. Here, the TCP/IP type of ThinPrint Client is required on the workstations and thin clients.
  3. Via RDP, ICA to workstations or thin clients directly from the remote desktop if the ThinPrint Engine is installed there.
    In environments with central print servers the ThinPrint Engine can send its print jobs via the Virtual Channel Gateway which is installed on the remote desktops. Here, the RDP or ICA type of ThinPrint Client is required on the workstations and thin clients – for PCoIP a VMware Horizon View Client with embedded ThinPrint Client is necessary.
  4. Via LPR/LPD directly to network printers. Print data can be sent bandwidth controlled, but not compressed. ThinPrint Clients are not necessary.
print jobs are sent (back) from the central print server via TCP/IP to the Virtual Channel Gateway on terminal servers or virtual desktops and then via RDP, ICA or PCoIP to workstations or thin clients

print jobs are sent (back) from the central print server via TCP/IP to the Virtual Channel Gateway on terminal servers or virtual desktops and then via RDP, ICA or PCoIP to workstations or thin clients

Irrespective of the chosen print route: You can use Driver Free Printing if the target device is a Windows machine. Otherwise select V-Layer (always recommended).

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