AutoConnect configuration using the MMC

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The description below is recommended for configuring AutoConnect for single termi­nal servers.

Note! The AutoConnect configuration using group policies is described in ThinPrint group policies. 

Using the MMC, you can configure AutoConnect locally as well as remotely; for remote configuration AutoConnect must be installed on both machines.

  • Open the ThinPrint configuration.
  • In case of remote configuration: In the ThinPrint node, click Add and then specify the computer address for each remote ThinPrint Engine to be configured.
Open the configuration console for a remote ThinPrint Engine

opening the configuration console for a remote ThinPrint Engine

  • The ThinPrint Engine console appears. Select on the left, i. e., in the Console Tree: ThinPrint→ ThinPrint Engine→ AutoConnect.
Open AutoConnect configuration

opening AutoConnect configuration

Configuration

  • Clicking on Edit will open the AutoConnect configuration.
AutoConnect configuration: General tab

AutoConnect configuration: General tab

Settings

General

In the General tab the default value for the connection protocol between AutoConnect and ThinPrint Clients can be selected. If you select TCP/IP or Virtual Channel (ICA or RDP), you restrict the communication to a protocol family. The Auto setting allows both protocol families and is therefore recommended for ICA or RDP as well as TCP/IP ThinPrint Ports. In Dynamic Printer Matrix (see below) you can limit this setting per rule; here, the columns T, R and I correspond to the protocols TCP/IP, ICA and RDP.

Furthermore, you can decide here which AutoConnect events are to be logged and displayed in the AutoConnect Diagnostics table (ThinPrint→ ThinPrint Engine→ AutoConnect).

For Configuration databases see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings.

Printer Creation

In the Printer Creation tab you can determine

  • whether the users may manage their session printers themselves.
  • when the printers are to be created or mapped:
    • Either at each session logoff / logon
    • Or when disconnecting and reconnecting a session.
  • Restart the TP AutoConnect Service afterwards.

Note! From the time when the Self Service option is enabled, the printers of users who log on to a session for the first time aren’t mapped auto­matically anymore. The tables Map Additional Printers and Dynamic Printer Matrix then provide the input for printers to be selected.

In case you use only the Map Additional Printers table for connecting printer shares you can speed up AutoConnect using the option Disable Dynamic Printer Matrix.

AutoConnect configuration: Printer Creation tab

AutoConnect configuration: Printer Creation tab

Default Printer

Using the settings in the Default Printer tab you can set whether the session’s default printer should be changed by AutoConnect and – if yes – which information is to be used to change it:

  • either the last choice by the users in the session or in ThinPrint Self Service (Apply default printer from user settings)
  • or the current printer of the relevant ThinPrint Client in case of using Dynamic Printer Matrix (Default printer set by administrator for ThinPrint Client has priority)
  • or the Default column of the Map Additional Printers table (Default printer set by administrator in Map Additional Printers has priority)
AutoConnect configuration: Default Printer tab

AutoConnect configuration: Default Printer tab

Printers

Some settings in the Printers tab are provided for printer creation using templates. Since templates are only relevant for environments without ThinPrint Servers, this is described in ThinPrint Engine on terminal servers.

AutoConnect configuration: Printers tab

AutoConnect configuration: Printers tab

Other settings in the Printers tab relate to all printers, including those that are mapped from ThinPrint Servers.

If users carry out changes to printers themselves, then these will be stored in the

configuration database for User-specific printer preferences (see the General tab), if the Automatically save changes to printer properties option is enabled here.

If these stored settings are to be applied to newly created printer objects, or those yet to be connected, then the Create printers with user-defined properties option must also be enabled.

AutoConnect configuration: Printers tab

AutoConnect configuration: Printers tab

Note! For transfer of printer properties from ThinPrint Clients to Output Gate­way objects on print servers, Management Center or Management Services can be used alternatively.

High Availability

See High availability and load balancing.

IP groups

When using the AutoConnect tables Dynamic Printer Matrix and Map Additional Printers you don’t need to enter each IP address or IP range individually. For simplicity, you can instead – optionally – define groups and use these in the tables.

  • In the AutoConnect configuration console, select Groups→ IP Groups→ Add Group.
AutoConnect configuration Groups

AutoConnect configuration: Groups

  • Enter a name for the group (e. g. building 1), use the  button (see arrow), and enter in all the relevant IP addresses or IP address ranges. Confirm with OK or Apply.

Don’t use an underscore (“_”) as character in a group name.

Adding an IP group (here: building 1)

adding an IP group (here: building 1)

The result is shown in following illustration.

IP group added

IP group added

Other options available here:

Menu Description
Add Group create an IP group
Edit Group change the properties of an IP group
Duplicate Group generate a second IP group with the same mem­bers – for example, to create additional groups more quickly
Remove Group delete the IP group in question
Refresh update information from the AutoConnect data­base
  • Now you can assign the IP group to a currently selected row in the AutoConnect tables Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers.
    Do so using the Apply selected function. Confirm with OK or Apply.
Map Additional Printers: applying an IP group

Map Additional Printers: applying an IP group

The result is shown in following illustration (arrow).

Map Additional Printers: IP group applied (example)

Map Additional Printers: IP group applied (example)

When you’ve done all changes then you need to acknowledge them.

Publish or discard changes

Publish or discard changes

By clicking Publish you acknowledge your changes and they will be saved in the given AutoConnect database (see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings) or by clicking Discard All no changes will be saved.

Printer groups

Similarly as for the IP groups, and especially in the AutoConnect table Map Addi­tional Printers, you don’t need to individually enter every network printer shared on a central print server. For simplicity, you can instead – optionally – define and apply groups. The printers are then displayed sorted by groups in the Self Service console.

Note! If you create printer groups to display them in the Self Service console, avoid adding printers to multiple groups, as these printers will only appear to users in one of these groups.

For similar printers in the Dynamic Printer Matrix, you can use Variables instead.

  • In the AutoConnect configuration console, select Groups→ Printer Groups→ Add Group.
AutoConnect configuration: Groups

AutoConnect configuration: Groups

  • Enter a name for the group (e. g. Marketing).
  • Select one of the two options Select printers from→ Print Server (upper arrow in following illustration) or Select printers from→ High Availability Print Server Group (middle arrow). Your choice here is determined by whether the printers you are getting are from a single print server in the printer group or from a print server in an HA group (high availability).
  • For each printer, use the  button to add a line manually, or simply use the  button to select the desired printers from either the print server or the HA group specified above (lower arrow).
Defining the printer group

defining the printer group

  • If you used the  button, all the shared printers from the specified print server or the server group (HA) will appear. Use the checkboxes to select the desired printers. Confirm with OK.
Selecting printers

Selecting printers

  • The selected printers now appear in the printer group. In the Default column, select a default printer for the session, if it has not already been determined by other means (e.g. designated in the user’s ThinPrint Client or selected by ThinPrint Self Service).  Confirm the printer group creation with OK or Apply.
Setting the default printer and confirming the setup

setting the default printer and confirming the setup

Legend:

Icon/Information Description
Printer Group Name a name for the printer group
Select printers from→ Print server specify a single print server from which the printers in a printer group should be received
Select printers from→ High Avail­ability Print Server Group specify a print server group, from which the printers in a printer group should be received
color printing possible
grayscale/black & white printing
print on both sides (duplex) possible
print on one side (simplex)
London Location field of the original printer
Created by Management Center Comments field of the original printer

More options available here:

Menu Description
Add Group create a group
Edit Group change the properties of a group
Duplicate Group generate a second group with the same members – for example, to create additional groups more quickly
Remove Group delete the group in question
Refresh update information from the AutoConnect database
  • Now you can assign the printer group to a currently selected row in the Auto­Connect tables Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers.
    Do so using the Apply selected function.
Map Additional Printers: applying a printer group

Map Additional Printers: applying a printer group

  • Confirm with OK or Apply. The result is shown in following illustration (arrow).
Map Additional Printers: printer group Marketing applied (example)

Map Additional Printers: printer group Marketing applied (example)

When you’ve done all changes then you need to acknowledge them.

Publish or discard changes

publishing or discarding changes

By clicking Publish you acknowledge your changes and they will be saved in the given AutoConnect database (see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings) or by clicking Discard All no changes will be saved.

Dynamic Printer Matrix

The Dynamic Printer Matrix lets AutoConnect map the printer shares created on the central, dedicated print servers to the desktop sessions. You can precisely control which user is to get what printer. This table requires a ThinPrint Client on the user’s workstation or terminal as well as a ThinPrint Engine on the print server(s). For all other shares, use the Map Additional Printers.

  • Select Dynamic Printer Matrix in the console tree.
Dynamic Printer Matrix in the ThinPrint Engine configuration

Dynamic Printer Matrix in the ThinPrint Engine configuration

Configuration

Double-clicking in the table will open the Dynamic Printer Matrix config­uration console. Use the buttons (top left) to edit the table.

Editing Dynamic Printer Matrix

editing Dynamic Printer Matrix

Legend:

Table element Meaning
inserting a row above the current one
inserting a row below the current one
removing selected rows
moving a row up
moving a row down
• rule 1: locally on a client machine created printers won’t be included
• rule 2: shared printers connected to a client machine won’t be included; their names contain a backslash (\) at the first position (see Printer Name column)
• import from a CSV file (this can be exported from the Management Center or created using the Management Services)
Caution: Existing rows will be overwritten – without warning!
IP Range/Group IP address, IP range or IP group in which the client is located
Client Name client’s hostname
Driver Name printer driver name
Printer Name printer name; with local connected printer shares a backslash (\) is on the first position
Class Name name of (any) printer class
User/Group user or group from the Active Directory
W Windows clients allowed
A Apple Macintosh clients allowed
L Linux clients allowed
J Java clients allowed
T Thin clients allowed
x other client types allowed
T protocol: ThinPrint TCP/IP
R protocol: RDP
I protocol: ICA
Target Printer • shared printer in the network
• syntax: \\print-server\share-name
• variables can be used here
• in the Target Printer column: finding shared printers in the network
• Here, simply the print server name must be given, then a list of all printers of this server will be shown.
• see also Input modes for search
Comment any comment

Note! In ThinPrint versions before 11.0, AutoConnect has treated a single hidden protocol column as not matching. If, for example, an ICA type of Thin­Print Client was detected by AutoConnect and the ICA column was hidden then no rule (row) of Dynamic Printer Matrix was matching. With version 11, the new functionality of a hidden column is that this column is ignored within each rule (row). This means that it would not matter whether the respective protocol or client type is true or not.

Input modes for search

The search box can be used in two ways:

  • Direct search:
    • Even when entering just one character, all matches are listed immediately. With every additional character, the number of matches decreases accordingly.
  • Debug search:
    • By using keywords, an AutoConnect query can be simulated. Here, the entries are not only compared to the entries in the table (as opposed to Direct Search), but the entries are evaluated.
    • So, you can easily see the relevant rows for a specified client or user. This can be helpful for support purposes.
    • When entering more than one key, use commas to separate.
    • Keys: IP, Client, Driver, Printer, Class, User
    • If you enter a user name, also user groups in which the user is a member will be found.
    • With IP addresses also IP ranges will be found in which the entered IP address is enclosed.
    • If you enter words, items with wildcards will be found if the entered string and an item match.
    • Checkbox search in columns<key>:true
    • Keys: Win, Mac, Linux, Java, Thin (for thin clients), CE (for Windows CE), TCPIP, RDP, ICA

Example for debug search:

User5 from the domain ourdomain.local establishes a session from Client7 with the IP address 192.168.14.10. To figure out the very rows used by Auto­Connect, you could enter:

IP:192.168.14.10, Client:Client7, User:ourdomain\user5

Table functions

You have the option of hiding unneeded columns. In all cases, hidden columns (and their rules) are deactivated.

Hiding columns

hiding columns

Functional principle

When AutoConnect is executed, it processes the table from top to bottom, for each printer activated in ThinPrint Client. If all criteria (columns) in one line are met for the first printer AutoConnect searches for the share specified in the col­umn Target Printer and establishes a connection to this printer share during the ses­sion. AutoConnect now stops the search for this printer in the table and, if applicable, continues the same procedure for the next activated printer in ThinPrint Client etc.

Three printers activated in the ThinPrint Client Manager

three printers activated in the ThinPrint Client Manager

You can change AutoConnect’s processing sequence by using the arrow keys () to switch the line order. You can also add or delete lines. In the table, * and ? can be used as wild cards. The Target Printer column represents the shares on the cen­tral, dedicated print server(s).

These features are explained in the scenarios below; the scenarios can also be combined with each other.

IP range/group

In addition to IP groups, the IP Range/Group column of Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers table could contain, for example, the following entries:

192.168.1.136

192.168.1.1–192.168.1.150

192.168.1.0 / 24

192.168.128.0 /22

192.0.0.0 / 8

A separate printer share is to be given as each target; printers with different proper­ties will thus be mapped in the respective session.

The default value is: 0.0.0.0–255.255.255.255

The 24 represents the following subnet mask: 255.255.255.0; i. e., 3 x 8 = 24 set bits (22 is equivalent to 255.255.252.0; 16 is equivalent to 255.255.0.0; and 8 is equivalent to 255.0.0.0).

Scenario: Network printers in remote offices or office floors

Each remote office (or floor) uses a different client name (both for workstations and

for local, external and internal print servers). In this way, different printers on different workstations can be mapped using the client name.

The Client Name and Target Printer columns on Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers table could contain the following entries:

Client name Target Printer
floor_1* \\cps47\floor_11
floor_2* \\cps47\floor_21
floor_3* \\cps47\floor_31

As an alternative to the Client Name column, you can also use the IP Range column. Only printer shares are entered in the Target Printer column.
(The default entry in Client Name and IP Range is: *)

Client type

On the one hand you can select between the client platforms Windows (W), Mac OS X (A), Unix or Linux (U), Java (J), thin clients (T) and other (X), and on the other hand between the connection protocols TCP/IP (T), RDP (R) and ICA (I); see also General. By default, all client types are selected. If specific translation rules are only to apply to selected client types, they are easily selected by simply adding or removing a checkmark. In the following table, as an example, the ThinPrint Output Gateway share is assigned to all Windows clients. All other client types use the HPLaser share, which uses a native printer driver.

W A L J T x T R I Target Printer
\\cps47\ThinPrint Output Gateway
\\cps47\HPLaser

Variables

To simplify printer administration, it is possible to use variables. Several printers can thus be mapped with one single entry where the variables are replaced by e. g. the printer name or the print server name of the printer in the ThinPrint Client respec­tively.

Variable Meaning
%LCPRN%
(Local Client Printer)
printer name as shown in ThinPrint Client Manager
%LCCLA%

(Local Class)

class name, as shown in ThinPrint Client Manager
%LHOST%

(Local Host Name)

client machine’s host name (= client name) (Configuring AutoConnect)
%LCLIP%

(Local IP Address)

client machine’s IP address
%LPSRV%
(Local Print Server)
local print server’s name as shown in ThinPrint Client Manager (e. g. ps34)

The entries are made in the Target Printer column in Dynamic Printer Matrix. Either variable can be used as desired, and they can also used in combination. (The share names the Management Center creates for printer objects on ThinPrint Servers are compatible with these variables.) Further examples can be found in AutoConnect in the terminal session.

Below are two examples of how entries in the Dynamic Printer Matrix can be sim­plified by using variables.

Example without local print servers

The main office has a terminal server or a VDI, plus a central print server with a Thin-Print Engine installed. The goal is to map the printers of the respective workstation (or terminal) in each user’s session with only one entry in Dynamic Printer Matrix.

The individual printers of the Windows workstations are created according to Thin­Print naming conventions (in this example: TCP/IP) and shared on the central print server (cps47) in the main office, for example:

Printer name Share name
HP DeskJet#192.168.131.124:1 HP DeskJet
Lexmark T620#192.168.131.124:2 Lexmark T620
Shared printers on the central print server

shared printers on the central print server

Only one entry is then necessary in Dynamic Printer Matrix, namely

\\cps47\%LCPRN%

where cps47 is the central print server:

Dynamic Printer Matrix: A single row is enough to map all printers of all work­stations (under ideal conditions)

Dynamic Printer Matrix: A single row is enough to map all printers of all work­stations (under ideal conditions)

The printers folder is then displayed in the user’s session.

Printers mapped in the session with one variable

printers mapped in the session with one variable

Example with local print servers

The main office has a terminal server or a VDI, plus a central print server with the ThinPrint Engine. Each of the branch offices has a local print server installed, with the ThinPrint Client as a Windows service. The goal is to map the printers of the respective branch offices in the session of each user, using only one entry in Dynamic Printer Matrix.

The printers of each branch office are created and shared on the local print servers (in this example: Berlin and Paris).

The individual printers of the various branch offices are created according to Thin­Print naming conventions (in this example: TCP/IP) and shared on the central print server (in this example: cps47) at the main office, for example:

Printer name Share name
Lexmark Optra#berlin:1 Lexmark Optra_berlin
HP Color#berlin:2 HP Color_berlin
Lexmark Optra#paris:1 Lexmark Optra_paris
Epson Stylus#paris:2 Epson Stylus_paris

The printer ID (:1, :2) is the ID, as used in the ThinPrint Client on the local print server. Berlin and Paris are the names of the local print servers. In this example, we are printing via TCP/IP. Only one entry is then necessary in Dynamic Printer Matrix, namely

\\cps47\%LCPRN%_%LPSRV%

where cps47 is the central print server:

Dynamic Printer Matrix: A single row is enough to map the printers of all the branch offices

Dynamic Printer Matrix: A single row is enough to map the printers of all the branch offices

The variable combination %LCPRN%_%LPSRV% is then translated based on the printer name in the ThinPrint Client of the user machine as follows: HP Color_berlin or Epson Stylus_paris. It thus exactly matches the share name on the central print server. Using this share, you can then print directly to the corresponding printer on the local print server: for example HP Color on the berlin print server.

The Printers folder is then displayed in the user’s session as shown in following illustration (example for Berlin).

Printers created in the session with two variables

Printers created in the session with two variables

For more examples of using variables see Praxis: Creating and connecting printers as well as ThinPrint Management Center.

When you’ve done all changes then you need to acknowledge them.

Publish or discard changes

publishing or discarding changes

By clicking Publish you acknowledge your changes and they will be saved in the given AutoConnect database (see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings) or by clicking Discard All no changes will be saved.

Map Additional Printers

Open Map Additional Printers

opening Map Additional Printers

In contrast to the Dynamic Printer Matrix, with Map Additional Printers you can map any network printer (share on a print server) – regardless of that ThinPrint Cli­ents or a print server with a ThinPrint Engine installed on are available.

Edit Map Additional Printers

editing Map Additional Printers

Legend:

Table element Meaning
inserting a row above the current one
inserting a row below the current one
removing selected rows
moving a row up
moving a row down
• import from a CSV file (this can be exported from the Management Center or created using the Management Services)
Caution: Existing rows will be overwritten – without warning!
Default • set as user’s default printer in the session
• see also Default printer and Printer groups (see above)
User/Group user or group from the Active Directory
IP Range/Group IP address, IP range or IP group in which the client is located
Client Name client’s hostname
Target Printer/Group • shared printer in the network
syntax: \\print-server\share-name or \\HA-group\share-name or• printer group
• in the Target Printer/Group column: finding shared printers in the network
• Here, simply the print server name must be given, then a list of all printers of this server will be shown.
• see also Input modes for search (below).
Comment any comment

Input modes for search

The search box can be used in two ways:

  • Direct search:
    • Even when entering just one character, all matches are listed immediately. With every additional character, the number of matches decreases accordingly.
  • Debug search:
    • By using keywords, an AutoConnect query can be simulated. Here, the entries are not only compared to the entries in the table (as opposed to Direct Search), but the entries are evaluated.
    • So, you can easily see the relevant rows for a specified client or user. This can be helpful for support purposes.
    • When entering more than one key, use commas to separate.
    • Keys: User, IP, Client
    • If you enter a user name, also user groups in which the user is a member will be found.
    • With IP addresses also IP ranges will be found in which the entered IP address is enclosed.
    • If you enter words, items with wildcards will be found if the entered string and an item match.
    • Checkbox search in columns <key>:true

Example for debug search:

User5 from the domain ourdomain.local establishes a session from Client7 with the IP address 192.168.14.10. To figure out the very rows used by Auto­Connect, you could enter:

IP:192.168.14.10, Client:Client7, User:ourdomain\user5

When you’ve done all changes then you need to acknowledge them.

Publish or discard changes

publishing or discarding changes

By clicking Publish you acknowledge your changes and they will be saved in the given AutoConnect database (see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings) or by clicking Discard All no changes will be saved.

Sending and importing the configuration

Similar to the port configuration, AutoConnect also has additional options of Send Configuration and Import from Management Services.

When sending, the AutoConnect configuration is sent to other computers with the exception of Dynamic Printer Matrix or Map Additional Printers tables – these are included in AutoConnect’s configuration database and can be assigned by setting the storage destination (see Storage destination for AutoConnect settings) or by copying the database file.

Using the import function, CSV files which come from Management Center or Management Services can be read in (see above import from a CSV file).

Caution! With Send and Import, an existing AutoConnect configuration will be overwritten – with Import without warning!

Send configuration

The Action→ Send Configuration function lets data from the AutoConnect config­uration be sent to groups of servers; see also Procedure when sending.

Once you are finished configuring AutoConnect, click Apply or OK.

Saving and import­ing the AutoCon­nect database

Saving the AutoConnect database can be done in two different ways. First of all you could save the database after changing something via Save Table As.

It can be done as an alternative via rightclicking the snap-in AutoConnect and choose Save Table As.

Saving the AutoConnect database

saving the AutoConnect database

As well via rightclick on the snap-in AutoConnect you can choose Open Tables from and import a saved AutoConnect database. You can import the database on the same server you saved it or on a other server with a ThinPrint Engine installed.

Import the AutoConnect database

importing the AutoConnect database

Script control

If you want to run AutoConnect from the Command Prompt or using a script, the fol­lowing parameters (amongst other) can be used:

Parameter Function
-v (Verbose) Display messages; give detailed information at startup
-d Delete the printer(s) for a specific session
-dl Delete only local printers (on terminal servers)
-dn Delete only connections to printer shares
-d session-ID Delete all printer(s) of a specific session (admins only). The session ID can be found in the printers folder under Location
-d all Delete all printers created with templates (admins only)
-r (Repair) Compares saved session information at actually existing printer objects (admins only)
-f shares the printer with the specified share name; possible placeholders:
%N = printer name
%A = printer address
%I = client ID
%U = user name
-F x Keep AutoConnect running and restart every x seconds
-p port

(Port) TCP/IP port number (if other than port 4000)
Note: The TCP port numbers in ThinPrint Port, AutoConnect, and ThinPrint Client must match.

-i protokoll (Interconnection) Select protocol for connection to the ThinPrint Clients; overwrites AutoConnect dialog settings (acceptable values: TCPIP, VC, AUTO)
-a adresse Specification of IP address or client name of the computer on which a ThinPrint Cli­ent is running – i. e., of local print servers or external print servers of network printers (e. g., ThinPrint Hub or a device from SEH)
-L Display ThinPrint Client’s printer list
-I printer ID Specification of selected printer IDs from ThinPrint Client – comma separated
-I d Map only ThinPrint Client’s Current printer
-? or -h (Help) Will open parameter help panel

Applying changes

Once you have finished configuring AutoConnect, click Apply or OK.

 

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