ScrewDrivers Pro - Simplifes Printing for remote work platforms as well as traditional clients
ScrewDrivers Essentials solves the client based printing challenges mentioned above, and removes the frustration for your users to not be able to print. As the TS/Citrix architectures evolved a very common solution to solve the printing challenge was to install print servers instead. The essence in this solution was that it was easier to control and test a print driver in the print server than it was to test a driver that was installed on a PC. A admin would also be able to have the same OS and driver model on both print and Citrix server and this looked like a solution.
The problem with this approach was that it was very hard to test a printer driver as most commonly the problems were most often not related to one driver by itself but the combination on the drivers you have installed. This led to random recurring problems when new print drivers were introduced to the environment. To work around this it became common to have brand specific print servers, so you would have 1 print server for HP drivers, 1 for Canon etc. This worked until you ran into a driver that was not compatible with a different driver from the same brand. Then you had to add an additional print server (This was when VM sprawl was a common discussion in the industry).
With ScrewDrivers Pro you will have all the benefits of the essentials product and in addition also support for ScrewDrivers Print Servers and ScrewDrivers Direct.
For those familiar with the v6 version ScrewDrivers Pro is the equivalent of Simplify Printing and Simplify Driver Management. Lets take a closer look at what this is.
ScrewDrivers Pro requires a SQL database to store its configuration, the database is small and a SQLExpress database server will be sufficient unless you have a SQL server already.
ScrewDrivers Print Server
With ScrewDrivers Pro you will have the ability to use your standard print server to print from your session to any printer on that server. To do this you will install the ScrewDrivers Print Server on your print server, and import the printers from the print server to the ScrewDrivers database. Once you have done the import, you can use the unviersal printer driver to print to any of the printers present on the print server.
There are no changes to the print queues so no need to install additional print servers or additional queues.
There is also no limit in how many print servers you can have in a environment.
Above is a architecture overview of how this print path worksr, as you can see a application would print from the user session to the print server and out to the printer. The print job would not pass the client itself, so there is no need for the client plugin to be installed unless you need the features of ScrewDrivers Essentials.
ScrewDrivers Direct - Manage native printer assignments
ScrewDrivers Direct is the new v7 name for Simplify Driver Management available in v6. This product allows you to import and assign native printer queues/drivers for your users.
This is very useful if you have a need to use a native driver for a specific use case, then you can manage these printers from the same interface as well.
A other use case for this would be to manage your PC/MacOSX client printers, the admin would be able to assign a local printer queue with port and native driver configuration for the client without the need of group policy or print server queues. If the user then connects to a Remore Access Solution the printers could be added into the remote session using the universal driver.
Giving the admin total control of printing for both client and server side, using 1 print management solution.
For example you would be able to assign a printer to a network range for a remote office, so that a travelling laptop user would be assigned a printer based on where they are working at the given time.
So when would I select ScrewDrivers Pro instead of ScrewDrivers Essentials?
Traditionally you had to have a Windows OS to use the client print path with Tricerat, with v7 you can use Windows, Linux and MaxOSX for client printing path so this is not so much of an issue.
With the use of the SQL database and ScrewDrivers Administration application you are able to configure the product in much more detail.
In ScrewDrivers Essentials you have 1 server side configuration that applies to all users connecting to the session server.
With ScrewDrivers Pro you can assign all specific settings to Active Directory Users, Groups, Computers and Organizational Unit. In addition to this you can also assign it to a IP-adress, IP-range, Computer Name (with wildcards) etc. And you can also combine this as you like.
With all parts of ScrewDrivers you have the possibility to configure printer naming for your users printers. The standard setting is to have a dynamic printer name, where the name is made up of different parts such as the printer name, the user name and the session ID.
For applications that need the printer name to be consistent between your users sessions, you can configure ScrewDrivers Essentials to use a printer naming scheme of "printer name" "client name". This would give the printer the same name at each login from that particular client. If the user login from a other client, the name would not match what the application expect.
If you have applications that requires static printers names to be used between sessions, regareless of where you connect from then print server print path is the way to go.
You can very easily setup printer naming in a way so that the name will not change for a user between sessions, for example the printer could be named "printer name - printserver - user". This helps for applications that save printer names per user.
Sometimes you have applications that require the name to be the same for all users, and this is also possible using the print server session settings and enabling "Use one shared virtual printer for each print server printer". This allows users to share the printer queue for a print server printer, as it would work with a regular windows print server print queue.
Network Speed / Print Job Compression
As a user prints from an application ScrewDrivers will compress the print job data at the session agent and decompress it on the client or print server agent. Sending uncompressed print job data over a network connection is not always your best choice, if you are concerned about network speed you should consider using client printing or deploy a print server in remote sites.