PCL Printer Emulation - Font and Macro Caching

For most people, printing is a two step process:

  1. Click the Print button.
  2. Retrieve the print out. 

Unfortunately, it's not always that simple.  When you get into the world of networked printers, mainframe formats, and print language conversion there is a lot more than meets the eye.  Today's question was whether or not RPM Remote Print Manager could emulate a networked PCL printer.  Specifically, can RPM cache fonts and macros that are sent as separate print jobs and convert them to PDF.

Unfortunately, there is no built in functionality that will achieve that desired result.  Fortunately, we can leverage RPM's Filter Action to invoke other programs or applications on a per-job basis.  Now that we've decided it 'should' be possible, we need to hammer out the work flow:

  1. RPM receives jobs on Queue1.
    1. Queue1 processes any configured transforms.
    2. A Filter Action launches the PCL Caching Utility.
    3. The PCL Caching Utility analyzes the incoming print jobs.  Depending on the contents it:
      1. Stores a copy of any fonts or macros that are defined in the file to disk.
      2. Determines whether the file requests any fonts or macros.  If not, processing ends.
      3. Prepends (Inserts) the requested Fonts and / or Macros at the beginning of the file and routes jobs to Queue2.
  2. Queue2 receives the print job from Queue1.
    1. Queue2 processes any configured transforms (for instance, PCL to PDF)
    2. Queue2 processes any configured actions (for instance, Raw Print, Email or Archive).

This PCL Caching Utility is currently freely available, but we ask that you send us an email using our contact form and select "PCL Caching Utility" for the category. We'll reply with the download address. The contact form is also a great place to ask any questions about our other Software Products.