IBM Releases Enterprise Internet Print Server for Win2K and NT

On February 1, IBM announced Infoprint Manager for Windows NT and Windows 2000 (Win2K), a print server that lets you send and manage print jobs over the Internet with the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). Microsoft built IPP printing into Windows 2000 Server (Win2K Server), but Infoprint Manager greatly expands this feature's capability and adds IPP printing to NT Server 4.0. Previously, IPP printing was available only for UNIX systems. IBM designed the Windows version of Infoprint Manager for businesses of all sizes. The print server supports from 3 to 1002 pages per minute (ppm); it also supports PC-based network applications, IBM AS/400 installations, and IBM S/390 environments. The software automatically IPP-enables any printer that it supports. Infoprint Manager lets IPP handle production-printing projects, printer sharing from multiple applications or hosts, and sending multiple print data streams to one printer. The print server uses existing printers, letting you move production printing from legacy applications to enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. Other Infoprint Manager features include page-level reliability and security for production printing. Spooler and scheduler functions allow attribute-based scheduling, workload balancing, printer pooling, accurate printer-status reporting, and production print management, including backspace, forward space, pause, and resume features. The print server also lets users check the status of available printers and media, sending customizable alerts of printing problems. The Windows version of Infoprint Manager lets NT Server drive Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS), Printer Control Language (PCL), Personal Printer Data Stream (PPDS), and PostScript printers and provides host connectivity to OS/400, OS390, MVS, Virtual Machine (VM), and Virtual Storage Extended (VSE) systems. Infoprint Manager also supports most popular data streams, including Advanced Function Printing (AFP), Printer Control Language (PCL), Host Line Data, Portable Document Format (PDF), PostScript Level 3, and ASCII Line Data. Administrators can add new IPP printers to the network and maintain control of printers remotely using the Administrator Java-based GUI. By submitting print jobs to a server instead of individual printers, users can achieve greater security and print control. Mobile users can print to a supported printer anywhere as long as they can connect to a URL on a Web page that specifies that printer. To use this approach, simply provide clients with the correct URL to give them direct access to the printer or print shop for job submission. The Windows version of Infoprint Manager will be generally available March 24. The base list price is $5995. For high-speed printing, the pricing is based on the speed of the fastest connected printer. For printing above 100ppm, IBM charges an additional $5995 for the software. IBM will sell Infoprint Manager for Windows NT and Windows 2000 directly, including from the company's online ShopIBM and through a network of business partners. According to Jeff Calhoun, manager, global software and services marketing, IBM Printing Systems, Infoprint Manager is appropriate for applications such as a guest printing to a hotel printer; hosted application service provider (ASP) environments; situations where the corporate intranet is the network backbone; and situations that need network printing from a Web page. For more details on Infoprint Manager for Windows NT and Windows 2000, see its Fact Sheet.

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