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Using TC Probe for IPPrinter

Article # 3035697 - Page views: 13

Article # 3035697 - Page views: 13

Issue

I want to use Kofax Communication Server TC/Probe to check, if my IPPrinter application is working properly.
But when I setup the Probe destination to print the probe messages to physical printers using the IPP or port 9100 protocol, it will produce a lot of paper, which I do not want.
Is there any other way to setup TC/Probe with IPPrinter?

Solution

TC/Probe is designed to perform periodic tests to check e.g. if a FAX channel is working for sending and receiving by creating a TC/Probe FAX Loop send order.

In general, it is possible to enter any kind of KCS service to be used by TC/Probe and therefore it is also possible to define Probe messages for IPPrinter.
But if you would setup the probe in the common way, printing to a physical printer, you would also produce a lot of printed pages on the selected printer(s),
which is most likely not wanted by the customer. Normally it is sufficient to check:

  • if the IPPRINTER application is running,
  • if it is polling the IPPrinter queue and
  • if it is able to generate PCL output

WITHOUT doing a real printout on paper.
This article describes the necessary steps to check, if IPPrinter is running avoiding real paper printouts.
We are using the print a file feature instead of printing to a physical printer.

If this "print to file" job falls into a timeout, this will visible in the TC/Probe Status as "undeliverable" and would mean:

  • IPPrinter is not able initiate the printing (e.g. conversion error when converting to PCL format) or
  • IPPrinter is not running at all

On the other hand, if the TC/Probe status reports "Delivered", it means IPPrinter is running and processing messages.

Optional: with appropriate settings it's possible to send a success or failure alert notification to any Administrator user.

Step 1: Create a new Probe definition

  • Start the KCS Management application (TCMC.exe) on the server where TC/Probe is installed
  • Navigate in the left tree view to the node Probing Agent - Probe definitions
  • Right click in the middle pane, which is showing all probe definitions and select the context menu option New Probe definition
  • Assign a name for the probe definition and set the parameters as shown in the example below. Optionally you might define a recipient
    getting Failure- or Success alerts:
    ProbeDefinition.png

Step 2: Create a new Probe Endpoint

  • Within the probe definition window press the Edit button in the lower pane 
  • A new dialog opens showing all Probe Endpoints
  • Click into the last free line of the list to add a new Probe Endpoint.
  • for the Probe endpoint Name assign anything you want (in this example IPPRINT Test)
  • for the Service field use the KCS Service used by IPPrinter, typically IPPRINT
  • for the number field use printer=c:/test.pcl&transport=file

NOTES: 

  • The file name must be test.pcl, other names are not supported.
  • You might use any other directory than c:/ but use the forward slash / instead of the backslash \ as separator between directory names
  • The transport must be specified and set to file (typically the transport ipp or tcp is specified only in the IPPrinter configuration and not in the addressing line)
  • Use the & character as separator between printer name and transport definition
  • do not enable the checkmark in the reply column
    ProbeEndpoint.png
  • Save the newly created probe endpoint and add it to the probe definition using the Add button
  • Set the "Enabled checkbox in the probe definition and save the probe definition

Step 3: Checking the probe results

  • To check the result of probe message navigate within the KCS Management console to Probing agent - Probe status
  • If the probe was successful you will see an entry with the Result OK and the detailed history will show the Event DELIVERED
    SuccessfulProbe.png
  • In case of the probe send order runs into a timeout the result column will show Error and the detailed history will show the Event undeliverable
    FailedProbe.png
  • If configured in the Probe definition you will also get an alert notification in the KCS inbox of the configured user (in this example the user alex):
    FailureAlertMessage.png

Level of Complexity 

Moderate

 

Applies to  

Product Version Build Environment Hardware
Kofax Communication Server
Probing Agent TC/Probe and
IP Printer Application (IPPrint)
all versions      

 

 

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