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How does Spoolmate integrate with EasySpooler/Rhapsody?

Have you ever wondered how SpoolMate on MPE integrates with EasySpooler or Rhapsody?

Well, Spoolmate can send files to Rhapsody, but Rhapsody cannot send files to Spoolmate

Here’s how it works. Type L printers in Spoolmate can be set up to point to the Rhapsody server. The $QUEUE name identifies the printer name or alias used to identify printers in Rhapsody. Existing banners generated by Spoolmate are sent with the documents, this is important if you have custom banners. Physical printers do not have to be defined within MPE, only in Rhapsody.

Rhapsody uses a web based interface to manage printers and spool files. The management and security of Rhapsody is significantly more flexible than Spoolmate. End users can be granted access to log in to manage printers and documents specific to their needs.

Rhapsody can manage other printers beside those required by the MPE
application. Once the MPE spoolfiles are sent to Rhapsody the help desk can resolve most printing issues without having to use the Spoolmate command line interface. Reprints, page range printing, archival, conversion to PDF, email, fax, document previewing, and forms handling are all handled through a browser interface. There is also a command line interface in the event automation or custom scripting is required. When printers are added, moved, shared with non-MPE users, or otherwise changed you manage that from Rhapsody without the need to change the Spoolmate or MPE configuration.

Documents from MPE can be straight ASCII documents using form feeds or
counting line feeds for paging. Rhapsody counts pages using either method or a combination of the two. If the document is PCL, as generated by Formation, data type determination is done automatically and pages are counted by looking for form feeds within the data stream. If the Swiftview plugin (a web based PCL viewer) is added to Rhapsody, PCL documents can be previewed prior to printing. Page range printing of PCL documents is done through the silent run functionality built in to most PCL printers. A PJL command is pre-pended to the print job that tells the printer to only print
specific pages, this insures that all of the preamble code, such as font downloads and overlays, are present. This is similar to the way the MPE spooler does restarts after a page jam.

If report distribution in Spoolmate is being used, similar functionality is available in Rhapsody. Usage tracking and quota enforcement are available.

Rhapsody supports spool file compression and encryption while the file is on disk, something Spoolmate is not able to do. Disk space on a Linux box dedicated to Rhapsody is much cheaper than adding disk to support archival of spool files on MPE. If the Rhapsody box is in the computer room off-loading the printing to Rhapsody allows the use of a GUI to see when printing stops or becomes backlogged as opposed to having to use conman and scan the stdlist for problems.