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Managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment




Title: Managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment.
Abstract: Methods, systems, and devices are described for dynamic print server generation in a distributed printing environment. In these methods, systems, and devices, a print router may receive a print job from a print source over a unidirectional print data path. The print router may transmit the print job to a print job destination associated with a printer of a number of printers in communication with the print router. The print router may receive a message from the printer and transmit the message from the printer to the print job source over a network path separate from the unidirectional print data path. ...


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USPTO Applicaton #: #20120092722
Inventors: Joe Jaudon, David Lowrey, Adam Williams


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120092722, Managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment.

CROSS REFERENCES

The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/394,264, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all it discloses.

BACKGROUND

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Embodiments of the invention relate to computer network communication, and more particularly, printing in a dynamic roaming environment. Organizations often use a variety of computing devices. Various computer systems may use a thin-client or a virtual desktop display in conjunction with a centralized server or mainframe, and also use traditional workstations and handheld devices.

A thin-client may be a computing device that includes hardware, software, or both in a client-server architecture network. However, such a network may use a central server for processing and may transmit and receive input and output over a network or other communication medium established between the device and the remote server. In some examples, a thin-client device may run web browsers or remote desktop software, such that significant processing may occur on the server.

Printing in such environments may present a number of significant challenges. Traditionally, print drivers are stored and maintained on each device, and this can cause administrative overhead and maintenance issues. The problem may be exacerbated with mobile thin-clients and other mobile devices, as the number of drivers that may need to be stored can increase substantially as more printers become available.

There are also challenges related to communicating with printers in a dynamic environment. For example, in a distributed printing system, it may be a challenge to receive printer status updates in a dynamic environment using a unidirectional backend architecture. Thus, there may be a need in the art for novel system architectures to address one or more of these issues.

SUMMARY

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Methods, systems, and devices are described for managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment.

In one set of embodiments, a distributed printing system includes a number of printers, a print job source, a backend in communication with the print job source, and a print router in communication with the backend and a number of print job destinations associated with a number of printers. The backend receives a print job from the print job source and transmits the print job over a unidirectional print data path to a print router. The print router receives the print job from the backend over the unidirectional print data path of the backend, transmits the print job to a print job destination associated with one of the printers, receives a message from the printer, and transmits the message from the printer to the print job source over a network path separate from the unidirectional print data path.

In another set of embodiments, a method of printing in a distributed printing environment includes receiving a print job at a print router from a print job source over a unidirectional data path. The print job is transmitted from the print router to a print job destination associated with a printer of a plurality of printers in communication with the print router. A message is received from the printer, and the message is transmitted to the print job source over a network path separate from the unidirectional print data path.

In another set of embodiments, a print router apparatus includes a print data receiving module, a print data forwarding module, a message receiving module, and a message forwarding module. The print data receiving module is configured to receive a print job from a print job source over a unidirectional print data path. The print data forwarding module is communicatively coupled with the print data receiving module and configured to transmit the print job from the print router to a print job destination associated with the printer. The message receiving module is configured to receive a message from the printer. The message forwarding module is communicatively coupled with the message receiving module and configured to transmit the message from the printer to the print job source over a network path separate from the unidirectional print data path.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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A further understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention may be realized by reference to the following drawings. In the appended figures, similar components or features may have the same reference label. Further, various components of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label by a dash and a second label that distinguishes among the similar components. If only the first reference label is used in the specification, the description is applicable to any one of the similar components having the same first reference label irrespective of the second reference label.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a system for distributed printing in a dynamic roaming and traditional static environments, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a central server computer system in a system for distributed printing in a dynamic roaming and traditional static environments, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a data store in a system for distributed printing in a dynamic roaming and traditional static environments, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a backend in a system for distributed printing in a dynamic roaming and traditional static environments, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating a logical path taken by print data in a system for distributed printing in a dynamic roaming and traditional static environments, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating an example of a system for managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a logical path taken by a printer feedback message in a system for managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a print router, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating an example of a system for managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart diagram illustrating an example of a method of printing in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a flowchart diagram illustrating an example of a method of printing in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a flowchart diagram illustrating an example of a method of printing in a distributed printing environment, according to various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram that illustrates a representative device structure that may be used in various embodiments of the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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OF THE INVENTION

The present description sets forth examples of systems, methods, and devices for managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment. In these systems, methods, and devices, a print router receives a print job from a print job source over a unidirectional print data path. The print router forwards the print job to a print job destination associated with a printer, and receives a message from the printer. The message is transmitted to the print job source over a network path other than the unidirectional print data path.

This description provides examples, and is not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the invention. Rather, the ensuing description will provide those skilled in the art with an enabling description for implementing embodiments of the invention. Various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120092722 A1
Publish Date
04/19/2012
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0


Print Server

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20120419|20120092722|managing printer feedback in a distributed printing environment|Methods, systems, and devices are described for dynamic print server generation in a distributed printing environment. In these methods, systems, and devices, a print router may receive a print job from a print source over a unidirectional print data path. The print router may transmit the print job to a |Aventura-Hq-Inc
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