JP4623469B2 - Print server, print system, print method, program, and recording medium - Google Patents

Print server, print system, print method, program, and recording medium Download PDF

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JP4623469B2
JP4623469B2 JP2005375499A JP2005375499A JP4623469B2 JP 4623469 B2 JP4623469 B2 JP 4623469B2 JP 2005375499 A JP2005375499 A JP 2005375499A JP 2005375499 A JP2005375499 A JP 2005375499A JP 4623469 B2 JP4623469 B2 JP 4623469B2
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print
information
specifying
target data
data
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JP2007179197A (en
JP2007179197A5 (en
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昌和 土屋
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キヤノンマーケティングジャパン株式会社
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  According to the present invention, when print data is temporarily stored using a print server and printing is performed, printing is performed from the printing apparatus by making a print request for the temporarily stored print data from a desired printing apparatus. The present invention relates to control of a printing system that can be made possible.

  Conventionally, a so-called “pull print (accumulated printing)” printing system that enables a user to output print data from the printing apparatus by making a print request to the print data temporarily accumulated on the server from the printing apparatus. Has been proposed. Accordingly, the user can output print data from a desired printing apparatus instead of outputting to a specific printing apparatus when printing from an application.

  For example, Patent Document 1 discloses a conventional pull print system, which discloses a mechanism for printing by designating a temporarily stored print job from the printing apparatus side.

Specifically, when the print data is stored in the job server from the client terminal, an identification number is created by the job server and notified to the client terminal. Then, the user can output from the printer connected to the print server by inputting the identification number from the print server connected to the printer to be output later and making a print request to the job server. is there.
JP 2000-035869 A

  However, the system described in Patent Document 1 enables output from a desired printer. However, when a considerable number of users use this mechanism to collectively manage print jobs with a job server. Not only does the amount of print job data stored in the job server become enormous, but it also has the problem that print request processing from the user becomes frequent, increasing the load on the job server and deteriorating the response. Yes.

  In order to solve this problem, for example, it may be possible to install a plurality of job servers. However, if the system of Patent Document 1 is applied as it is, a job for specifying a print job of the job server from the print server may be used. A problem arises in that a server must be appropriately selected to make a print request to the job server, and the user must know which job server the print job is in.

  In addition, when the print data stored in the server depends on the printer model, there is a problem that the print data cannot be output by a printer model whose printer description language is not compatible.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to identify print target data stored in a print server by specifying a printer driver corresponding to the print device according to the print device information transmitted from the print device that has selected the print target data. To provide a mechanism that can be easily output from a desired printing apparatus.

  Also, the layout setting can be changed from the printing apparatus at the time of output, and the setting information can be easily output from the desired printing apparatus without knowing which print server and which print data is to be set. It is to provide a mechanism.

The present invention is capable of communicating via a network with an information processing apparatus including a printer driver and a bibliographic information storage server that manages bibliographic information of print target data in a format independent of a printing apparatus generated using the printer driver. A print server, a data receiving means for receiving print target data in a format independent of the printing apparatus from the information processing apparatus, a data storage means for storing the received print target data, and the print server Bibliographic information transmitting means for transmitting bibliographic information including print server specifying information for specifying the stored print target data to the bibliographic information storage server, and a printer driver for storing a printer driver Storage means and the print server specifying information from the bibliographic information storage server Thus it sent, the user and the print target data specifying information for specifying a print object data selected from the printing device logging in, for identifying the printing apparatus transmitted from the printing device selected the print target data Printing instruction information receiving means for receiving printing instruction information including printing apparatus specifying information and printing apparatus information of printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus; and printing target data to be output according to the received printing target data specifying information Print target data specifying means for specifying, as a first step, printer driver specifying means for specifying a printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that has selected the print target data according to the received printing apparatus specifying information, and the print target data The specified printer driver is used to print on the selected printing device. From the print target data, a print data generating unit that generates print data in a format dependent on the printing device selecting the print target data, in order to allow printing by the printing apparatus in which the user logs in, the printing apparatus identification Port information setting means for setting port information of the printer driver according to the information, and the printer driver specifying means cannot specify a printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that selected the print target data in the first stage. In this case, as a second step, a printer driver for temporary use is specified according to the received printer language information, and the port information setting means is configured to specify the printer specified in the second step. The pre-identified in the second stage is to switch ports for temporary use of the driver. The port information of the printer driver is set, and after the print data generated by the print data generation unit is printed, the port information set by the port information setting unit is set to return to the port information before setting. To do.

The present invention also provides an information processing apparatus including a printer driver, a print server that stores print target data in a format independent of a printing apparatus generated by using the printer driver, and bibliographic information of the print target data. A bibliographic information storage server and a printing system capable of communicating via a network, wherein the print server receives data to be printed from the information processing apparatus in a format independent of the printing apparatus; Bibliographic information including data storage means for storing the received print target data, print server specifying information for specifying the print server, and print target data specifying information for specifying the stored print target data Bibliographic information transmitting means for transmitting to the bibliographic information storage server;
Printer driver storage means for storing a printer driver, and print target data specifying information for specifying print target data selected from a printing apparatus to which a user has logged in, transmitted according to the print server specifying information from the bibliographic information storage server And print instruction information including printing device specifying information for specifying a printing device transmitted from the printing device that has selected the print target data, and printing device information including printer language information interpretable by the printing device. An instruction information receiving unit, a print target data specifying unit for specifying print target data to be output according to the received print target data specifying information, and as a first step , the print target data according to the received printing device specifying information A printer driver feature that identifies the printer driver that corresponds to the selected printing device. Printing in a format that depends on the printing device that has selected the print target data from the specified print target data using the specified printer driver, in order to print the print target data on the selected printing device Print data generating means for generating data, and port information setting means for setting port information of the printer driver in accordance with the printing apparatus specifying information so that printing can be performed by the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in. The driver specifying means, when the printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that selected the print target data in the first step cannot be specified, is used temporarily according to the received printer language information as the second step. The port information setting means is characterized in that the second stage is specified. In order to switch the port in order to temporarily use the specified printer driver, the port information of the printer driver specified in the second stage is set, and after the print data generated by the print data generation unit is printed, A setting is made to return the port information set by the port information setting means to the port information before setting, and the printing apparatus includes print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data Print target data list display means for displaying a list of data, print target data selection means for selecting print target data to be printed from the list, and print target data output instruction means for instructing output of the selected print target data According to the output instruction, print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data, and the mark The print server transmits print instruction information including printing device specifying information for specifying a printing device and printing device information including printer language information interpretable by the printing device to the bibliographic information storage server. A print data receiving unit that receives print data corresponding to target data specifying information, and a print unit that prints the received print data.

According to the present invention, by specifying a printer driver corresponding to a printing device according to the printing device information transmitted from the printing device that has selected the printing target data , the printing target data stored in the print server is obtained as desired. the effect of such can be constructed print environment that can easily be output from the printing device.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.

  FIG. 1 is a system configuration diagram illustrating an example of a configuration of a print system to which a print server, a print management server, and a printing apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can be applied.

  As shown in “Office A” in FIG. 1, the print system of the present embodiment includes one or more client PCs 100 (for example, for each user), one or more print servers 200 (for example, installed for each floor), One or a plurality of MFPs 300 (for example, installed on each floor), a print management server 400, one or a plurality of login service PCs 500 (for example, installed on each floor), and a directory service server 600 configure a local area network (LAN) 700. It is the structure connected via this.

  A print driver is installed in the client PC 100, and print data is transmitted to the print server 200 or the like in accordance with a print instruction from the application program and stored in a predetermined storage location (spool area) of the print server 200. Can do.

  Further, a printer object for outputting an intermediate file is created in the client PC 100, and this system is executed through the printer object. In addition, it is desirable to install the printer driver stored in the print server 200 in the client PC 100 using Point & Print (generate a printer object).

  In this embodiment, the application is configured to be executed through the printer object. However, the client PC 100 and the printer server 200 each have an application capable of communicating, and it is sufficient that the intermediate file can be received and transmitted. This is possible even if it is not a printer object.

  The print server 200 can generate bibliographic information data corresponding to the print data received from the client PC 100, transmit it to the print management server 400, and store it in a predetermined storage location of the print management server 400.

  The print server 200 controls the transfer of the print data stored in the predetermined storage location to the multi-function device 300 based on a print instruction received from the outside.

  Note that the print server 200 has a virtual printer driver (printer object) for receiving an intermediate file from the client PC 100 and a printer driver (printer object) for printing to the multifunction device 300.

  The print management server 400 includes a bibliographic information DB (shown in FIG. 16 described later), receives bibliographic information transmitted from the print server 200 (bibliographic information corresponding to print data stored in the print server 200), and It is stored and managed by the bibliographic information DB.

  Further, the print management server 400 stores an IC card authentication table (shown in FIG. 15 described later), and performs authentication processing using the IC card authentication table in response to an authentication request by the IC card from the multifunction device 300. I do. Furthermore, the print management server 400 issues a print data print instruction to the print server 200 in response to a print request from the multifunction device 300 (print data print request corresponding to the bibliographic information managed in the bibliographic information DB). .

  The login service PC 500 is a login user ID and password (for example, a login user name (user ID) of Microsoft Windows (registered trademark)) of the client PC 100 stored and managed by the directory service server 600 as a login service of the MFP 300. , Password) based authentication processing (SSO (Single Sign-ON)), for example, a personal computer equipped with a Canon security agent.

  The directory service server 600 includes hardware resources such as servers, clients, printers, and the like existing on the network, and attributes of users who use them (login user ID and password of the client PC 100 (for example, Windows (registered trademark) of Microsoft Corporation)). The login user name (user ID) and password), and access rights, etc., are centrally stored and managed, for example, a server equipped with an Active Directory function.

  In the print system according to the present embodiment, the “office A” having the above-described configuration is connected to one or more client PCs 100, one or more print servers 200, one or more multifunction devices 300 via a LAN 700. A configuration in which one or a plurality of “offices B” having the above configuration is connected via the WAN 800 may be used.

  Hereinafter, the hardware configuration of the information processing apparatus applicable to the client PC 100, the print server 200, the print management server 400, the login service PC 500, and the directory service server 600 illustrated in FIG. 1 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of an information processing apparatus applicable to the client PC 100, the print server 200, the print management server 400, the login service PC 500, and the directory service server 600 illustrated in FIG.

  In FIG. 2, reference numeral 201 denotes a CPU that comprehensively controls each device and controller connected to the system bus 204. Further, the ROM 202 or the external memory 211 is necessary to realize a BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) or an operating system program (hereinafter referred to as an OS) that is a control program of the CPU 201 and a function executed by each server or each PC. Various programs to be described later are stored.

  A RAM 203 functions as a main memory, work area, and the like for the CPU 201. The CPU 201 implements various operations by loading a program or the like necessary for execution of processing from the ROM 202 or the external memory 211 into the RAM 203 and executing the loaded program.

  An input controller 205 controls input from a keyboard (KB) 209 or a pointing device such as a mouse (not shown). A video controller 206 controls display on a display device such as a CRT display (CRT) 210. In FIG. 2, although described as CRT 210, the display device is not limited to the CRT, but may be another display device such as a liquid crystal display. These are used by the administrator as needed.

  A memory controller 207 is connected to the hard disk (HD), flexible disk (FD), or PCMCIA card slot for storing a boot program, various applications, font data, user files, editing files, various data, etc. via an adapter. The access to the external memory 211 such as a compact flash (registered trademark) memory is controlled.

  A communication I / F controller 208 is connected to and communicates with an external device via a network (for example, the LAN 700 shown in FIG. 1), and executes communication control processing on the network. For example, communication using TCP / IP is possible.

  Note that the CPU 201 enables display on the CRT 210 by executing outline font rasterization processing on a display information area in the RAM 203, for example. In addition, the CPU 201 enables a user instruction with a mouse cursor (not shown) on the CRT 210.

  Various programs to be described later for realizing the present invention are recorded in the external memory 211 and executed by the CPU 201 by being loaded into the RAM 203 as necessary. Furthermore, various information tables and the like used when executing the program are also stored in the external memory 211, and detailed descriptions thereof will be described later.

  Next, the hardware configuration of the controller unit that controls the multifunction peripheral 300 shown in FIG. 1 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of the controller unit of the multifunction peripheral 300 illustrated in FIG.

  In FIG. 3, reference numeral 316 denotes a controller unit which is connected to a scanner 314 functioning as an image input device and a printer 312 functioning as an image output device, while being connected to a LAN (for example, the LAN 700 shown in FIG. 1) or a public line (WAN). By connecting to (for example, PSTN or ISDN), input / output of image data and device information is performed.

  In the controller unit 316, reference numeral 301 denotes a CPU, which is a processor that controls the entire system. A RAM 302 is a system work memory for the CPU 301 to operate, and is also a program memory for recording a program and an image memory for temporarily recording image data.

  A ROM 303 stores a system boot program and various control programs. A hard disk drive (HDD) 304 stores various programs for controlling the system, image data, various setting information of the multifunction peripheral, and the like.

  As an example of various programs, an IP address, PDL information, etc. are stored in the ROM 303 or the hard disk 304 as examples of various setting information of the MFP such as an IC card authentication program and a print instruction program.

  An operation unit interface (operation unit I / F) 307 is an interface unit with the operation unit (UI) 308 and outputs image data to be displayed on the operation unit 308 to the operation unit 308. The operation unit I / F 307 serves to transmit information (for example, user information) input by the system user from the operation unit 308 to the CPU 301. Note that the operation unit 308 includes a display unit having a touch panel, and various instructions can be given by a user pressing (touching with a finger or the like) a button displayed on the display unit.

  A network interface (Network I / F) 305 is connected to a network (LAN) and inputs / outputs data. A modem (MODEM) 306 is connected to the public line 231 and inputs / outputs data such as FAX transmission / reception.

  Reference numeral 318 denotes an external interface (external I / F), which is an I / F unit that accepts external inputs such as USB, IEEE 1394, printer port, and RS-232C. In this embodiment, for reading an IC card required for authentication The card reader 319 is connected to the external I / F unit 318. The CPU 301 can control reading of information from the IC card by the card reader 319 via the external I / F 318, and can acquire information read from the IC card. The above devices are arranged on the system bus 309.

  Reference numeral 320 denotes an image bus interface (IMAGE BUS I / F), which is a bus bridge that connects the system bus 309 and an image bus 315 that transfers image data at high speed, and converts the data structure.

  The image bus 315 is configured by a PCI bus or IEEE1394. The following devices are arranged on the image bus 315.

  A raster image processor (RIP) 310 develops vector data such as a PDL code into a bitmap image. A printer interface (printer I / F) 311 connects the printer 312 and the controller unit 316, and performs synchronous / asynchronous conversion of image data. A scanner interface (scanner I / F) 313 connects the scanner 314 and the controller unit 316 and performs synchronous / asynchronous conversion of image data.

  An image processing unit 317 performs correction, processing, and editing on input image data, and performs printer correction, resolution conversion, and the like on print output image data. In addition to this, the image processing unit 317 performs image data rotation and compression / decompression processing such as JPEG for multi-valued image data and JBIG, MMR, MH for binary image data.

  The scanner unit 314 illuminates an image on paper as a document and scans it with a CCD line sensor, thereby converting it into an electrical signal as raster image data. The original paper is set on the tray of the original feeder, and when the apparatus user gives a reading start instruction from the operation unit 308, the CPU 301 gives an instruction to the scanner 314, and the feeder feeds the original paper one by one to read the original image. I do.

  The printer unit 312 is a part that converts raster image data into an image on paper. The method is an electrophotographic method using a photosensitive drum or a photosensitive belt, and ink is ejected from a micro nozzle array directly on the paper. There is an inkjet method for printing an image, but any method may be used. The activation of the printing operation is started by an instruction from the CPU 301. The printer unit 312 has a plurality of paper feed stages so that different paper sizes or different paper orientations can be selected, and has a paper cassette corresponding thereto.

  The operation unit 308 has an LCD display unit, and a touch panel sheet is pasted on the LCD. The operation unit 308 displays an operation screen of the system. When a displayed key is pressed, the position information is displayed on the operation unit I / F 307. To the CPU 301 via The operation unit 308 includes, for example, a start key, a stop key, an ID key, a reset key, and the like as various operation keys.

  Here, the start key of the operation unit 308 is used when starting a document image reading operation. At the center of the start key, there are two color LEDs, green and red, which indicate whether or not the start key can be used. Further, the stop key of the operation unit 308 functions to stop the operation in operation. The ID key of the operation unit 308 is used when inputting the user ID of the user. The reset key is used when initializing settings from the operation unit.

  The card reader 319 reads information stored in an IC card (for example, Sony FeliCa (registered trademark)) under the control of the CPU 301, and reads the read information via the external I / F 318. The CPU 301 is notified.

  With the configuration as described above, the multifunction peripheral 300 can transmit the image data read from the scanner 314 to the LAN 700 and print out the print data received from the LAN 700 by the printer 312.

  Also, the image data read from the scanner 314 can be faxed to the public line by the modem 306, and the image data received by fax from the public line can be output by the printer 312.

  The overall flow of pull printing in the printing system of this embodiment will be described below using FIG.

  First, the premise for executing pull printing of this embodiment will be described.

  First, a normal printer driver is installed in each client PC 100, and a logical printer is added. The logical printer has its print destination (print port) set in the print server 200.

  When the user gives a print instruction to the logical printer added to each client PC 100 and whose print destination is set in the print server 200, the pull print of this embodiment is executed. In the present embodiment, the print data transmitted from the printer driver installed on the client PC 100 to the print server 200 is an intermediate file.

  Here, the intermediate file includes, for example, intermediate data in which printing processing of an application program is recorded as a graphic command (GDI command in a Windows (registered trademark) environment) prepared by an OS (operation system) or the like. . This intermediate data is called an enhanced meta file (EMF) in the Windows (registered trademark) environment.

  The intermediate data does not depend on the final print environment (printer model, etc.), and can be converted into printer print data and printed out by the printer according to the final print environment. It is.

  Furthermore, the intermediate data can be created at a higher speed than the print data depending on the printer, and the load on the client PC 100 can be reduced. Hereinafter, the intermediate data is referred to as EMF data.

  The overall flow of pull printing according to this embodiment will be described below.

  FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating the entire flow of pull printing in the printing system of the present embodiment.

  As shown in FIG. 4, first, the user logs in to the client PC 100 ((1) -1), and the print destination (print port) is designated to the print server 200 from the application program executed on the client PC 100. A print instruction is issued to the logical printer ((1) -2).

  In response to this print instruction, the application program of the client PC 100 transmits data to the printer driver via the graphic engine. The client PC 100 connects to the print server 200 using the LPR protocol, and transmits an intermediate file (hereinafter, print data) received from the application program via the graphic engine ((2) -1). In a predetermined storage location (spool area set in advance) ((2) -2). The print server 200 does not transmit to the printing apparatus even if the print data is stored in the predetermined storage location.

  Next, the print server 200 extracts (generates) bibliographic information data from the print data received from the client PC 100 and stored in the predetermined storage location ((2) -3). The bibliographic information data is transmitted to the print management server 400 and stored in a predetermined storage location (a preset directory) of the print management server 400 using a file sharing mechanism on the network ((3) -1 ). The file name of bibliographic information data stored in a predetermined storage location of the print management server 400 will be described later.

  The print management server 400 monitors the predetermined directory, and when the bibliographic information file is stored in the predetermined directory from the client PC 100, the bibliographic information file is analyzed and the bibliographic information is stored in the bibliographic information DB (of the print management server 400). Registered in the external storage device) ((3) -2).

  When the multifunction device 300 detects an IC card that can be read by the card reader 319, the multifunction device 300 reads the personal authentication information in the IC card, and transmits the read personal authentication information to the print management server 400 as an authentication request (( 4) -1). The personal authentication information is information used for authentication and may be a manufacturing number of the IC card.

  When the print management server 400 receives the personal authentication information from the multi-function peripheral 300, the print management server 400 performs authentication processing of the personal authentication information based on the IC card authentication table stored on the external storage device of the print management server 400, and the authentication result. Is returned to the MFP 300 ((4) -2). If the authentication process is successful, the login user ID of the client PC 100 is transmitted as the authentication result.

  Next, upon receiving an authentication result (login user ID of the client PC 100) indicating that the authentication has succeeded from the print management server 400, the multifunction device 300 transmits a print data list request to the print management server 400 ((5)). -1). Note that the print data list request includes the login user ID of the client PC 100.

  When the print management server 400 receives the print data list request from the multi-function peripheral 300, the print management server 400 searches the bibliographic information DB by using the login user ID included in the print data list request and obtains the print data list corresponding to the login user ID. It is generated and returned to the MFP 300 ((5) -2).

  When the MFP 300 receives the print data list from the print management server 400, the MFP 300 displays the print data list on the UI of the operation unit 308. When the user selects print data and gives a print instruction, the multi-function device 300 transmits a print request (output instruction) for the selected print data to the print management server 400 (6). This print request includes the login user ID of the client PC 100 and the print data time stamp.

  When the print management server 400 receives a print data print request (output instruction) from the MFP 300 (6), the bibliographic information of the print data for which the output instruction has been issued, the login user ID of the client PC 100, and the print data time A search is performed from the bibliographic information DB using the stamp as a key, the print server 200 storing the corresponding print data is identified from the searched bibliographic information, and a print instruction for the corresponding print data is transmitted to the print server 200 ( 7). The print instruction is a print command including the corresponding print data file name.

  Upon receiving a print instruction from the print management server 400, the print server 200 determines (determines) a printer driver corresponding to the output destination multifunction peripheral, and transmits print data to the multifunction peripheral 300 using the LPR protocol based on the print instruction. Then, printing is performed by the multifunction machine 300 (8).

  When the MFP 300 receives print data from the print server 200, the MFP 300 executes print processing. When the printing process is completed, the multi-function device 300 transmits a print completion notification of the completed printing process to the print management server 400 (9).

  The overall flow within the print server 200 will be described below with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining the overall flow in the print server 200 shown in FIG.

  As shown in FIG. 5, the virtual printer driver 502 receives print data (intermediate file shown in FIG. 6 described later) from the client PC 100 ((2) -2 in FIG. 4) and saves it in the print data storage area 503. Here, the intermediate file of the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating the configuration of the intermediate file according to the present embodiment.

  As shown in FIG. 6, the intermediate file includes a bibliographic information part 801 and an actual data part 802 (EMF data described above) that is actually printed. In other words, the intermediate file corresponds to a file in which bibliographic information is added to EMF data.

  In this embodiment, the intermediate file is composed of the bibliographic information 801 and the entity data unit 802. However, the bibliographic information 801 and the entity data 802 are individually managed and transmitted separately from the client PC 100 to the print server 200. You may comprise so that.

  In this case, identification information is provided so that the bibliographic information 801 and the entity data 802 are associated with each other.

  Furthermore, when the bibliographic information 801 and the entity data 802 are individually managed and separately transmitted from the client PC 100 to the print server 200, the entity data including identification information that links the intermediate file to the bibliographic information 801 is used. Section 802 (EMF data described above).

  Returning to the description of FIG.

  The print data stored in the print data storage area 503 is extracted from the bibliographic information section 801 (FIG. 6) and the actual data 802 (EMF data) actually printed in the extraction service program 504 for extracting (generating) bibliographic information. (FIG. 6) is extracted ((2) -3 in FIG. 4).

  The bibliographic information is temporarily stored in the bibliographic information storage area 505 and transmitted to the print management server 400 ((3) -1 in FIG. 4). Also, the EMF data is stored in the EMF data storage area 507. The EMF data may be data obtained by deleting the bibliographic information unit 801 from the print data (intermediate file).

  The bibliographic information and the EMF data are linked by a file name or the like. Further, in order to associate the information, information for specifying where the EMF data is stored may be included in the bibliographic information.

  Upon receiving the print instruction information from the print management server 400 ((7) in FIG. 4), the print execution program 508 acquires EMF data from the EMF data storage area 507 based on the information received in the print instruction information. Further, the print execution program 508 selects printer drivers (logical printers) 510 to 512 based on the information received as the print instruction information and the default printer table 506 (FIG. 18), and acquires the acquired information to the selected printer driver. The printed EMF data is handed over to instruct printing output.

  Upon receiving the output instruction, the printer driver (logical printer) converts the EMF data to the MFP 300 and outputs it ((8) in FIG. 4). Note that the output destination is determined by using the IP address of the output destination multifunction peripheral or the IP address determined from the unique name of the output destination multifunction peripheral included in the print instruction information.

  Note that the print execution program 508 can output the output EMF data as a log, and saves the log in the image log storage area 509. The image log may be a data that has a reduced data amount by reduction or the like, such as a thumbnail image.

  The image log may be transmitted to the print management server 400 for management, or may be transmitted to an image log management server (not shown) for centralized log management.

  The virtual printer driver 502, the extraction service program 504, and the print execution program 508 are realized by the CPU of the print server 200 reading out and executing a program stored in the external memory on the RAM.

  The storage areas 503, 504, 507, and 509 are provided in the external memory of the print server 200. Further, the default printer table 506 is also held in the external memory of the print server 200.

  Hereinafter, the overall flow in the print management server 400 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining the overall flow in the print management server 400 shown in FIG.

  As illustrated in FIG. 7, when the authentication program 604 of the print management server 400 receives the authentication information from the multifunction peripheral 300 ((4) -1 in FIG. 4), the authentication program 604 executes authentication processing with reference to the authentication data 605. The authentication result is transmitted to the MFP 300 ((4) -2 in FIG. 4).

  When the print data list program 603 receives a print data list request from the multifunction device 300 ((5) -1 in FIG. 4), the print data list program 603 generates a print data list corresponding to the corresponding user with reference to the bibliographic information DB 602. Then, it is transmitted to the MFP 300 ((5) -2 in FIG. 4).

  Further, when the print instruction program 601 receives an output instruction from the multifunction peripheral 300 ((6) in FIG. 4), the print instruction program 601 stores in which print server the data output from the bibliographic information DB 602 is based on the output instruction information included in the output instruction. Search for bibliographic information indicating whether there is any. Further, the print instruction program 601 transmits to the print server 200 print instruction information including information for specifying the print data instructed to be output and the attribute (for example, IP address) of the MFP 300 that has instructed the output (see FIG. 4 (7)), the output is executed.

  The print instruction program 601, the print data list program 603, and the authentication program 604 are realized when the CPU of the print management server 400 reads and executes a program stored in the external memory on the RAM.

  It is assumed that the bibliographic information DB 602 and the authentication data 605 are held in the external memory of the print management server 400.

  The bibliographic information extraction process of the extraction service program 504 shown in FIG. 5 will be described below with reference to FIGS.

  FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing an example of a first control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention, and corresponds to the bibliographic information extraction processing of the extraction service program 504 of the print server 200 shown in FIG. In the figure, S701 to S708 indicate steps.

  First, in step S701, the extraction service program 504 monitors each area (print data storage area 503) of the intermediate file. The intermediate file is transmitted from each client PC 100 and stored in an intermediate file storage area managed by the print server 200.

  Next, in step S702, the extraction service program 504 determines whether there is a file in the intermediate file storage area. If it is determined that there is no file, the process returns to step S701.

  On the other hand, if the extraction service program 504 determines in step S702 that there is a file in the intermediate file storage area, the extraction service program 504 proceeds to step S703.

  In step S703, the extraction service program 504 loads the file in each intermediate file area onto the RAM.

  In step S704, the extraction service program 504 determines whether the identifier in the header 801 of the file loaded in step S703 matches the identifier indicating the intermediate file. Note that the identifier is assigned by the virtual printer driver of the client PC 100 and includes a unique code that can be identified as an intermediate file.

  If the extraction service program 504 determines in step S704 that the identifier in the header of the file loaded in step S703 does not match the identifier indicating the intermediate file, the process returns to step S701.

  On the other hand, if the extraction service program 504 determines in step S704 that the identifier in the header 801 of the file loaded in step S703 matches the identifier indicating the intermediate file, the process proceeds to step S705.

  In step S705, the extraction service program 504 decomposes the intermediate file into the bibliographic information unit 801 and the entity data unit 802 (EMF data).

  In step S706, the extraction service program 504 transmits the bibliographic information (FIG. 9) disassembled in step S705 to the print management server 400 and registers it in the bibliographic information storage area 505 of the print server 200. For example, when the print data is described in PostScript, the bibliographic information is extracted from the PostScript tag information, and a bibliographic information file (FIG. 9) is generated based on the bibliographic information. You may do it. Here, the bibliographic information file will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 9 shows an example of a bibliographic information file according to the present invention.

  Information extracted as bibliographic information from the intermediate file includes “user (owner) ID”, “document name of print data”, “number of copies”, “number of pages”, “one side or both sides”, “paper size”, “Job identifier”. ".

  Note that “print data storage computer name / IP address” in the bibliographic information file shown in FIG. 9 is the computer name / IP address of the print server 200 itself.

  Further, the “time stamp” in the bibliographic information file shown in FIG. 9 is added by the print management server 400 when it is registered in the bibliographic information DB of the print management server 400.

  The bibliographic information registered in the bibliographic information DB of the print management server 400 may be configured to be deleted at a timing after a certain time after registration. Further, the present invention can be realized without the bibliographic information storage area 505 in the print server 200.

  Returning to the flowchart of FIG.

  In step S707 of FIG. 8, the extraction service program 504 stores the EMF data extracted in step S705 in the EMF data storage area 507.

  Further, in step S708, the extraction service program 504 deletes the intermediate file from each area (print data storage area 503) of the intermediate file, and ends the process.

  Hereinafter, with reference to FIGS. 10 to 13, a pull print process in the multifunction machine 300 illustrated in FIG. 1 will be described.

  FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing an example of a second control processing procedure in the printing system of the present invention, and corresponds to the pull print processing in the multifunction peripheral 300 shown in FIG. Note that the processing of this flowchart is realized by the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 shown in FIG. 3 executing a program read from the ROM 303 or a program read from the HDD 304 onto the RAM 302. In the figure, S401 to S425 indicate each step.

  First, in step S401, the CPU 301 of the multifunction device 300 controls to display a default display screen (not shown) on the display unit of the operation unit 308. In step S402, the card reader 319 causes an authentication card (IC card) to be displayed. It is determined whether or not it has been detected.

  If the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S402 that the card reader 319 has detected the authentication card (IC card), the card reader 319 reads data in the authentication card (IC card) in step S403. Then, the card manufacturing number stored in the authentication card as the identification ID is acquired.

  Next, in step S404, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 sends the IC card authentication request command (FIG. 11C) including the command identifier of the IC card authentication request command and the card manufacturing number acquired in step S403 to the print management server 400. ((4) -1 in FIG. 4), and the process proceeds to step S405. Note that an IC card authentication table (not shown) is stored in the external memory of the print management server 400, and the print management server 400 performs an authentication process based on the card manufacturing number of the IC card received from the MFP 300. It can be carried out.

  FIG. 11 is a diagram illustrating an example of a command transmitted from the MFP 300 illustrated in FIG. 1 to the print management server 400. 12A corresponds to a print data list request command, FIG. 12B corresponds to a print request command or a delete command, and FIG. 12C corresponds to an IC card approval request command.

  Hereinafter, the description returns to the flowchart of FIG.

  Next, in step S405 of FIG. 10, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 determines the authentication result returned from the print management server 400, and if it is determined that the authentication result indicating that the authentication error has occurred is returned. In step S406, the error display screen is controlled to be displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308. When the OK button 1401 is pressed on the error display screen, the process returns to step S401, and the default screen is displayed again. .

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 acquires the login user ID of the client PC 100 as the authentication result returned from the print management server 400 in step S405, it determines that the authentication is successful (authentication OK). The process proceeds to step S415.

  If the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S402 that the card reader 319 has not detected an authentication card (IC card), the keyboard input button is pressed on the default screen in step S407 ( Whether there is a keyboard input instruction). In step S407, if the CPU 301 of the multi-function device 300 determines that a keyboard input instruction has been given, control is performed to display the key input screen shown in FIG. 12 on the display unit of the operation unit 308.

  FIG. 12 is a diagram illustrating an example of a key input screen displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308 of the multifunction peripheral 300 illustrated in FIG.

  In step S409 in FIG. 10, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 waits for input of the user ID and password on the key input screen, and detects input of the user ID and password on the key input screen. The process proceeds to S410. Specifically, when there is an input instruction to the user ID 901 and the password 902 on the key input screen, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 controls display of a keyboard screen (not shown) on the display unit of the operation unit 308, and displays the keyboard screen. When the user ID 901 and the password 902 are input using the login button 903 or the top screen button 904 as a return button is pressed, the process proceeds to step S410.

  Next, in step S410, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines whether or not the top screen button 904 as a return button has been pressed. If it is determined that the top screen button 904 as a return button has been pressed, The processing is returned to step S401, and the display of the default screen is controlled again.

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S410 that the top screen button 904 as the return button has not been pressed, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 presses the login button 903 in step S411. If it is determined that the login button 903 has not been pressed, the process returns to step S409.

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the multifunction device 300 determines in step S411 that the login button 903 has been pressed, the CPU of the multifunction device 300 in step S412, the user ID and password entered in the user ID 901 and password 902, respectively. Is transmitted to the directory service server 600 as an authentication server via the login service PC 500.

  Next, in step S413, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines the authentication result returned from the directory service server 600 via the login service PC 500, and determines that the authentication result indicating that the authentication is an error has been returned. In step S414, an error display screen (not shown) is controlled to be displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308. When the OK button is pressed on the error display screen, the process returns to step S401, and the default screen is displayed again. Control display.

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S413 that an authentication result indicating that the authentication was successful is returned as the authentication result returned from the print management server 400, the process proceeds to step S415.

  Next, in step S415, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 sends the command identifier and user ID of the print data list request command to the print management server 400 (the user ID returned from the print management server 400 during the authentication process). Or a print data list request command (FIG. 12 (a)) including the user ID transmitted to the directory service server 600) ((5) -1 in FIG. 4), and the process proceeds to step S416. Proceed.

  Next, in step S416 in FIG. 10, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 determines whether or not the print data list data returned from the print management server 400 has been successfully received, and the reception of the print data list data has failed. If it is determined, the process proceeds to step S417, and an error display screen (not shown) is controlled to be displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308. When the OK button is pressed on the error display screen, the process proceeds to step S418. Then, control is performed so that an empty print data list screen 1000 (FIG. 13, where the print data list 1001 is blank) is displayed on the display unit.

  In another embodiment, an empty print data list screen 1000 may be displayed without displaying an error. In this case, although not shown in the flowchart, when the screen switching button 1002 is continuously pressed twice on the print data list screen 1000, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 again prints a print data list request command (FIG. 11). It is assumed that (a)) is transmitted to the print management server 400.

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S416 that the print data list data returned from the print management server 400 has been successfully received, the process proceeds to step S418, and the received print data list data is received. Is controlled to display the print data list data screen (FIG. 13) on the display unit of the operation unit 308, and the process proceeds to step S419.

  Although not shown in the flowchart, if it is determined in step S416 that the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 has received a message indicating no data from the print management server 400 instead of the print data list data, in step S418. Then, control is performed to display an empty print data list data screen on the display unit of the operation unit 308, and a message screen with no data (not shown) is displayed on the empty print data list data screen. Then, when the OK button is pressed on the message screen without data, the screen without data is closed, and control is made to proceed to step S419.

  Note that the print data list screen 1000 shown in FIG. 13 corresponds to a user who has logged in to the MFP 300 and print data that can be printed by the MFP 300 (for details, see the MFP 300 in detail). It corresponds to a screen that displays a list of bibliographic information data corresponding to print data that can be printed (or permitted to be printed).

  In step S419, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 waits for input of print data selection, print instruction, erase instruction, screen switching instruction, etc. on the print data list screen 1000 (FIG. 13), and print data list screen 1000. If an input at is detected, the process proceeds to step S420.

  FIG. 13 is a diagram illustrating an example of a print data list screen and a layout setting screen displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308 of the multifunction peripheral 300 illustrated in FIG.

  In the print data list screen 1000, reference numeral 1005 denotes a layout setting button. When this button is pressed (touched), the CPU 301 of the multi-function peripheral 300 shifts the screen to the layout setting screen 1010 and enables layout setting. .

  Hereinafter, the description returns to the flowchart of FIG.

  Next, in step S420, the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines whether or not screen switching is instructed by the screen switching button 1002 on the print data list screen. The process proceeds to S421, and control is performed so that another processing screen is displayed on the display unit of the operation unit 308, and the process proceeds to another process.

  On the other hand, when the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 performs layout setting on the print data list screen 1000 in step S420 and the screen setting is instructed by the layout setting button 1003, in step S421, the layout setting screen 1010 (FIG. 13). Is displayed.

  When various setting information is selected and input on the layout setting screen 1010 and the OK button 1011 is instructed to be pressed (touched), the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 stores the layout setting information in the RAM 302, and the process proceeds to S422.

  If it is determined that the print layout setting button 1005 has not been pressed, the process proceeds to step S422.

  Next, in step S <b> 422, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 determines whether a print instruction has been given by the layout setting button 1003 on the print data list screen 1000. If the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S422 that a print instruction has been issued, the process advances to step S423 to print the print data selected in the print data list 1001 (as shown in FIG. 11B). , Print request command request information “1”, user ID, data information of the print data selected in the print data list 1001 (for example, document name, job name, time stamp (multiple) determined at the most, etc.), in S421 The set layout information)) is transmitted to the print management server 400 ((6) in FIG. 4), and the process returns to step S415. If a print instruction is issued when no print data is selected in the print data list 1001, a message to select print data is displayed, and then the process returns to step S415.

  On the other hand, if the CPU 301 of the multifunction device 300 determines in step S422 that the print instruction is not issued by the print button 1003 on the print data list screen 1000, the process proceeds to step S424, and the CPU 301 of the multifunction device 300 In the print data list screen 1000, it is determined whether or not an erasure instruction has been given by the erasure button 1004. If the CPU 301 of the MFP 300 determines in step S424 that an erasure instruction has been issued, in step S425, a request to delete the print data selected in the print data list 1001 (as shown in FIG. 15B). Deletion request command request information “2”, user ID, data information of the print data selected from the print data list 1001 (for example, document name, job name, time stamp etc. (several determined), layout information ( In case of deletion, it is empty)))) is transmitted to the print management server 400, and the process returns to step S415. If an erasure instruction is issued when no print data is selected in the print data list 1001, a message to select print data is displayed, and then control is returned to step S415 as it is. And

  Although not shown in the flowchart of FIG. 10, when receiving an error notification indicating that command reception has failed from the print management server 400, the CPU 301 of the multifunction peripheral 300 retransmits the command to the print management server 400. Control to do.

  The print data list generation process in the print data list program 603 of the print management server 400 shown in FIG. 7 and the print instruction process in the print instruction program 601 will be described below with reference to FIGS.

  FIG. 14 is a flowchart showing an example of a fourth control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention, and corresponds to the print data list generation processing in the print data list program 603 of the print management server 400 shown in FIG. In the figure, S1401 to S1406 indicate each step.

  First, in step S1401, the print data list program 603 determines whether a print data list request command (FIG. 11A) has been received from the MFP 300 (the print data list request command is transmitted to S415 in FIG. 10). Applicable).

  If it is determined in step S1401 that the print data list program 603 has not received a print data list request command, the processing in step S1401 is repeated.

  On the other hand, if the print data list program 603 determines in step S1401 that the print data list request command has been received, the process advances to step S1402.

  Next, in step S1402, the print data list program 603 analyzes the received print data list command. In step S1403, based on the analyzed user ID, the corresponding bibliographic information is searched from the bibliographic information DB.

  Each bibliographic information is associated with a user who has performed printing in the bibliographic information DB, and this user is configured to be associated with a user ID obtained by command analysis. Further, the bibliographic information obtained by searching may be configured to be managed by setting a flag so that it is not duplicated.

  In step S1404, the print data list program 603 determines whether bibliographic information (list data) has been acquired in step S1403. If it is determined that the bibliographic information (list data) could not be acquired, the print data list program 603 transmits an error message to the multifunction device 300 (the multifunction device that received the command in S1401) in step S1406, The process ends.

  On the other hand, if the print data list program 603 determines in step S1404 that bibliographic information (list data) has been acquired in step S1403, the process proceeds to step S145. It should be noted that a plurality of bibliographic information can be searched and list data is generated.

In step S1405, the print data list program 603
The bibliographic information (list data) acquired in step S1403 is transmitted to the multifunction device 300 (the multifunction device that has received the command in step S1401), and the process ends.

  FIG. 15 is a flowchart showing an example of a third control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention, and corresponds to the print instruction process in the print instruction program 601 of the print management server 400 shown in FIG. In the figure, S1101 to S1103 indicate each step.

  First, in step S1101, the print instruction program 601 determines whether or not a print request command (FIG. 11B) has been received from the multifunction device 300 (the transmission of the print request command corresponds to S423 in FIG. 10).

  If it is determined in step S1101 that the print instruction program 601 has not received a print request command, the processing in step S1101 is repeated.

  On the other hand, if the print instruction program 601 determines in step S1101 that a print request command has been received, the process advances to step S1102.

  Next, in step S1102, the print instruction program 601 searches for the corresponding bibliographic information from the bibliographic information DB 602 based on the request data information for identifying print data in the print request command (FIG. 11B). get.

  In step S1103, the print instruction program 601 sends print data corresponding to the bibliographic information data to the print execution program 508 in the print server 200 corresponding to the IP address in the bibliographic information data acquired in step S1102. Print instruction information (print instruction) (FIG. 16) is issued to issue a print instruction ((7) in FIG. 4). Note that after the print instruction, the print instruction program 601 deletes the bibliographic information that has been printed from the bibliographic information DB 602.

  Although not shown in this flowchart, if a delete command (FIG. 11B) is received from the multi-function apparatus 300 in step S1101, the print instruction program 601 is used to identify print data in the delete command. Based on the requested data information, the corresponding bibliographic information is retrieved from the bibliographic information DB 602 and acquired. Then, the print instruction program 601 sends the print instruction information (deletion instruction) for the print data corresponding to the bibliographic information data to the print execution program 508 in the print server 200 corresponding to the IP address in the acquired bibliographic information data. ) (FIG. 16) to issue a deletion instruction. After the deletion instruction, the print instruction program 601 deletes the bibliographic information that has been printed from the bibliographic information DB 602.

  FIG. 16 is a diagram illustrating an example of print instruction information transmitted to the print server 200 by the print instruction program 601 of the print management server 400 illustrated in FIG.

  As shown in FIG. 16, the print instruction information includes a print instruction / deletion instruction, an IP address of the multifunction device, a full path of the print data file, layout information, printer description language information, and the like.

  Hereinafter, a print execution process in the print execution program 508 of the print server 200 shown in FIG. 5 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 17 is a flowchart showing an example of a fifth control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention, and corresponds to the print execution processing in the print execution program 508 of the print server 200 shown in FIG. In the figure, S1301 to S1313 indicate steps.

  First, in step S1301, the print execution program 508 determines whether print instruction information (FIG. 16) has been received from the print management server 400. If the print execution program 508 determines that the print instruction information (FIG. 16) has not been received, the process of step S1301 is repeated.

  On the other hand, if the print execution program 508 determines in step S1301 that the print instruction information (FIG. 16) has been received from the print management server 400, the process advances to step S1302.

  Next, in step S1302, the print execution program 508 analyzes the print instruction information (FIG. 16) received in step S1301, and in step S1303, determines whether the print instruction information is a print instruction or a delete instruction based on the analysis result. judge. If it is determined that the instruction is a deletion instruction, the print execution program 508 advances the process to step S1311, deletes the corresponding print data, and ends the process.

  On the other hand, if the print execution program 508 determines in step S1303 that the print instruction information is a print instruction, the print execution program 508 determines in step S1304 based on the IP address of the MFP in the print instruction information. Search for a printer driver.

Next, in step S1305, print execution program 508, when it is determined that determines whether the appropriate printer driver (logical printer) is present, the appropriate printer driver (logical printer) is present, step The process proceeds to S1307.

  In step S1307, the print execution program 508 selects the corresponding printer driver (logical printer) and advances the process to step S1308.

  On the other hand, if the print execution program 508 determines in step S1305 that the corresponding printer driver (logical printer) does not exist, the process proceeds to step S1306.

  In step S1306, the print execution program 508 refers to the default printer table 506 to determine a printer driver. Specifically, the print execution program 508 acquires a printer driver (logical printer) corresponding to the printer description language information in the print instruction information (FIG. 16) from the default printer table 506, and acquires the printer driver (logical printer). decide. Here, the default printer table 506 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 18 is a diagram for explaining the default printer table 506 shown in FIG.

  As shown in FIG. 18, the default printer table 506 associates a printer description language (PDL) 901 with a printer driver (logical printer) 902. It is possible to select and determine the corresponding printer driver (logical printer) from the printer description language.

  Hereinafter, the description returns to the flowchart of FIG.

  Next, in step S1311, the print execution program 508 sets the port of the printer driver (logical printer) determined in step S1306 with the IP address obtained in step S1302. When setting a port, the port setting previously set in the printer driver (logical printer) is stored in a storage area such as a RAM or a hard disk. Then, the process proceeds to step S1308.

  In step S1308, the print execution program 508 sets layout information acquired from the received print instruction information in the printer driver (logical printer).

  In step S1309, the print execution program 508 reads the print data (EMF data) from the EMF data storage area 507 based on the file path of the print data acquired from the received print instruction information.

  In step S1310, the print execution program 508 executes LPR printing on the print data (EMF data) read from the EMF data storage area 507. Then, after the print output is completed, the print execution program 508 deletes the EMF data from the EMF data storage area 507.

  More specifically, the print execution program 508 instructs the OS to print EMF data. After the print instruction, the data is passed to the printer driver through GDI (Graphic Device Interface) and output to the multi-function device 300.

  Note that the print instruction is issued to the OS, but the print instruction may be directly issued to the printer driver.

  In step S1312, the print execution program 508 determines whether the output printer driver is a default printer driver. If it is determined that the output printer driver is the default printer driver, in step S1313, the print execution program 508 restores the output port setting of the default printer driver. That is, the setting previously set for the output port of the default printer driver is read from the RAM or the like and set in the default printer driver. Then, the process ends.

  On the other hand, if the print execution program 508 determines in step S1312 that the printer driver output in step S1310 is not the default printer driver, the process is terminated.

  Note that the print execution program 508 may be configured to visualize (for example, convert to PDF) the EMF data before deleting the EMF data and store the visualized EMF data in the image log storage area 509 as an image log. The image log may be a data that has a reduced data amount by reduction or the like, such as a thumbnail image.

  As described above, when the print management server 400 outputs a print instruction designating intermediate file format print data to the print server 200, the printer information (IP address or printer description) received from the printer (multifunction device 300). The print server 200 determines a printer driver (logical printer) to be output based on the printer information and transmits the print data in the meta format by the determined printer driver. (EMF data) can be printed out easily from a desired model and a desired printer.

  Further, by outputting the print data in the intermediate file format, it is possible to configure a system that can output even between printer models having incompatible printer description languages and between devices having different options.

  Further, the layout setting (print setting) is also changed on the printer side, and the user can select the desired model, without knowing which print server the print data is stored in. It is possible to easily print out from a desired printer with a desired print setting.

  In order to properly select the printer driver from the information of the MFP 300 such as the IP address, a printer conventionally required when outputting the print data in the intermediate file format through the printer driver again depending on the model and options The user's work of specifying the driver can be reduced.

  Therefore, even in a system configured by a plurality of printing apparatuses having different printer description languages, device characteristics, and option configurations, the flexible print data stored in a plurality of print servers can be easily output from a desired printing apparatus. A simple pull-print environment.

  Further, it is possible to appropriately change print settings such as layout change on the printer side during output.

  Further, by visualizing the intermediate file, it is possible to save a print image log. Note that this image log may be an image log with a reduced data amount, such as a thumbnail image. Thereby, it is possible to save memory resources for storing image logs.

  In the above-described embodiment, the print server 200 is assumed to be realized by a unique application applied to this system, which is a virtual printer driver. However, for example, it is realized by an EMF spool in a Windows (registered trademark) environment. You may comprise as follows.

  In this configuration, the above-described virtual printer driver is a printer driver dedicated to EMF spooling, and the client PC 100 prepares a printer driver (logical printer (also referred to as a printer object)) for EMF spooling. Printing is performed on a printer driver (logical printer).

  At this time, the intermediate file (EMF data) stored in the spool folder of the printer driver dedicated to the EMF spool of the print server 200 is saved in a separate storage area, and the bibliographic information of the intermediate file is transmitted to the print management server 400.

  The print server 200 is configured to select a corresponding printer driver and issue an intermediate file output instruction to the printer driver when a print instruction is issued from the print management server 400, as in the above-described embodiment. .

  It should be noted that the configuration and contents of the various data are not limited to this, and it is needless to say that the various data are configured in various configurations and contents depending on the application and purpose.

  Although one embodiment has been described above, the present invention can take an embodiment as, for example, a system, apparatus, method, program, or recording medium, and specifically includes a plurality of devices. The present invention may be applied to a system including a single device.

  The configuration of a data processing program that can be read by the information processing apparatuses (print server 200, print management server 400, and multifunction machine 300) that constitute the print system according to the present invention will be described below with reference to the memory map shown in FIG. .

  FIG. 19 shows a recording medium (storage medium) for storing various data processing programs that can be read by the information processing apparatus (print server 200, print management server 400, multifunction machine 300) constituting the print system according to the present invention. FIG.

  Although not specifically shown, information for managing a program group stored in the recording medium, for example, version information, creator, etc. is also stored, and information depending on the OS on the program reading side, for example, a program is identified and displayed. Icons may also be stored.

  Further, data depending on various programs is also managed in the directory. In addition, when a program or data to be installed is compressed, a program to be decompressed may be stored.

  The functions shown in FIGS. 8, 10, 14, 15, and 17 in this embodiment may be performed by a host computer by a program installed from the outside. In this case, the present invention is applied even when an information group including a program is supplied to the output device from a recording medium such as a CD-ROM, a flash memory, or an FD, or from an external recording medium via a network. Is.

  As described above, a recording medium in which a program code of software for realizing the functions of the above-described embodiments is recorded is supplied to the system or apparatus, and the computer (or CPU or MPU) of the system or apparatus is stored in the recording medium. It goes without saying that the object of the present invention can also be achieved by reading and executing the program code.

  In this case, the program code itself read from the recording medium realizes the novel function of the present invention, and the recording medium storing the program code constitutes the present invention.

  As a recording medium for supplying the program code, for example, a flexible disk, hard disk, optical disk, magneto-optical disk, CD-ROM, CD-R, DVD-ROM, magnetic tape, nonvolatile memory card, ROM, EEPROM, A silicon disk or the like can be used.

  Further, by executing the program code read by the computer, not only the functions of the above-described embodiments are realized, but also an OS (operating system) or the like running on the computer based on the instruction of the program code. It goes without saying that a case where the function of the above-described embodiment is realized by performing part or all of the actual processing and the processing is included.

  Furthermore, after the program code read from the recording medium is written in a memory provided in a function expansion board inserted in the computer or a function expansion unit connected to the computer, the function expansion is performed based on the instruction of the program code. It goes without saying that the case where the CPU or the like provided in the board or the function expansion unit performs part or all of the actual processing and the functions of the above-described embodiments are realized by the processing.

  Further, the present invention may be applied to a system composed of a plurality of devices or an apparatus composed of a single device. Needless to say, the present invention can be applied to a case where the present invention is achieved by supplying a program to a system or apparatus. In this case, by reading a recording medium storing a program represented by software for achieving the present invention into the system or apparatus, the system or apparatus can enjoy the effects of the present invention.

  Furthermore, by downloading and reading out a program represented by software for achieving the present invention from a server, database, etc. on a network using a communication program, the system or apparatus can enjoy the effects of the present invention. It becomes.

  In addition, all the structures which combined said each embodiment and its modification are also included in this invention.

1 is a system configuration diagram illustrating an example of a configuration of a print system to which a print server, a print management server, and a printing apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention can be applied. FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a hardware configuration of an information processing apparatus applicable to the client PC, print server, print management server, login service PC, and directory service server shown in FIG. FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of a controller unit of the multifunction peripheral illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating an overall flow of pull printing in the printing system of the present embodiment. It is a figure explaining the whole flow in the print server shown in FIG. It is a figure explaining the structure of the intermediate file of this embodiment. FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an overall flow in the print management server illustrated in FIG. 1. 6 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a first control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the bibliographic information file in this invention. 6 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a second control processing procedure in the printing system of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating an example of a command transmitted from the multifunction peripheral illustrated in FIG. 1 to a print management server. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating an example of a key input screen displayed on a display unit of an operation unit of the multifunction peripheral illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating an example of a print data list screen and a layout setting screen that are displayed on the display unit of the operation unit of the multifunction peripheral illustrated in FIG. 3. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a fourth control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a third control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention. FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating an example of print instruction information transmitted to the print server by the print instruction program of the print management server illustrated in FIG. 7. 10 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a fifth control processing procedure in the print system of the present invention. FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining a default printer table shown in FIG. 5. A memory map of a recording medium (storage medium) that stores various data processing programs that can be read by an information processing apparatus (print server, print management server, multi-function peripheral) constituting the print system according to the present invention will be described. FIG.

Explanation of symbols

100 client PC
200 Print Server 300 Multifunction Machine 400 Print Management Server 500 Login Service PC
502 Virtual Printer Driver 503 Extraction Service Program 506 Default Printer Table 508 Print Execution Program 600 Directory Service Server 601 Print Instruction Program 700 LAN
800 WAN

Claims (9)

  1. An information processing apparatus having a printer driver, a bibliographic information storage server that manages bibliographic information of data to be printed in a format independent of a printing apparatus generated by using the printer driver, and a print server that can communicate via a network. And
    Data receiving means for receiving data to be printed in a format independent of the printing apparatus from the information processing apparatus;
    Data storage means for storing the received print target data;
    Bibliographic information transmitting means for transmitting print server specifying information for specifying the print server and bibliographic information including print target data specifying information for specifying the stored print target data to the bibliographic information storage server;
    Printer driver storage means for storing a printer driver;
    Print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data selected from the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in, transmitted from the bibliographic information storage server according to the print server specifying information, and the print apparatus selecting the print target data Printing instruction information receiving means for receiving printing instruction information including printing apparatus identification information for specifying a printing apparatus transmitted from the printer, and printing instruction information including printing apparatus information of printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus;
    Print target data specifying means for specifying print target data to be output in accordance with the received print target data specifying information;
    As a first step, according to the received printing device specifying information, a printer driver specifying means for specifying a printer driver corresponding to the printing device that has selected the print target data;
    Generate print data in a format depending on the printing device that has selected the print target data from the specified print target data using the specified printer driver to print the print target data on the selected printing device. Print data generation means for
    Port information setting means for setting port information of the printer driver in accordance with the printing device specifying information in order to enable printing on the printing device to which the user has logged in,
    Said printer driver specifying means, when the printer driver corresponding to the printing device selected the print target data in the first stage can not be identified, as a second stage, according to the received printer language information, temporarily It is characterized by specifying the printer driver to use ,
    The port information setting means, to switch the port to temporarily use the printer driver identified in the second step, to set the port information of the printer driver identified in the second step, the print data The print server according to claim 1, wherein after the print data generated by the generation unit is printed, a setting is made to return the port information set by the port information setting unit to the port information before setting .
  2.   The print server according to claim 1, wherein the print server and the bibliographic information storage server are configured as separate housings.
  3. The print instruction information includes print setting information designated by a printing apparatus to which the user has logged in,
    Setting means for setting the print setting information for a printer driver specified by the printer driver specifying means according to printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus ;
    The print data generation means uses a printer driver in which the print setting information is set;
    Print server according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that.
  4. The bibliographic information is information added to the print target data,
    The bibliographic information transmitting means transmits bibliographic information added to the print target data.
    Print server according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that.
  5. An information processing apparatus including a printer driver, a print server that stores print target data in a format that does not depend on a printing apparatus generated by using the printer driver, and a bibliographic information storage server that manages bibliographic information of the print target data A printing system in which a printing apparatus can communicate via a network,
    The print server
    Data receiving means for receiving data to be printed in a format independent of the printing device from the information processing device;
    Data storage means for storing the received print target data;
    Bibliographic information transmitting means for transmitting print server specifying information for specifying the print server and bibliographic information including print target data specifying information for specifying the stored print target data to the bibliographic information storage server;
    Printer driver storage means for storing a printer driver;
    Print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data selected from the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in, transmitted from the bibliographic information storage server according to the print server specifying information, and the print apparatus selecting the print target data Printing instruction information receiving means for receiving printing instruction information including printing apparatus identification information for specifying a printing apparatus transmitted from the printer, and printing instruction information including printing apparatus information of printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus;
    Print target data specifying means for specifying print target data to be output in accordance with the received print target data specifying information;
    As a first step, according to the received printing device specifying information, a printer driver specifying means for specifying a printer driver corresponding to the printing device that has selected the print target data;
    Generate print data in a format depending on the printing device that has selected the print target data from the specified print target data using the specified printer driver to print the print target data on the selected printing device. Print data generation means for
    Port information setting means for setting port information of the printer driver in accordance with the printing device specifying information in order to enable printing on the printing device to which the user has logged in ,
    If the printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that selected the print target data in the first step cannot be specified, the printer driver specifying unit is temporarily used as the second step according to the received printer language information. It is characterized by specifying the printer driver for
    The port information setting means sets the port information of the printer driver specified in the second stage to switch the port in order to temporarily use the printer driver specified in the second stage, and the print data After executing the printing of the print data generated by the generation unit, the setting is made to return from the port information set by the port information setting unit to the port information before setting,
    The printing apparatus includes:
    Print target data list display means for displaying a list of print target data including print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data;
    Print target data selecting means for selecting print target data to be printed from the list;
    Print target data output instruction means for instructing output of the selected print target data;
    Printing device for printing target data specifying information for specifying the printing target data , printing device specifying information for specifying the printing device, and printer language information interpretable by the printing device in accordance with the output instruction Print data receiving means for receiving print data corresponding to the print target data specifying information from the print server by transmitting print instruction information including information to the bibliographic information storage server;
    Printing means for printing the received print data;
    A printing system comprising:
  6. The print system according to claim 5 , wherein the print server and the bibliographic information storage server are configured as separate housings.
  7. An information processing apparatus including a printer driver and a bibliographic information storage server that manages bibliographic information of print target data in a format independent of the printing apparatus generated by using the printer driver can communicate with each other via a network. A print method in a print server for storing
    A data receiving step of receiving, from the information processing apparatus, print target data in a format independent of the printing apparatus;
    A data storage step of storing the received print target data in a data storage means;
    Bibliographic information transmission step for transmitting print server specifying information for specifying the print server and bibliographic information including print target data specifying information for specifying the stored print target data to the bibliographic information storage server;
    Print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data selected from the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in, transmitted from the bibliographic information storage server according to the print server specifying information, and the print apparatus selecting the print target data A printing instruction information receiving step for receiving printing instruction information including printing apparatus specifying information for specifying a printing apparatus transmitted from the printer, and printing instruction information including printing apparatus information of printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus;
    A print target data specifying step for specifying print target data to be output in accordance with the received print target data specifying information;
    As a first step, according to the received printing device specifying information, a printer driver specifying step for specifying a printer driver corresponding to the printing device that has selected the print target data;
    Generate print data in a format depending on the printing device that has selected the print target data from the specified print target data using the specified printer driver to print the print target data on the selected printing device. Print data generation step to perform,
    A port information setting step for setting port information of the printer driver in accordance with the printing device specifying information in order to enable printing on the printing device to which the user has logged in ,
    In the printer driver specifying step, when a printer driver corresponding to the printing device that has selected the print target data in the first step cannot be specified, a second step is performed according to printer language information interpretable by the printing device. , Characterized by specifying a printer driver for temporary use,
    The port information setting step sets port information of the printer driver specified in the second stage so as to switch the port in order to temporarily use the printer driver specified in the second stage, and the print data A printing method, comprising: after executing printing of the print data generated in the generation step, setting to return the port information set in the port information setting step to the port information before setting .
  8. An information processing apparatus including a printer driver, a bibliographic information storage server that manages bibliographic information of print target data in a format that does not depend on a printing apparatus generated using the printer driver, and a print server that can communicate via a network,
    Data receiving means for receiving, from the information processing apparatus, print target data in a format independent of the printing apparatus;
    Data storage means for storing the received print target data;
    Bibliographic information transmitting means for transmitting print server specifying information for specifying the print server and bibliographic information including print target data specifying information for specifying the stored print target data to the bibliographic information storage server;
    Printer driver storage means for storing a printer driver;
    Print target data specifying information for specifying the print target data selected from the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in, transmitted from the bibliographic information storage server according to the print server specifying information, and the print apparatus selecting the print target data Printing instruction information receiving means for receiving printing instruction information including printing apparatus specifying information for specifying a printing apparatus transmitted from the printer and printing apparatus information including printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus;
    Print target data specifying means for specifying print target data to be output in accordance with the received print target data specifying information;
    As a first step, printer driver specifying means for specifying a printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that has selected the print target data according to the received printing apparatus specifying information;
    Generate print data in a format depending on the printing device that has selected the print target data from the specified print target data using the specified printer driver to print the print target data on the selected printing device. Print data generation means
    In order to enable printing on the printing apparatus to which the user has logged in, according to the printing apparatus specifying information, function as port information setting means for setting port information of the printer driver ,
    If the printer driver corresponding to the printing apparatus that has selected the print target data in the first stage cannot be identified in the first stage, the printer driver identifying unit, according to the printer language information interpretable by the printing apparatus, as the second stage , Characterized by specifying a printer driver for temporary use,
    The port information setting means sets the port information of the printer driver specified in the second stage to switch the port in order to temporarily use the printer driver specified in the second stage, and the print data A program for performing a setting to return the port data set by the port information setting unit to the port information before setting after the print data generated by the generation unit is printed .
  9. A computer-readable recording medium on which the program according to claim 8 is recorded.
JP2005375499A 2005-12-27 2005-12-27 Print server, print system, print method, program, and recording medium Active JP4623469B2 (en)

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