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What Types of Datastreams Can Different Printer Configurations Support?

Troubleshooting


Problem

This document provides information on the types of datastreams that can be printed to different printers depending upon the capabilities of the printer and how the printer is configured on the IBM System i products.

Resolving The Problem

The types of datastreams that can be printed to different printers depends upon the capabilities of the printer and how the printer is configured on the IBM System i products. This document is not intended to be all inclusive but discusses the most common types of datastreams and printer configurations. The datastreams discussed in this document are: *SCS, *IPDS, *AFPDS, *LINE, *AFPDSLINE, *USERASCII and Postscript Level 1. Later in this document is a chart of the basic printer configurations and whether they support the various types of datastreams. There might be some exceptions to this chart depending upon the release of the operating system or other factors.

This document was last updated on 7 January 2010.




Types of Data Streams on IBM OS/400 or IBM i5/OS

*SCS - SNA Character String. It has a relatively simple structure. It does not support most of the Data Description Specification (DDS) keywords.

*IPDS - Intelligent Printer Data Stream. It is a more complex type of data stream that can merge different types of data together at printing time to have an integrated page. Examples of the different types of data include text, raster images, bar codes, and graphics. This type of data stream also supports two-way communication between the printer driver and the printer, which provides for improved exception messaging. It supports the Data Description Specification (DDS) keywords.

*AFPDS - Advanced Function Printing Data Stream. It is a more structured data stream that is divided into components called objects. It can be used for text, images, graphics, bar codes, and AFP resources like page segments, overlays, fonts, form definitions, and page definitions. It supports the Data Description Specification (DDS) keywords.

*LINE - Line Data Stream. It was intended to be used for printing to line printers from the IBM® System/390®. Therefore, it is a simple data stream that references a page definition and a form definition. It does not contain all the information needed for printing to page printers.

Note: Setting the Printer device type (DEVTYPE) parameter to *LINE and setting the Convert line data (CVTLINDTA) parameter to *YES on the Create Printer File (CRTPRTF), the Change Printer File (CHGPRTF) command or the Override with Printer File (OVRPRTF) command will result in an *AFPDS spooled file when running R510 OS/400 and above. This new functionality allows an IBM Infoprint Designer spooled file to be printed to an ASCII laser printer using Host Print Transform (HPT). However, R510 PTF SI03785 (or a superseding PTF) should be applied to avoid a problem with Infoprint Designer spooled files. For more information, refer to APAR SE04360, OSP-F/EMMONITOREVENT-MSGMCH2001-T/QAKACNVL OVRPRTF CVTLINDTA(*YES) ON 2 OPEN PRTF'S CAUSES MCH2001 ().

*AFPDSLINE - AFPDS Line Data Stream. It is a mixture of AFPDS and LINE data streams.

*USERASCII - ASCII (American National Standard Code for Information Interchange) Data Stream. There is no formal architectural standard that ASCII printers must conform to. There are several forms of ASCII printer data streams including HP PCL (Printer Control Language), Adobe PostScript, IBM PPDS (Personal Printer Data Stream) and Ricoh RPCS (Refined Printing Command Stream). *USERASCII spooled files can be created by in-house or third-party applications running on the IBM System i, by sending print data from a Microsoft Windows PC using a Windows printer driver and an IBM iSeries NetServer print share, or by sending print data from a Windows or Linux PC, a Mac, a UNIX system or a mainframe using either LPR/LPD or by FTPing the print data to a *USERASCII printer file.

When a *USERASCII spooled file is sent to an ASCII printer it is sent without verifying, converting or transforming the print data, whether the Host print transform (TRANSFORM) parameter is set to *YES or *NO, and regardless of the Manufacturer type and model (MFRTYPMDL) or Workstation customizing object (WSCST) parameters. The writer does not verify that the ASCII printer data is supported by the target printer, it instead sends the ASCII print data to the printer as is without any verification, conversion or transformation of the print data. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the application generating the ASCII print data to ensure that the data stream is valid for and supported by the target printer.

Note: *SCS spooled files can contain ASCII print data through the use of the ASCII Transparency (ATRN) SCS Control. When this special SCS control is used in an *SCS spooled file the data within the control is treated the same as it would if it were sent in a *USERASCII spooled file. In other words, the data within the ATRN control will be sent to the printer without any data verification, conversion or transformation, whether using Host Print Transform (HPT) or not, and regardless of the MFRTYPMDL or WSCST settings used.

POSTSCRIPT - It is not a data stream but a page description language used to prepare page layouts for printing. It has text, fonts, graphics, and images.

This information came from the OS/400 Printer Device Programming (SC41-5713) manual, which contains additional detailed information about the different types of data streams.

Printer Configurations:

The charts below show the most common types of printer configurations on the OS/400 and i5/OS. Twinax-attached printers are configured as Device Class *LCL or *RMT. Printers attached to PCs use an emulation program (for example, Client Access) to connect to the OS/400 or i5/OS. The most common Device Class that emulation programs use is *VRT. A Device Class of *LAN indicates that a printer is attached to the network. At V3R2M0 and earlier, IPDS printers on the network are configured as Device Class *RMT.

Remote Output Queues do not need a device description and are set up to print to a network printer or to send spooled files to another system. Occasionally, dummy device descriptions are configured for Remote Output Queues. However, because it is the actual output queue that is used, refer to the chart under Remote Output Queue for information on supported datastreams.

Host Print Transform (HPT) is used to transform the spooled file to ASCII on the OS/400 and i5/OS. A device description with the Device Class of *LAN with Type 3812 or a Remote Output Queue printing to an ASCII printer must use HPT. It cannot be used with IPDS device descriptions or for transforming IPDS datastreams. For Device Class *VRT, Host Print Transform is optional for most printers. The Windows driver or a PDT are other options for transforming spooled files for PC attached printers.

For the Device Classes of *LCL or *RMT, Host Print Transform might be optional. Some printers that are attached to dumb terminals or attached by twinax adapters can support HPT while others cannot. It depends upon the capabilities of the printer and the dumb terminal or twinax adapter. The printer is considered an SCS printer if it is configured with HPT set to *NO and is not using IPDS.

Printers that have the IPDS feature installed in it can be configured as a Device Type *IPDS. It can have a Device Class of *LCL, *RMT, or *LAN, depending upon how the printer is attached and the version of the operating system. If the printer is twinax-attached, it has the option of whether to use Advanced Function Printing (AFP). If the printer is attached to the network, using Advanced Function Printing (AFP) is required. AFP uses the IBM Print Services Facility (PSF/400) license program.

Datastreams Supported by Various Printer Configurations


*LAN 3812
(HPT *YES)
RMTOUTQ
(HPT *YES)
*IPDS
(AFP *YES)
*IPDS
(AFP *NO)
*SCS
Y
Y
Y
Y
*IPDS
N
N
Y
Y
*AFPDS
Y
Y
Y
N
*LINE
N4
N4
Y
Y2
*AFPDSLINE
N
N
Y
N
*USERASCII
Y1
Y1
N
N
Postscript Level 1
Y3
Y3
N
N
Tag Image File Format (TIFF)
Y3
Y3
N
N
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
Y3
Y3
N
N
OS/2 and Windows Bitmap (BMP)
Y3
Y3
N
N


*VRT
(HPT *YES)
*VRT
(HPT *NO)
*LCL or *RMT
(HPT *YES)
*LCL or *RMT
(HPT *NO)
*SCS
Y
Y
Y
Y
*IPDS
N
N
N
N
*AFPDS
Y
N
Y
N
*LINE
N4
N2
N
Y2
*AFPDSLINE
N
N
N
N
*USERASCII
Y1
Y1
Y1
N
Postscript Level 1
Y3
Y3
Y3
N
Tag Image File Format (TIFF)
Y3
Y3
Y3
N
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
Y3
Y3
Y3
N
OS/2 and Windows Bitmap (BMP)
Y3
Y3
Y3
N


Notes:
1.*USERASCII spooled files are passed through the System i. No transformation is done.
2.In some situations it might not print or it might not print as expected. For example, a *LINE datastream going to an SCS (*LCL or *RMT with HPT *NO) or IPDS (AFP *NO) printer does not print using a page definition (PAGDFN); however, if it uses a form definition (FORMDF), it might print the spooled file but ignore the form definition.
3.For PostScript Level 1, Tag Image File Format (TIFF), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and OS/2 and Windows Bitmap (BMP) the spooled file must be *USERASCII and the printer device description or Remote Output Queue (RMTOUTQ) must be configured to use either Image Print Transform (IPT) or the Transform Manager portion of the Infoprint Server for iSeries product. At R420 or later, use Image Print Transform (the Image Configuration parameter in the device description or remote output queue). Prompt on the field for the list of available objects. The IBM AS/400 Printing V (SG24-2160) manual lists the objects available for various types of printers. Image Print Transform supports only PostScript Level 1. The printer must also be able to accept the level of PostScript being sent to it.

Note: Image Print Transform is used only for spooled files that are created on the OS/400 or i5/OS.
4.*LINE spooled files cannot be printed through Host Print Transform (HPT). However, if the printer file is changed or overridden to set the Printer device type (DEVTYPE) parameter to *LINE and the Convert line data (CVTLINDTA) parameter to *YES, then the spooled file will be generated with the Printer device type set to *AFPDS instead of *LINE, which can be printed through HPT under certain circumstances.

Additional References:

For additional information, refer to the following publications:

OS/400 Printer Device Programming (SC41-5713-03), available at the following Web site:

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/pubs/pdfs/as400/V4R4PDF/QB3AUJ03.PDF

IBM Redbooks IBM AS/400 Printing V (SG24-2160-01), available at the following Web site:

http://publib-b.boulder.ibm.com/Redbooks.nsf/9445fa5b416f6e32852569ae006bb65f/cbecfe2bfe455c218525698200703a97?OpenDocument

For additional information, refer to the following APAR:

SE04360, OSP-F/EMMONITOREVENT-MSGMCH2001-T/QAKACNVL OVRPRTF CVTLINDTA(*YES) ON 2 OPEN PRTF'S CAUSES MCH2001 ()

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Historical Number

20755311

Document Information

Modified date:
18 December 2019

UID

nas8N1019549