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1.     What are the requirements of the Client PCs, IT and infrastructure for the Agent to be installed.

§   Operating System :  Windows XP Pro/HE, Windows Vista, Windows 2003 Server (we are also Testing on Windows 2000 Sp4 and Windows 7 currently under test from release 1.1 rc1);

§   Microsoft .NET 2.0 Installed (v2.0.50727);

§   During installation on each single Client PC we will install SQL Server Compact Edition 2005.

2.     How large is the footprint of the Agent?

In terms of disk space, the agent comprises a number of files under a total of 200KB. However the agent stores print queue data in a local database before they are sent to the main server. There’s a possibility if the PC cannot connect to the main server for a period of time that the local database, could grow larger as a result. In terms of CPU consumption the value is negligible while the private memory utilised is about 8 Mb.

3.     Are there any known incompatibilities which might affect my desktop build?

Currently no critical problems have been found.

4.     How much network traffic will it create?

The traffic generated is almost negligible because during its normal activity, the agent will only occupy the network when sending the data from the last print queue that has been gathered and  this is represented by very small packages. (in terms of bit/sec.) The agent could only create more traffic if circumstances were created where the local database has to be built/rebuilt as it will have to carry out a download from the main server. However this will only take up a band of a few Kb/sec for a limited period of time (5/10 sec.)

5.     Will my local print slow down because of the Agent?

No, because the agent does not interfere with the print process but it works in parallel.

6.     Are there any pre-requisites (eg. info on existing locally connected devices), etc. before the Agent can be installed.

§   To identify and track and track ALL printers the agent service must be installed on ALL PCs

§   If the customer has network PC tools which identify locally connected devices this can be used to target the install of the agent.

§   There are no particular pre-requisites. When the agent service starts on the client, this will initially check the printers installed, and add them under the monitor. In case of USB Devices the Agent can discover the differences from other printers, and create a flag under a field named USB automatically.


7.     How does the Agent work (not in depth but an overview including whether it monitors the locally attached printer itself or just the queue or both) and what it is able to do.

§   The Agent is a Windows Service, that uses some Windows DLLs and WMI Queries;

§   It monitors the print queue of all the printers on the client, but you can choose :

1.     Monitor all printers (direct (LPT, USB, PDF printers, network shared or not); This option allows full user tracking of all print queues if required.

2.     Only locally attached (so the agent works only on direct and on network printer directly connected with a TCP port on that machine, but not to the printers that are connected to a print server);

3.     Only USB (Agent will check only USB Printers connected).

§   The Agent works on the print queue and collects the usage data from there.

§   On the client there is a copy of the local DB, this collects all the data;

§   If the connection with main server is made the Agent will send data to main server. If not it maintains the data stored locally until the connection is made.

§   Main server requirement :

1.     Windows 2003 Server; (if you use an WIN XP PRO machine there is a limitation on number of connection to 10 clients, so you cannot use in big environment);

2.      IIS v 6.0 (Internet Information Service);

3.     MS SQL Server 2005. The database can be located separately if required

§   Data will be sent from the Client PC to the Main server on port 80 with HTTP, or Port 443 HTTPs Protocol and RDA technology.

 

 

 

8.     How does the data from the agent get treated by Insight II (page count models, device Identification) ?

The data is written to a table in the Insight II database (local_printer) where all the print queue data collected by multiple clients using the agent can be found. The identification for each client/print queue unique identifier can be found inside the database. Subsequently it will be possible to perform “summarise operations” in order to generate “ad hoc” reports. The page counts are defined by a numeric code (the same one used by Windows systems). These can be mapped to the Insight II page count model for consistent reporting.

9.     What are the limitations of the Agent and where it is not practical or suitable to be used.

§   When the printers do not use a windows print queue, in this case agent cannot intercept the print queue, For example direct application printing;

§   When there are more than 10 printers to monitor on the same Client PC.

 
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