FAQ for RPM Devices

Fri, 02/02/2024 - 16:05 By Dave Brooks

Some print servers offer ports or printer connections. RPM Remote Print Manager® ("RPM") provides a wide variety of outputs which we group into "devices." As you can see below, we also support a wide range of devices.

Print serversRPM overview

How many devices can I install RPM on?

The RPM license allows you to install it on one computer. For more details, check the License FAQ.

What is a device?

In RPM, a device is where we send output from a print job. It’s a generic term as all devices are not entirely the same, for instance, a printer is very different from an email message, but they still are a "destination" for a print job in some sense.

RPM devices include:

  • Printers
  • A command-line program (which we refer to as a "filter")
  • Email message
  • Disk folder
  • An IP print device, such as port 9100 on a high-end printer
  • An LPR print port
  • An FTP server

Filter FAQ

Does the device limit mean how many queues I can have?

No, the device limit is separate from the queues. You can have as many queues as you want. There is no limit to that.

However, the RPM license limits the number of devices you can send jobs to without restarting RPM.

For instance, if you are using RPM Select and you have activated the license, you can use up to ten devices. If you want to use the eleventh device, you will need to stop the RPM service and restart it. Each time you restart the service, you reset the device count, and you can again use up to ten devices. They can be completely different devices from the previous time if you wish.

Please note this refers to different devices. You can send hundreds, even thousands, of print jobs to a single device without using any of your device counts beyond one device.

Which actions count against my device limit?

Every action uses a device. If two actions used the same device, they would count only one against your device limit.

All devices count against your device limit except archive actions. Now, writing to disk files has no impact on your device limit. We may change this in the future.

Where do I find my device list?

You can find all the devices you have defined in RPM in the user interface. Go to View / Devices.

Take note of the status column. Before you use the device, the status is "Init". The user interface marks the devices you are currently using with "OK".

What is "max use" and how do I use it?

The "max use" setting determines how many concurrent uses of a device you will allow.

If you set "max use" to zero, then RPM will schedule any eligible job for that device without concern for other jobs currently using that device. For instance, a command line might support this, or a high-end printer or a printer with a built-in spooler. We suggest you specify a limit if your device is sensitive to multiple simultaneous uses.

If you used a low value, for example, one, then RPM would only schedule one job at a time for that device and would not schedule another job until the current job terminates.

How does the device's name get reused when multiple queues talk to the same end device?

The device name is not actually reused. The device remains intact and its name is not shared with any other devices. Device names need to be unique.

There is no reason in RPM that multiple actions can’t use the same device. RPM schedules jobs for a device based on its max use setting and the device status. The device has to be available and error-free. Otherwise, RPM will not schedule jobs for that device.

Typically we expect different actions to be configured differently; otherwise, why have them if they are identical? Of course, if one queue prints landscape and another prints portrait, that’s not identical and, in fact, is a typical use. There is no hard and fast reason multiple actions can’t use the same device, and they often do.

What do device reservations mean?

Device reservations refer to the number of devices RPM has used since startup. If during a particular RPM run, you have only used one printer and nothing else, then you have one device reservation.

RPM tracks device reservations not to exceed the device limit imposed by the product license.

About the device tester

The purpose of the device tester is to make automatic device recovery possible.

For instance, let’s say you are printing overnight to a device, and it runs out of paper. Windows will recognize the printer is in an error status.

Once a device errors, RPM will periodically test the device until that status clears. Then RPM will begin scheduling jobs for it again.

This way, print jobs will not wait forever for a device that is now available and ready. Further, RPM will not require manual intervention to restart printing for that device.

Similarly, when RPM first schedules a job for a device, the device tester validates the device so we’ll know the device is ready to use, or not.

What is the device limit?

The RPM license imposes a device limit for each software edition.

RPM Select has a device limit of 10. In the trial, the device limit is 5.

RPM Elite has a device limit of 99. In the trial, the device limit is 10. We also offer editions of the RPM Elite license with device limits greater than 99.

Will activating lift my trial device limits?

Activating your RPM license automatically lifts your device limits to whatever the license indicates. The Device Reservations shown in the UI will automatically display the maximum allowed. The number shown in the Module Status tab in the License Manager may differ from this number, but this number is accurate.

I’m not using any email actions, why do I have an email device? Is it hurting my device limit?

RPM predefines the email device, and it’s easier to display the device than hide it. All of your devices appear in the device list, but none of them count toward your device limit if you are not using them. They only count toward your device limit when your print processing uses them in a particular RPM run.

Currently, the email device counts only once against your device limits, no matter how many outgoing email addresses you use. We may change that in the future.

The use count on all your devices is reset when you restart the RPM service.

How do I delete a device?

When you remove the last action which uses a specific device, RPM automatically removes the device.

The exception is the email device. It is never is not removed.

What does "unlimited devices" mean?

The term "unlimited devices" only means that RPM will not restrict the number of devices you can attempt to use. Unfortunately, your Windows system is not capable of using unlimited devices, including but not limited to:

  • Memory
  • Disk space used, for instance by spooling
  • Network bandwidth
  • Other Windows resources such as device handles

There is no way to predict how many devices your system is able to use.

How do I activate additional devices I purchased?

From the Module Status tab in the license manager, you can highlight and activate the RPM Printers module. The internet activation method will ask you for your Invoice or sales receipt number and Auth code exactly like the main license. It will also ask you for the total quantity that you should have unlocked. Brooks technical staff can also help you activate additional devices once you purchase a license.

This step is optional if you did not purchase additional devices. The software will allow the default number regardless of whether the printers module is in the trial, activated, or expired.

How do device credentials differ from action credentials?

Device credentials are not different from action credentials. Their aim is the same, to allow RPM to simulate a user login in order to send output to a shared device.