RPM uses your print job to control outputs

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 13:48 By Dave Brooks
RPM Remote Print Manager is our print server software

One of the features of the LPD print protocol is that along with the print job it also sends a bundle of information about the job. We refer to this as metadata in keeping with current usage. It is also called a control file and sometimes you’ll see that reference as well.

Originally RPM Remote Print Manager® (RPM) used this metadata for a document name when you print, and a local filename when you run a program. Now that we archive, send emails, upload via FTP and more, we have found uses for more of the metadata.

The metadata we use for RPM outputs (the actions) includes:

  • The user who sent the job
  • The hostname the job is sent from
  • Job name and title (which may be different)
  • An item called “class” related to the banner page
  • A directive to print a banner page
  • A directive to send an email when the job prints
  • Some directives on the print job format

When RPM receives the print job, it adds these items to the metadata:

  • The time the job arrives
  • The time the job prints
  • A unique job ID
  • A sequence number related to the queue the job is sent to

This table shows for each action how we are currently using the metadata:

Action Metadata usage
Archive to folder Archive filename constructed from any metadata
Archive to FTP server Upload filename constructed from any metadata
Text print Uses job name for Windows spooler print job name
Raw print Uses job name for Windows spooler print job name
LPR print Uses job name for the transmitted job
IP print n/a
Filter The command line can be constructed from any metadata, including individual arguments or switches
Email The subject line is constructed from multiple fields; the destination field can also use the Mail or User data
Copy queue With dynamic queues, the queue name can include any metadata value


When we added data extraction to RPM we opened the door for you to control any of the values used to drive the outputs, from the data file itself.