"Host-Based" means that the printer doesn't have "a brain". At least that's the way I think of it... It doesn't have logic internal to the printer that tells it how to format a page of paper.

That logic is replaced by code written by the printer vendor. The vendor writes a printer driver (usually for Windows) that contains all of the logic to format the page of paper, all done in software, and then the complete formatted page is transferred to the printer.

This results in two problems:

a) Printing can only be done via calls to the Windows GDI API. (Which isn't a problem for Windows apps, since that's their normal procedure anyway.)

b) It takes longer to transfer the data from the PC to the printer since the data isn't as compact. (Though, with today's USB speeds, this isn't a big issue.)

c) It's nearly impossible for anyone (besides the manufacturer) to write their own drivers for the printer, since an in-depth knowledge of the internals of the printer is required.

Because of these flaws, the only printers you'll see that are host-based are the extremely cheap (under $150 USD) printers for Windows, typically the cheap PC junk you get at your local Best Buy.

In a business scenario, I think it makes sense to pay the extra $100 or $150 to get a real printer that understands printer languages like PCL, PPDS, PostScript or PDF. Really, these are usually available for under $400, and the hassle you'll save is more than worth it.

But... if your question is "is it possible to make it work", the answer is YES... but not with Host Print Transform. you'll need to find (or write) software that receives SCS and AFPDS documents, interprets their format, and converts the SCS or AFPDS data stream into calls to the Windows GDI driver.

I don't know if the iSeries Access printer interface has that capability or not. I want to say (though it's been many years, and I may be misremembering) that Rumba's print emulation does this.

You could, of course, write your own... but for me it's a lot easier to buy a good printer than to spend months (maybe even years) writing the software. Though, if you only needed SCS, it might not be TOO bad... but AFPDS would be a major investment of resources. But of course, most people probably wouldn't even consider writing their own... I'm just the sort of person that has to know how to code every possible thing under the sun :)

Grizzly Malchow wrote:
We have a Host-Based printer that does not support PCL. Can anyone tell
me if it will be possible to ever get anything to successfully print to
that printer from our System i? The printer would be set up as a Client
Access printer session. I've tried setting the TRANSFORM value of the
device to *NO but that doesn't produce any acceptable results.

Thanks in advance.


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