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What's New in Print and Document Services in Windows Server

Published: August 21, 2013

Updated: July 3, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2

This topic provides information about the new features for Print and Document Services in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Print and Document Services enables you to centralize print server and network printer management tasks. With this role, you can also receive scanned documents form network scanners and route the documents to a shared network resource, Windows SharePoint Services site, or email addresses.

The following table provides a list of the new features for Print and Document Services.


Feature/functionality New or updated? Description

Event logging for Branch Office Direct Printing


Printing events are now written to the print server when BODP is enabled for the queue

Printer migration for Web Services for Devices (WSD) print devices


You can now use the Printer Migration Wizard or command line tools to export and import printer settings for WSD print devices

Roaming settings include printer connections


Printer settings and some connections are now available in roaming user profiles when you log on using different computers and devices

Easier printing in Windows RT


Windows RT users can now easily find and use printers

Near Field Communication (NFC) connections to printers


You can configure shared printers to advertise NFC wireless connections to Printers so that users with compatible devices can easily locate, install, and use printers

Common framework for PIN-protected printing support by IHVs


A common framework is provided for PIN-protected printing, with an integrated user interface and easier implementation for IHVs

Print and fax services now include user access logging


Print and fax service logging now includes user name and computer name logging in addition to IP address logging.

You can now deploy Branch Office Direct Printing (BODP) with event logging.

With BODP, the print job is rendered on the client computer and then sent directly to the local printer rather than using the remote print server as an intermediary. In previous operating system versions, print jobs using BODP were not logged and did not produce events written to Event Viewer on the print server. In Windows Server 2012 R2, BODP print jobs are logged and events are written to Event Viewer on the remote print server.

For example, if you have enabled BODP for a print queue on the print server and a user in a remote office prints to the queue, the print job goes directly to the user’s local printer in the branch office. While the print job goes to the remote printer, the print event is written to the print server.

If there is a problem with the print job and it fails, the failure is logged in Event Viewer on the print server, including information such as job owner, time, which queue included the print job, and reasons for the print failure. This additional logging information provides you with the ability to identify and fix printing issues at remote office locations.

If connectivity is down between the main office that contains the print server and a branch office where a user initiates a print job on a BODP-enabled queue, the job prints at the local printer, while logging and event information is automatically cached until office connectivity is restored.When you use BODP:

  • Logging is enabled by default for any BODP enabled queue.

  • You can enable and disable logging on any queue by using Windows PowerShell commands.

  • Sending of cached print job events do not negatively impact performance of the print server.

With Windows Server 2012 R2, you can now backup, restore, and migrate WSD print devices by using the Print Management console or by using the command line tool PrintBRM.exe.

To view command line help for PrintBRM.exe, open command prompt or Windows PowerShell and change directories to %WINDIR%\System32\Spool\Tools\. Type .\PrintBrm.exe /?, and then press ENTER.

You can use Printer Migration to backup and restore the local computer, or you can target a remote WSD print server for backup and restore. When you use Printer Migration:

  • Backing up a WSD device with Printer Migration results in a backup of all needed information to restore the device later, regardless of whether or not you can currently connect to the device.

  • Restoring a WSD device to a computer running Windows Server 2012 R2 when you can connect to the server results in one WSD queue on the target server that is mapped to the correct port and contains the correct printer information and configuration.

  • Restoring a WSD device to a computer running Windows Server 2012 R2 when you are unable to connect to the server results in one WSD queue on the target server that is mapped to the correct port and contains the correct printer information and configuration.

If you want to backup or restore a print server by using Printer Migration, open the Print Management console, click Action, and then click Migrate Printers. In the Printer Migration dialog box, select one of the following options:

  • Export printer queues and printer drivers to a file. This option exports printer queues, printer ports, and printer drivers for both TCP/IP and WSD devices to the file that you specify.

  • Import printer queues and printer drivers from a file. This option imports printer queues, printer ports, and printer drivers for both TCP/IP and WSD devices to the file that you specify.

After your selection, click Next and follow the instructions to conclude the process.

Printer connections are now included in the roaming settings of users who log in with Microsoft accounts, making it easier for them to successfully find and connect to the shared printers that they have connected to in the past. This allows users to more easily find the devices on other computers during the device installation process.

Users can control roaming of printer connections using the PC Settings application and toggling the Other Windows Settings group. In addition, IT administrators can disable this feature by configuring the Other Windows Settings Group Policy setting.

If roaming is enabled, any printer connections that the user creates or deletes are reflected on all of their devices. For example, when a user deletes a roamed printer connection on one device, the printer connection is removed from all other devices that they use.

Roamed printer settings and connections are also supported on Windows® RT.

As a result of the included print class drivers provided with the operating system, Windows RT supports a wide variety of printers, but in order to connect to shared printers, the print server must be configured with a version 4 (v4) print driver. With Windows 8.1, it’s easier to connect Windows RT clients to shared printers, even if the printer is configured using a version 3 (v3) print driver. Windows RT utilizes the local print class driver to perform client side rendering for compatible printers. This feature works best if the print server is running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows 8.1 now includes connections to printers by using Near Field Communication (NFC) Tap to Pair wireless technology that provides short range connections between devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and printers.

IT administrators can create NFC tags for existing hardware that advertise a printer and allow easy discovery and installation of the printer by users. Printer installation by using programmable NFC tags is available for both WSD printers and shared printers within an Enterprise. NFC can also be used to connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers, but this requires that the NFC radio is built-into the Wi-Fi Direct device.

You can configure your printers by using the Write-PrinterNfcTag and Read-PrinterNfcTag Windows PowerShell commands on an NFC-enabled device that is running Windows 8.1 using the following steps:

  1. Buy NFC forum approved tag types that are at least 700B in capacity

  2. On a device that supports NFC and is running Windows 8.1, open Windows PowerShell. Run one of the following commands to program either a print share or a WSD device that does not have an intermediary print server.

    • Write-PrinterNfcTag –SharePath  \\server\printer

    • Write-PrinterNfcTag –WsdAddress  printerhostname

  3. When prompted, tap the tag against the NFC radio on your device. This programs the tag. If you have hardware and tags that support it, you can also optionally specify the –Lock flag on any of the previous commands to prevent subsequent modification of the tag.

This completes programming of the tag. Any client computer or device can now tap the tag to initiate installation. After the tap, the user is prompted for consent; when the user provides consent, the printer is installed in the background.

Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) who provide PIN-protected printing can now benefit from the new common framework for PIN-protected printing support included in Windows 8.1. This new feature makes the delivery of PIN-protected printing easier for IHVs, and the usage of PIN-protected printing easier for users.

To prevent unauthorized use of printing resources, you can modify printing queue defaults by using the Print Management console or Windows PowerShell. To enable PIN-protected printing, set PIN-protected printing to On, and then assign a default PIN number.

You can also configure PIN-protected printing to use a unique PIN for each print job. To do so, do not assign a default PIN number. This will cause users to be prompted to enter a PIN when printing from Windows Store applications.

In previous operating system versions, you were able to perform accounting by measuring Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Print and Document Services only by using IP addresses, because only IP addresses were logged when users sent print jobs or sent and received faxes.

In Windows Server 2012 R2, you can now log the number of unique users that utilize print and fax services by both IP address and user name, allowing you to collect accurate volume license data for the Print and Document Services server role.

This logging of the user name allows you to verify that the CALs that are used on a print/fax server are aligned with your terms of agreement. You can validate the correct license usage while also collecting information on usage trends for future licensing decisions.

You can use the following Windows PowerShell User Access Logging (UAL) Cmdlets to view logging information.

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