New printing features
Updated: January 21, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
For the administrator, products in the Windows Server 2003 family provide improved setup tools for common network configurations. For example, the new standard port (described later in this topic), simplifies installation of most TCP/IP printers on your network.
Installing printer drivers on all nodes in a cluster
Previously, you had to manually install printer drivers on every node of a cluster. Using products in the Windows Server 2003 family, this is no longer necessary. You can now install printer drivers on one node and the drivers are automatically propagated to the other nodes. The procedure for adding a printer driver to a cluster is the same as the procedure for adding printer drivers to any other computer. For more information on adding printer drivers, see Install new or updated printer drivers.
The Windows Server 2003 family operating systems provide improved remote administration by adding remote port administration. You can now perform a full remote administration and configuration (including remote port administration) of printers from any computer running a Windows Server 2003 family operating system.
The Printers folder has been renamed to Printers and Faxes for all Windows Server 2003 family and Windows XP products. All fax-related tasks are available through this folder.
The Windows Server 2003 family printing architecture is now seamlessly integrated with the Internet. For the end user, the Windows Server 2003 family offers printing across the Internet.
You can print from Windows XP clients to print server computers running a Windows Server 2003 family operating system by using a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
You can use a browser to manage printers. You can pause, resume, or delete a print job, and view the printer and print job's status.
You can connect to printers on your network using Web point-and-print for single-click installation of a shared printer. You can click the shared printer to install the required printer driver on your local computer. To facilitate stronger network security, Web point-and-print is not enabled on the print server by default because it is possible to include malicious code in a printer driver. To enable Web point-and-print functionality, in Group Policy, you must enable the Point-and-Print Restrictions policy. For more information, see Set Group Policy for printers
By default, a Windows Server 2003 family server makes all shared printers in the domain available as objects in Active Directory. When you list, or publish, shared printers in the directory, you can use search tools to quickly locate the most convenient printing resources. For example, you can search by feature (such as color printing) or by location (such as a specific floor in a building).
Standard port monitor
The new standard port monitor connects a print server computer running a Windows Server 2003 family operating system to network-interface printers that use the TCP/IP protocol. It replaces LPRMON for TCP/IP printers connected directly to the network or through a network adapter. The new standard port 50 is faster than LPRMON for many print jobs. LPRMON is still required for a printer connected to a UNIX or VAX host.
Print queue monitoring
You can monitor the performance of a local or a remote printer using the System Monitor's new Print Queue object. Counters can be set up for a variety of performance criteria such as bytes printed per second, job errors, and total pages printed.
The ability to change personal document default settings has now been extended to Windows XP Professional clients and products in the Windows Server 2003 family. Previously, only Windows 95 and Windows 98 users could modify their document settings after they were initially set by an administrator.
Printing from an application
When printing from an application, the standard print dialog box has been enhanced and improved. You can now search for printers in Active Directory, or even add printers.
Kernel-mode printer driver blocking
Using a Windows Server 2003 family product, administrators can block the installation of kernel-mode printer drivers by using Group Policy. For more information on how to block kernel-mode printer driver installation, see Block the installation of kernel-mode printer drivers.
Automate printing administration using scripts
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the management API created by Microsoft to allow all system components to be monitored and controlled, either locally or remotely. The WMI Print provider allows you to manage print servers, print devices, and other printing-related objects from the command line. With WMI Print provider, you can use Visual Basic (VB) scripts to perform administrative printer functions. You can create your own scripts or modify one of the VB scripts that are provided with a Windows Server 2003 family product. Either way, you can manage local and remote printers using these scripts.