Overview of printing process

The steps in the sequence from an action in the system to a document being printed are:

1.You perform some action requiring a document; approve a dispatch note for example.

2.The system gathers all the information required for the document, associates it with a Layout, a Paper and a Print Queue, and places the information in the Report Stack as a ‘ToDo’ item.

3.The Reporter notices the new ‘ToDo’ entry in the report stack and, provided the print queue is enabled, passes the information to the associated Report Generator, along with the name of the Layout, Paper and Printer to use. The Report Stack entry is marked as ‘Doing’ to show that it is in progress.

4.The Report Generator translates the information into the printed image, according to the instructions contained in the Paper, and passes it to the Printer for printing. (The print preview, when enabled, happens at this stage.)

5.The Reporter notes the success or failure of the Report Generator and marks the Report Stack entry as either ‘Done’ or ‘Error’.

Entries remain in the report stack even after they’ve been printed. This means they can be selected for re-printing in the event of loss or damage or printer failure.

Entries in the report stack are grouped into print queues; these can be turned on and off. When turned off (disabled), entries just build up in the queue and will not be printed until the queue is turned on (enabled). This is useful for documents that need special stationary. They can be held in the queue until the stationary is loaded in the printer. The system installs with a few pre-defined queues. You can add more of your own as described in Creating print queues.

Print queues are ‘attached’ to printers. A printer can be anywhere on your network. It does not have to be a network printer, and it does not even have to be ‘shared’. All that’s necessary, for you to be able to use it, is the ability to run Match-IT on the workstation it is physically connected to.

The reporter does not have to be running on the workstation that is creating the document request. It only needs to run on the one that can ‘see’ the printer the document is destined for. This may be multiple workstations or just a single ‘print-server’.

Keep in mind this set of associations:

The context defines the Layout to use.

The Layout defines the Paper to use.

The Layout defines the Print Queue to use.

The Print Queue defines the Printer to use.

The term printer is used for historical reasons but nowadays is a more general output-media concept. The output-media could be any of:

physical paper sheets

text files


word documents

web pages

XML documents

PDF documents

TIFF images