Planning the SAP Print Architecture


       1.      Identify critical printing requirements:

   Determine which users in your SAP system have time-critical printing requirements. Delivery notes, for example, are time-critical.

   Identify users who regularly need to print long documents, such as long lists from ABAP reports (such as cost center reports).

   Estimate the total volume of output requests your SAP system will generate.

       2.      Based on your printing requirements, identify the critical printers in your company.

Critical printers are printers, for example, that are used for time-critical printing. Evaluate whether your existing printers can meet your estimated printing requirements and/or plan the acquisition of new equipment.

Consider whether a faster line printer might be able to speed up printing of long lists yet provide the print quality you require. Think about whether a central printing shop might be more cost–effective than small line printers in each department.

Your hardware supplier, SAP consultant, and/or the SAP Competence Centers can help you select printers appropriate to your printing requirements.

       3.      Assign your printers to one of the following three groups:

   Time-critical printers, such as those that print shipping labels.

   High–volume printers intended for printing large documents, such as long lists.

   Non-critical printers, those that do not have to meet any special printing requirements, such as small laser printers for light-duty printing in individual departments.

       4.      If you have set up three or more spool servers in your SAP system, assign one or more  spool server(s) to each printer group.

No spool server should serve more than one group of printers. A spool server for printers in the time-critical group should serve only printers from this group.

You can assign a printer to a particular spool server in the Output device definition in the SAP spool system (Tools ® Administration ® Spool ® Spool administration).

Assign printer groups to spool servers according to these guidelines:

   Time-critical printers should generally be set up for SAP "local” printing. That is, the printers should be defined in the SAP spool system with access method E (OMS printing), access method C (direct operating system call – Windows NT systems) or access method L (print locally via LP/LPR – Windows NT and UNIX systems).

This means that you should only print to time–critical printers from host systems (UNIX or Windows NT computers) that also have SAP spool servers.

Avoid connecting time–critical printers with the "remote printing" access methods. These are access methods U (Print on LPDHOST via Berkeley protocol) and S (Print on LPDHOST using SAP protocol). You can, however, deviate from these guidelines if the host system is very reliable and provides a high throughput, as described in Setting Up Remote Printing in the SAP System. A UNIX workstation within a reliable LAN network generally meets these requirements. Printers accessed from this workstation would be defined with access method U in the SAP spool system.

Note: If problems occur with a printer for which you have chosen the access method U or S, these tend to reduce performance for all other printers serviced by the same spool server. For example: A printer with the access method U or S is unreachable because its host system is not running or the network link to the host is down. When the spool server attempts to send an output request to the printer, it must wait for network time-outs to cancel the communication attempt before it can process other output requests. Only then can the spool server process other output requests.

With SAP R/3 4.0, you can reduce this problem by defining multiple spool work processes on your servers.

   You can choose any access method for high-volume printers. A high–volume printer can be set up as a "local" printer, a "remote" printer, or as a “PC printer”.

High–volume printers should be serviced by their own spool server so that processing of long lists does not affect other output requests.

   Non-critical printers can use any access method. A non-critical printer can be set up as a "local" printer, a "remote" printer, or as a “PC printer”.

Non-critical printers should be serviced by their own spool server so that they do not affect and are not affected by other print requests. If non-critical and high–volume printers are serviced by the same spool server, then large output requests may cause delays in processing smaller requests for office users printing on non-critical printers.

You should never use a spool server for both time-critical and non-critical printers, as the non-critical output requests could block the processing of the time-critical output requests. If a non-critical printer that uses access method U or S cannot be accessed, time-critical printing may be seriously delayed.

       5.      When you have completed your print configuration planning, you can set up the printers in your SAP spool system.

The following topics provide explanations and examples of each of the printer access methods the SAP spool system supports:

         Setting Up Local Printers in the SAP System

         Setting Up Remote Printing in the SAP System

         Setting Up PC Printing in the SAP System

For details about setting up printers, see:

         Connecting a Printer/Fax to a Microsoft Windows System

         Connecting UNIX Printers to the SAP System

         iSeries Printing: Installing a Printer on the iSeries

         Defining Devices for Frontend Printing

         Managing Output Devices: General Functions

  SAP Printing Guide Start Page