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LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

How Shall I Print Thee?


Recently, while explaining Lawson printing solutions to a client, I realized how complicated and confusing this can be, particularly when you are running on a UNIX server.

This applies somewhat to NT clients, although it’s a little easier. My apologies to AS/400 users: I must admit that I’m "AS/400-challenged".

Printing is easy if all you are running is LID. Your "send to printer" commands map to server-based printers. Any printer that you can "ping" from the server can probably be set up as a Lawson printer. If you’re running the Lawson NT Environment, these commands are mapped to any printer addressable by the Windows 2000 Server. On UNIX servers, these commands are commonly mapped to UNIX lp/lpr printer commands. You still have to navigate firewalls and VPNs if your printing across the country, but it’s still manageable.

However, new challenges arise if you’re using Lawson via a browser, for SEA tasks, for XML User Interface, and/or Portal. Specifically, XML and Portal add a new feature when viewing a report. In addition to printing via the Lawson server to a Lawson-defined printer, you can also view the report as an Adobe PDF, which XML/Portal "renders" on-the-fly for viewing in the browser.

So–depending on the task–you may be printing to a locally-connected printer (i.e. clicking the print button on your browser’s toolbar), or you may (sometimes unknowingly) be printing remotely via the Lawson server to a Lawson-defined printer.

Some examples:

Requisitioner: Using SEA, when you print a requisition, it is routed to a Lawson-defined remote printer. You can also view the RQ111 output in the XML/Portal print manager and render it as a PDF.

Requisition Approvers: Uses SEA for approve/reject, however SEA lacks an unrelease function, so you have to use use XML/LID/Portal to unrelease. Print via LID to Lawson-defined printer; via XML/Portal, use PDF option to print to local printer.

PO Entry: View and print individual POs to Lawson-defined printer; Print batch POs to Lawson-defined printer. Optionally, view in XML/Portal, and use PDF option to print to local printer

General User: Use XML/Portal feature to print via PDF to locally-connected printer. Unless report is large–then print to Lawson-defined remote printer.

Add in the requirement for running checks, customer invoices/statements, delivery tickets, POs, and requisitions through server-based rendering software (like MHC or Formscape), and you can see that this "freedom of choice" gets confusing real fast! You really need to create a task-based "roadmap", so that you can explain to a specific user how to print each particular type of output.

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