Novell offers new spec for printing across Internet

Novell has prepared a draft specification of an Internet printing protocol.

Novell has announced that it will submit a protocol specification draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force for the creation of the Lightweight Document Printing Application (LDPA), which the company says will enable printing across the Internet.

Twelve printing industry leaders are supporting Novell's push for the creation of this new standard. If adopted, LDPA will simplify the ISO 10175 protocol, used by major print vendors today, for printing over the Internet and within corporate intranets, say officials with Novell, in Provo, Utah. It will also provide the compatibility needed to support the broad range of new and existing systems their customers use today.

"Novell is taking an existing, accepted ISO printing standard, modifying it to be simple enough to use as an Internet standard, and making it run over Internet protocols," says Bob Fennell, an analyst with Dataquest, in San Jose, California. "Novell and its vendor partners are in a leadership position in network printing by taking a major step in defining protocols for the Internet."

As more organisations implement intranets and enable Internet access, they face the challenge of printing documents across these expanded networks, according to Novell. If this proposed standard is adopted and implemented, printer manufacturers and print service providers will be able to offer businesses ready-to-use solutions for sending print-job requests and controlling print jobs to printers across the Internet and corporate intranets.

Several print services are based on the ISO 10175 standard, commonly referred to as the DPA standard. With support for the proposed Internet draft protocol, printer vendors will be able to increase printer compatibility, allowing users to easily send and manage print jobs.

Companies supporting Novell and its new proposed standard are Adobe, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Lexmark, QMS, Ricoh, Sharp, Tektronix, Toshiba and Xerox.

The Multi-Function Peripheral Association has also committed to endorsing the proposed draft and will work to get input from its members to extend and modify this specification to support faxing, scanning, copying, and other multifunction device capabilities, according to officials.

Novell can be reached at http://www.novell.com/.

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