VMware View-ThinPrint; Basics

ThinPrint’s .print solution has been OEM-ed by VMware for it’s View solution since View3. It isn’t a part of View people talk about but it does bring benefits. I would like to write a short summary on ThinPrint inside VMware View.

When you install the VMware View Client and Agent, you install the ThinPrint .print solution at the same time. All components are inside the Agent and Client. What this basically offers a customer is a drive free print solution. You don’t need to install and manage print drivers inside virtual machines. It also compresses print jobs which saves you a lot of bandwidth usage.

There are 2 components involved here; the .print Engine and Client:

1 .print Engine; This part will be installed inside the VM as part of the View Agent. This Engine consists of 3 part;

a. ThinPrint AutoConnect; this part communicates the the .print Client and creates the users session printers. So it makes the users printers visible/available inside the VM. This process will query the .print Client every 30 seconds for changes.

b. ThinPrint Output Gateway; this is the generic printer driver for 32- and 64-bit Windows systems. Microsoft defined a standard for exchanging data between applications and the print spooler;EnhancedMetaFile. TPOG based printers provide the following properties; resolution, paper tray, paper format and duplex. Enhanced properties like stapling are not defined by Microsoft. You won’t be able to use those features with ThinPrint.

c. ThinPrint port monitor; this is the part which is responsible for the actual transfer of print data. It is also responsible for compression. it can use RDP and PCoIP for example. It also controls the bandwidth dynamically.

2 .print Client; This part will be installed on the access device as part of the View Client. The .print Client provides information about installed printer, local printer properties and users default printers. It receives compressed print data from the .print Engine. The .print Client “sees” the available printers for the user and will communicate these printers to the AutoConnect Service of the .print Engine.

Last, when a user prints something, the application will interact with the ThinPrint Output Gateway driver to generate the EnhancedMetaFile Data. Data is being processed and transferred by the ThinPrint port monitor and put back into the local print system by the .print Client.