Banner Printing in a Windows Environment

My organization is currently in the midst of a Sungard Banner rollout to serve as our student information system.  Banner is an extremely mature product, having lived through the mainframe days into modern architecture.  However, some of mechanisms are still quite antiquated (at least on 7.4, which we are currently implementing). 

One of these is the printing mechanism, which requires all printers to be defined in the database by the UNC queue path and accessible directly from the Oracle application server that hosts INB.    In a Windows environment like ours, the application server simply sends a text file to a print queue using the Windows Print command.    The Print command is lacking in many features, specifically, there is no switch to change the printer mode to landscape printing.

To get around this, Sungard recommends that you setup two print queues for each printer, one with the default mode set to portrait, and one for landscape.  The problem is, the Print command doesn’t seem to be bound by the setting of the default in the Windows printer configuration panel.  Printouts from the Banner job submission engine always come out in portrait mode.

After a ton of Googling, I couldn’t really find any solution to this problem (other than yet another add-on product they’d like to sell you, called Form Fusion).  However, I just happened to stumble on an article on the Xerox site about sending PCL codes to a printer using a custom seperation page.  After looking up the proper PCL codes on this site, the custom seperator seemed to do the trick.  Oh, and you still have to do the dual print queue option to make this work, and you have to be using printers that support PCL (this works on every HP LaserJet I’ve tried so far).

Steps to implement:

  1. Create a text file on your print server called Landscape.sep
  2. Cut and paste the following code into the text file, and save:
    • \
      \H1B\L%-12345X
      \H1B\LE
      \H1B\L&l1O
  3. In the Printers and Faxes Control Panel, access the printer properties for your designate landscape mode queue and go to the Advanced Tab.
  4. Click the Seperator Page button and browse to the location of your Landscape.sep file, then Apply the settings.

Now when Banner sends a job to the printer via to the landscape queue, the PCL codes in the seperator file set the printer to landscape mode before the text file is transmitted via the Print command.  You can also use other PCL codes, if you’d like to change fonts, column width etc.  Here’s some information on that from the Microsoft KnowledgeBase.

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~ by swendel on March 31, 2009.

2 Responses to “Banner Printing in a Windows Environment”

  1. When I follow the mentioned procedure, I am able to get the Landscape print.
    But How to automate this process…like ‘For the large files like class rosters it should print landscape ,and for other small files it should change to potrait automatically.

    Can anyone provide me information about this issue? Do i have to modify sctban.pm or gjajobs.pl ? If so,how?

  2. Unfortunately you can’t. You have to setup two queues for each printer, one in Portrait Mode and one in Landscape mode. This is covered in the Banner docs, but the part they don’t cover is what I post about.

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