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I have a HP Printer (HP Color LaserJet CM1312 MFP Series PCL 6) installed which is used by nearly 200 PCs through LAN. I want to track the usage like:

  1. Who (IP Address) initiated the print task
  2. Time
  3. Status: Success or Failure
  4. How many Pages
  5. Color or Gray Scale etc.

I checked the manuals and nothing about this requirement is available. The built-in control panel log displays only last 10 activities. Is there a way to track these information? Is there an API avaialble so that I can make an application myself?

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7 Answers 7

In a 200-person environment I would imagine you have some Windows servers floating around there somewhere.

If the printer isn't already available via a print queue on one of your servers (i.e. your clients are printing directly to the printer IP), alter this so that your clients print via a shared printer queue from a server. This will have a nice side benefit of automated printer driver installations for client.

Once the printer is used via a server, you can turn on printer auditing for a view of who's doing what and when. See this article for more info:

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Securing-Printer-Usage-Windows-Server-2003-Part3.html

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I sincerely doubt that you will get what you want from default printer logging. I solve similar problem by moving the printer to Linux box where cups was configured to log everything I need to, and also automatic email sending directly to me in case of trouble.

Pros:

  • Logging
  • Maintenance

Cons:

  • Configuration
  • Printing is slower

UPDATE:

  • As far as I remember some HP JetDirect's can use remote syslog, so your server can log message directly from your printer, and then you can do with them whatever you need - parse/print/whatever.
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I think your best bet is the HP jetdirect logs.I think you can export them to an external source drive.

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Note that you will need to be running all of the print jobs through a print server that lets you log information - if all of the PCs are going directly to the printer then you're probably out of luck.

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HP printers do not store a log of printing jobs. Other brands do, the best one to my knowledge being Xerox. Hence there are only 2 ways you can get a job log. The first is to connect all users to the printer via a server. However the server will not know how many pages there are in each job. The alternative way is to invest in some print monitoring software. Some of these packages will count pages in the print job. They tend to be expensive, and still require that all printing is done via the server. Some examples of print management software include:

www. blackice. com/PrintMonitoringServer.htm www. softwareshelf. com/products/display_enterprise.asp?p=23 www. prnwatch. com/ www. printaudit. com/ h30046.www3.hp. com/solutions/solutiondetail.php?topiccode=IPGPJA

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In one of our labs in our university, we connect printer to a server and force people to log-in on to the server to do any printing. It's not an ideal solution but tracking is much more easier here.

You can also keep the printer server on nfs to make life of users easier.

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I have used PaperCut and PCounter. Both are excellent packages, should cost under $1000, and will blow you away in terms of the functionality they provide.

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