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I'm looking for a software printer server that is optimized for POS printers.

Our company has software installed in hundreds of client boxes, most of which are used as point of sale machines. Each of those PCs has a POS Printer and its corresponding POS Software. The POS Printer is usually configured to work correctly with the POS Software.

The problem we usually have is that if we want have control of the output, we need to change the printer settings, but this is not something we can do because the owners don't want anything changed that can affect the communication between POS Software and Printer.

I have seen a couple of POS programs that have their own very basic printer servers. One of them prints to LPT1 whatever text file is created in a certain directory. This software printer server can be customized to print to another port or even USB printer.

So I started thinking that there might be such a thing as a configurable software printer server that I can configure and that allows me to not use the default Windows Print Spooler or even to print directly to LPT1.

Is there such a thing?

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There's CUPS, but I'm almost certain that you don't want that. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 18 '10 at 20:47
Ignacio, I've used CUPS before and that's not what I need. We want to be able to install our software, install this server/driver, configure it and start working. All this without having to change any of the current printing setup of the computer. –  lal00 Oct 20 '10 at 14:52
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1 Answer

It sounds like (for Windows) what you want is a printer driver that you can control. Here's a seach for them: http://www.bing.com/search?q=windows+printer+driver+SDK&form=QBRE&qs=n&sk=

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Mark, thanks for your answer. Yes, I might be using the wrong terms here. I will look more into printer drivers. But it sounds to me that a printer driver is for a specific brand/type of printer and what we need is to work with different brand/types of printers. Anyway, I will look at the search results that you suggest. –  lal00 Oct 20 '10 at 14:50
@lal00 - printer drivers can (and usually are) for specific brands of printer hardware. However, in Windows at least it's also possible to write printer drivers that accept the same input from Windows, and create other output - there are printer drivers for example that you can use to create PDF files from applications that normally aren't able to save their data to .PDF - you just "Print" and the output is saved to a .pdf file instead of actually getting printed. –  Mark Allen Oct 20 '10 at 23:13
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