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February 10, 1997updated 04 Sep 2016 12:55am


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp has re-written its NPM network printer management software in Java and will make it available free of charge on its web site beginning February 17th. The Java-ized NPM currently allows network administrators to remotely install, configure and manage IBM printers from a graphical interface, but IBM will add new Java versions through 1997 that include features for monitoring the usage of paper and toner; service management functions to reduce those tech support calls; as well as support for third party printers that support the SNMP simple network management protocol NPM uses. SNMP enables NPM to communicate over bi-directional links with other devices which support the protocol. IBM’s pleased as punch about one particular feature of the software which it believes puts NPM streets ahead of printer rival Hewlett-Packard Co’s own web-based printer management software called Web JetAdmin introduced late last year (CI No 3,039). After the NPM software is installed on a web server the network administrator uses a browser to download a Java applet. The applet then establishes a connection back to the server outside of the browser and is continuously updated with information collected by the server from networked printers. HP’s software uses HTML and works within a browser. IBM claims that forces the administrator to constantly to refresh the browser to get updated information and is therefore unable to use the browser for other purposes while administering the printer network. NPM is initially available for Windows NT-based web servers with AIX, OS/2, HP-UX and Solaris versions due over the next few months. It supports Netscape, Microsoft and IBM web servers. Only black and white IBM printers are supported in the first rev of the Java software.`

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