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Argos uses a unique, patented approach to extract print activity from a Windows print spooler without disrupting the user's print experience. 

Overview

The Argos Agent is installed on any print server hosting print queues that should be tracked. By default, all print queues on a monitored server will be tracked, and the following information will be extracted:

  • Username/domain
  • Filename
  • Computer name
  • Height
  • Width
  • Pages
  • Copies
  • Color usage
  • Date/time printed

Tracking Method

The Argos Print Processor (ArgPrint) copies the Windows spool file as it is being generated, and processes it in a separate thread. This allows the print job to arrive unencumbered at the printer while Argos can parse the spool file separately. There are a number of settings that can be configured at the device level in Argos.

When a new Windows device is created in Argos, the default setting is "Tracking - Process Spool Files". In most cases, this should be used, however there are scenarios where it should be altered.

The following options are available at the device level:

  • Use local tracking mode
    • Exists for backwards-compatibility, do not use unless recommended by Sepialine Support staff
  • Do not track
    • Argos tracking completely ignores this device. If a device is set to "Do not track", Windows print activity is not watched
  • Tracking - Process spool files
    • This is the standard tracking method. Tracking settings for all devices are centrally stored
    • Print spool data is analyzed page-by-page to identify color information and page dimensions
  • Tracking - Do not process spool files
    • Only print spool header information is read. This mode should only be used in situations where devices require a specific proprietary print processor (examples: HP Deskjet and Brother Inkjet printers). Header information does not include page-by-page information and may not be as accurate.
  • Managed Printing - Secure Release
    • Print job is released only when user releases job via device panel or mobile client
  • Managed Printing - Global Print Release
    • Print job is available for release at multiple devices via device panel or mobile client

 

 

Parsing Settings

In general, the Parsing settings for most devices should be left alone. There are some scenarios where you may want to change them.

 

  • Use Advanced parser
    • The Advanced parser does page-by-page analysis of every print document to determine color usage. For example, if a 100 page document is sent, but only 5 pages are color, without page-by-page analysis, the entire document would be reported as color. With Advanced parser enabled, we will track this document as 95 pages BW, 5 pages color. However, this type of analysis does use additional resources, so on print services that do not have adequate resources, we often recommend disabling the advanced parser for some devices.
  • Disable Color Detection
    • For monochrome printers, there is no need to monitor each page for color usage. You can disable color detection completely and automatically report everything and BW. Some customers use this setting for large format color inkjet plotters as well - if you want to report everything that comes out of a color plotter as "color", you can disable color detection and set override all jobs to color.
  • Override Detected Color
    • Typically used in tandem with "Disable Color Detection"
  • Prefer parsed pages
    • Unless recommended by Sepialine Support staff, this setting should be checked. When unchecked, the page count is reported only from the print spool header, rather than from inside the spool file.
  • Prefer parsed copies
    • Unless recommended by Sepialine Support staff, this setting should be checked. When unchecked, the copy count is reported only from the print spool header, rather than from inside the spool file.
  • Prefer parsed dimensions
    • Unless recommended by Sepialine Support staff, this setting should be checked. When unchecked, the page dimensions are reported only from the print spool header, rather than from inside the spool file.
  • Save diagnostic data to file
    • Use this setting only if Sepialine Support asks you to capture spool files for a specific printer. Once enabled, a copy of each spool file for this printer is copied to your hard drive, which can fill up space rapidly.

 

These settings only apply to Windows print queues. Mac print queue settings are defined within the Mac Desktop Client properties.

Tracking via Integration/OnBoard adapters

A growing number of devices can be tracked directly at the device by our suite of Integration adapters and OnBoard clients. This method is operating system-independent, and will track printing directly at the device. Tracking via an adapter is usually the best way to achieve the most reliable tracking information. See our list of Integration devices for more information.

 

 

 

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