Deleting Spool Requests SAP BASIS

There are several ways to delete spool requests:

  • Automatically, by setting the flag Delete After Print when creating output requests.
  • Interactively, from the spool request list, by selecting the required entries and clicking on the Delete icon.
  • Calling the Spool | Spool Administration menu from the CCMS initial screen, then selecting the Administration tabstrip and clicking the Delete Old Spool Request pushbutton. The system displays a new screen with several deletion SPAD transaction code.
  • With the periodic background job RSPO0041. Job RSPO0041 manages the TemSe database, with options for removing any spool data file that is corrupt or orphan. When deleting a spool request, the system removes
  • The spool request itself and associated table entries
  • The print file
  • All output requests that were generated for that spool request.

Connecting Printers to the Operating Systems Spool

Before you can define a new printing device in the SAP system, the printer must be physically installed and configured in the host operating system that is running the host spool system, and thus managing the spool request sent to that device. Printers can be connected to several types of operating systems: UNIX systems, Microsoft Windows platforms, AS/400, and others, and can be connected either locally (physically attached to those servers) or remotely (through the network). SAP WAS supports all those types of connections, although the concept is slightly different.

From the point of view of the access methods, local printing means that the spool work process is running on the same server as the host operating system spool, and remote printing is when the servers are different and connected through the network. A third way, known by SAP as PC printing, is when printers are configured on Windows PC systems through the print manager. There is also the option of local PC printing even when the printers are not defined at the SAP level.

At the same time, there are many vendors, models, flavors, print protocols, and so on for the printers. Not all understand the same printing language or support the same printing features and possibilities. Before you can define a new printer device within the SAP system, it's absolutely critical that you define, configure, and test the printer on the host system where the printer is connected. Only then can you be sure that the printer can be defined and will function properly within SAP.

For setting up printers on the operating system spool, every hardware vendor and operating system has its procedure. The SAP official online help documentation (SAP Printing Guide) includes instructions on how to set up printers in most of the supported operating systems. You can look in this documentation or the official administration manual of your server operating system for more information.

When printers are not directly connected to the host systems but are connected remotely to the network, commonly they use the TCP/IP protocol. In these cases, you must ensure that the printer is accessed by the network and test that it prints correctly. For instance, their IP address must be included in the hosts server file or in the domain name servers. As requirements for proceeding with the definition of printers within SAP systems, the following information is needed:

  • Printer or spool queue name at the host system
  • Model and type of printing device
  • Printing protocol supported: PCL, POSTSCRIPT, and so forth.

Defining SAP Printer Devices

For the SAP system, a printer is defined as an output device, just like a fax or optical archive equipment. The SAP system includes an extensive spool administration transaction for defining and managing all aspects of printing configuration and output devices. To call this transaction, from the initial SAP menu, select Tools | CCMS | Spool | Spool Administration or, alternatively, enter transaction code SPAD in the command field.

The Spool Administration initial screen (SPAD transaction)

The Spool Administration initial screen (SPAD transaction)

You have many options to define how and what to see in the initial screen for spool administration: system managers accustomed to previous releases can use the old initial administration screen or can decide to switch to the new one. To select the initial Spool Administration screen that will be displayed when calling transaction SPAD, from the menu Settings | Selection Screen select the option required. By default the system shows the simple administration screen, and you can get additional options by clicking on the Extended Administration or Full Administration pushbuttons on the application toolbar.

The initial administration screen has several parts that will show more or fewer components depending on whether simple, extended, or full administration is selected. In the simple administration mode, you have a basic screen with two tabstrips: Devices/Servers and Admin.

Options for the Devices server simple administration screen include four items that are the only options for output devices:

  • Output devices. This option is used for displaying, managing, and defining devices.
  • Spool servers. This option shows all spool servers defined in your system and is also used for creating new spool servers or deleting existing ones.
  • Access methods. This option shows all possible access methods, and can display devices or output requests for each existing method.
  • Destination host. This option displays a list of destination hosts, associated devices, and possible errors.

When full administration is selected, the screen includes additional options for configuration of device types, output management systems, character sets, and text pools for title pages. You can find extensive information about extended options in the SAP online documentation SAP Printing Guide. The Administration tabstrip includes four pushbutton functions that are used for administrative purposes, including deleting old spool requests, performing checks and consistency checks of the spool system, and displaying a list of print requests. In this section, only the process of creating a new printer—a new output device—is explained.

To change or create a new printer, from the Spool Administration initial screen, click on the Devices/Server tabstrip and then click on the Output Devices pushbutton, or select Configuration | Output Devices from the menu bar. On this screen, select the change mode by clicking on the Change icon on the application toolbar. The system will display the list of current output devices. On this screen, click on the Create icon for defining a new output device.

Screen for creating new output devices

Screen for creating new output devices

To define a new output device you must at least fill up the required entry fields. Notice that the system already has filled up some default values. Fields on this screen are as follows:

  • Output device. It's the name of the device as it will be known to SAP users
  • Short name. You can enter a four-character short name.
  • Device type. Corresponds to the device model for the printer, fax, archive, or other output device. You can click on the possible entries arrow to show a list of available device types as included in the standard system. If the printer you want to connect does not exist and there is no compatible model, you might have to define your own device type.
  • Spool server. It's the name of the SAP instance running a spool work process. If there is more than one SAP spool server, you can select it from the available list by clicking on the possible entries arrow.
  • Device class. Shows the device type. Figure shows the drop down list with the available device classes. For printers, which are the most common class, select Standard Printer.
  • Authorization group. Can be used to specify an authorization group name to protect the device using the authorization system.
  • Model name. This name is for documentation purposes only.
  • Location. This field is intended for informative purposes only. You can enter a brief description here about the printer and where it's located. This is an optional field.
  • Message. Together with the previous Location field, this is another field for informative purposes that can be used for administrators to display a special message when users select this printer as the output device. It's an optional field. When it is left blank, the system will show the informative text as entered in the Location field.
  • Lock printer in SAP system. As an administrator, you can use this field to temporarily lock a printer from being used within SAP.
  • Access Method tabstrip. The access method specifies the communication path between the SAP spool system and the host spool system: it's the method used by the SAP spool to transfer the data to be printed to the host spool system. Access methods specify how and when the print formatting is processed for the subsequent transfer and processing by the host spool system. You can display a list of the available access methods by clicking on the possible entries list arrow of the field Host Spool Access Method. Find on the following section an explanation of different access methods, which is of critical importance for configuring the right printing strategy and which also impacts heavily printing performance.
  • Host Printer. It's the name of the printer exactly as it's defined at the operating system level. In Windows systems, it might be something like LPT1:, LPT2:, or even a UNC name such as myservermyprinter.
  • Host Name. This is a display field which shows on which host server the spool work process is running.
  • Do Not Query Host Spooler for Output Status. When this option is set, the SAP spool system does not request the output status to the host spool system. Setting this option might be good for performance reasons; however, once the print request is successfully sent to the host spool system, the output controller will not check the actual status of the printing, so that if there is any error at the host system spool, the SAP system will not know.

Dialog box with available device classes

Dialog box with available device classes

Clicking on the Output Attributes tabstrip in the Spool Administration screen, you have some further options such as the following:

  • SAP cover page. When this check box is selected, the output device by default prints out a SAP title page (a cover sheet). You can also specify the language forthe text included in the title or cover page entering the language code in the SAP cover page language.
  • Monitor using monitoring infrastructure. When this flag is set, the system monitors the spool requests. Some caution must be exercised when using this flag, because massive monitoring of output devices can affect the system's performance.
  • Process requests sequentially. You can have more than just one spool work process for a server. If you want to assure that spool requests generated for a given device are processed sequentially, set this flag. Otherwise spool requests could be reordered during processing. Other options include the possibility of selecting color printing as well as selecting advances printing modes (duplex, both sides, etc.) and even the printer trays.

Logical Output Devices and Device Pools

It is also possible to define logical printer devices. Logical printer devices are virtual devices that must be mapped against existing defined printer devices in the system. When creating a logical printer device, what the system actually defines is a device of access type P or Pool Device, mapped against only one physical device. In this sense, a Logical Device can be considered as a Pool Device with one and only one physical device assigned.

About Pools

Device pools have the purpose of grouping devices of the same type (for example, PostScript printers) using a unique device name, thus permitting the spool requests directed to that pool to be printed by any of the devices assigned to the pool. This type of device definition is completely equivalent to well-known logical printer queues of many operating systems, where a print job directed to the logical queue is output by any of the physical queues defined for the logical queue.

In SAP systems, what is assigned to the pool is not the physical printer itself but the output device, which can be either logical or physical. When the device is a logical device, it must be directly or indirectly mapped to a physical device. A device pool covers two basic functions of the printing devices:

  • Sending spool requests to all printing devices associated with a device pool
  • Balancing the load of print requests among the devices that make up the devicepool, avoiding possible spool bottlenecks

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