Internet Printing Protocol, also known as IPP, is a protocol that allows the ability to send print jobs to a printer through the internet or to even remote manage sent jobs. IPP began as a project between Novell and Xerox and has now grown to include many companies such as Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Apple and many more. This protocol allows the ability to send a job to any printer in a network set up for IPP or even from outside the network without the need for a VPN access. There are many protocols and drivers available for printers depending on the make and model but one of the main goals of the project is to create a single protocol that will be an industry standard and work with all printing devices even those requiring legacy drivers. Speaking of drivers, another goal is to develop IPP to allow driverless printing. What this means is that there will be no extra software needed in order to print which is one less thing to worry about.
One thing that may have some people concerned with this is multifunction devices as well as specialty printers such as a dot matrix printer. Well some goals with IPP are to allow for a network discovery to find all devices as well obtain information about their features. Next when sending a print job to IPP it will have the functionality to determine what the best printer for the job is based on what each printer is capable of doing. IPP is currently available for all major operating systems Windows, Mac and Linux. With Mac and Linux it is available through CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System developed by Apple) and in Windows it is available through both HTTPS and RPC (Remote Procedure Call) but RPC can only be used if Internet Explorer is set in the Medium-Low security zone.
These are just some of the reasons why we should all pay attention to what the Printer Working Group is doing with the Internet Printing Protocol. If you’d like to find out more information about this group and the work they are doing their website is www.pwg.org. If you have any questions about printers for your company feel free to contact us and we will assist you.