January 30, 1997 6:15 PM ET=20
Java comes to print-management apps
By Scott Berinato
=A0IBM, Lexmark International Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. are among
companies turning to Java to season their print-management applications
with Internet and "push" technology features.
IBM's NPM (Network Printer Management) application will be offered with i=
line of network printers in a Java-based version in the last week of
February, according to IBM officials in Boulder, Colo. Future
manifestations of NPM will support other companies' printers, the officia=
For its part, Lexmark in the second quarter will update its MarkVision
software with a Java version that is now in beta testing. Slated to ship
with Lexmark network printers, it will also support HP's network laser
printers, according to Lexmark officials in Lexington, Ky.
software in the spring. A fully Java-enabled version will be released in
the fall. In the meantime, Web JetAdmin will extend support to OS/2, HP-U=
and Solaris platforms, said HP officials in Boise, Idaho.
In addition, Digital Products Inc., of Waltham, Mass., a division of Osic=
Technologies Inc., introduced its NSDoctor Web-based print manager last
month. The company expects to have a Java-enabled version ready in the
second half of the year. DPI also dropped prices on its NetPrint and
JetXPrint servers by as much as 25 percent.
A Java-enabled print manager pushes alerts and other messages in real tim=
to network administrators on any client browser. Some Web-based print
management systems currently use CGI-based polling, which reloads and
updates a Web page at fixed intervals, usurping bandwidth on a large
Because the Java applet is pushed to the desktop, no client software is
necessary. Applets are platform-independent, as well, and future versions
of IBM's NPM will be pushed to any Java-enabled application, officials
Both IBM and Lexmark officials said some capabilities, such as job
statistics and accounting, are sacrificed to "Java-enable" their print
managers. HP will offer a Java-enabled Web JetAdmin without diminished
support of devices and functions, officials said.
Over time, Java-based management tools will be increasingly appealing to
users over other Web-based programs that use polling, said analyst Alyson
Frasco of International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.=20
"Right now, the perceived advantages might not seem overwhelming, but the=
will as Java continues to pervade," said Frasco.=20
IBM can be reached at www.ibm.com; Lexmark, at www.lexmark.com; HP, at
www.hp.com; and DPI, at www.digprod.com.=20