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Centralized print server for interfacing one or more network clients with a plurality of printing devices

Image Number 6 for United States Patent #6020973.

A method for use with a printing system of a type in which one or more clients communicate with a plurality of printers by way of a network and print server is provided. The print server includes a communications layer with a plurality of connectivity modules, and each of the connectivity modules communicates with at least one of the plurality of printers. The method includes the steps of generating a document processing function call in the print server, in response to a request from one of the one or more clients, and selecting one of the plurality of connectivity modules. In turn, the document processing function call is transmitted to the selected one of the plurality of connectivity modules; and, in response to analyzing the document processing function call with the communications interface, a set of information is obtained with the selected connectivity module. The set of information is transferred between the selected one of the plurality of connectivity modules and the one of the plurality of printers to perform an operation with or obtain a set of information from the one of the plurality of printers.

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