What is the Universal Print connector?
The Universal Print connector is a component that you can use to make a printer work with Universal Print. Unless you have a printer that directly connects to Universal Print, you must use a connector.
Connect printers to Universal Print
For a printer to communicate directly with Universal Print, the printer firmware needs to support the communication protocols that the Universal Print service uses. Various printer manufacturers plan to offer Universal Print–compatible printers.
At the time of this writing, most in-market printers don't support the required Universal Print protocols. In the future, some printer manufacturers are expected to offer printer firmware upgrades that add Universal Print support directly into the printer.
The purpose of the Universal Print connector is to make sure that a wide range of these printers work with Universal Print today. Printers that don't support the Universal Print protocols in their firmware require the Universal Print connector.
Printers that support the Universal Print protocols in their firmware don't require the Universal Print connector.
The role of the connector
The connector performs 3 main functions
- It enables the admin to register printers with Universal Print.
- It reports print job status and printer status to Universal Print.
- It fetches print jobs from Universal Print and delivers them to their target printer.
In most cases, the connector can pass a print job to the Windows print spooler without having to locally store the file that the user intends to print. Sometimes the connector may need to temporarily store that file to ensure that it is submitted to the spooler reliably. Once the file is successfully submitted to the spooler, the connector attempts to delete it. In some corner cases, the deletion is not guaranteed to succeed. This requires the file to be deleted manually by the admin.
The connector can be installed on a computer running Windows where printers are installed to connect these printers to Universal Print.
Alternatively, Microsoft partners offer different implementations of the Universal Print connector, such as appliances, that might be more suitable to your environment.