IBM Is First With Java-based
by Yardena Arar, PC World
(February 10, 1997) -- IBM today announced new Java-based network printer
management software, making it the first
company to deliver a printer management utility that uses the
cross-platform Java programming language. IBM will make Network
Printer Management available at no cost beginning February 17.
The application lets you manage IBM network printers across multiple
platforms using Java-enabled Web browsers such as
Netscape Navigator (version 2.0 or later) and Internet Explorer 3.0.
Eventually, the software will run on any desktop equipped with
the Java Virtual Machine. IBM competitor Lexmark is working on a Java
version of its Mark Vision printer control application.
IBM Network Printer Software Manager Brent A. Black said that by the end of
the year, his group hopes to add support for other
vendors' SNMP-compliant network printers, as well as the ability to track
paper and ink or toner consumption and service
"This is a good use of Java because the application is not inherently
CPU-intensive," Black said. Using Java eliminates the need to
program separately for different platforms, he added, thereby freeing up
more development resources to add features requested by
Alyson Frasco, analyst at research firm International Data Corporation,
said eventually most network printer vendors will move to
"Managing network printers over the Web brings you up a level. You don't
have to worry about what operating system the printer is
on, and down the road you could add printing across the Web," Frasco said.
While printer market leader Hewlett-Packard has already introduced
Web-based printer management, HP's JetAdmin software is
based on CGI (common gateway interface) scripts on HTML pages. "Java, being
an actual application or program, makes (IBM's
software) potentially more powerful," Frasco said.
The new software gives IBM an advantage as it seeks to break into the
network printer market. A 5-year non-compete agreement
with former subsidiary Lexmark International expired last year.
Principal Engineer - Advanced Printing Standards - Xerox Corporation
701 S. Aviation Blvd., El Segundo, CA, M/S: ESAE-231
Phone +1-310-333 8273, Fax +1-310-333 5514
Email: manros at cp10.es.xerox.com