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Using Rpv Reports on Unix based systems

About this document.

This document is specially intended to those developers of Unix based systems. While Windows is an operating system developed by only one company, Unix has several different versions developed by different companies.

When we say Unix we mean Unix based operating systems and includes Linux, SCO Unix, HP-UX, QNX and ussually all the different Unix versions available.


What kind of reports can we print on Unix?

From Unix is possible to print all the files accepted by Rpv Reports

They are: RPV, RPX, RPD, TXT, LST and PRN
All these kind of files can include images, charts or barcodes in the same way that if everything would be running on Windows.

It is really important to remmark that the quality of the reports printed from Unix will be the same quality that can be obtained from Windows


Beginning...

To work with Rpv and Unix there are two possible scenarios.

A) Pure Unix. Unix server with Unix terminals.

A Unix server with all its terminals running Unix also. This means that Windows is not present on the end user's computer in any moment.



B) Unix / Windows. Unix server with Windows terminals.

A Unix server with the end user's terminals running on Windows. From Windows, the end users "telnet" to Unix to run the systems.
It is possible to telnet to Unix using some tool (NetTerm, Kea, Putty, etc) or even with the telnet tool that is included with Windows.



For the case "A" (pure Unix), will be necessary to have one computer running Windows connected to the network to use Rpv Reports. For this specific case is not possible to preview the reports but only the direct printing.

For the option "B" (Unix with Windows terminals) everything changes. Rpv Reports is executed on Windows on every end user's computer and connects directly to Unix. From the server, Rpv downloads the files to print them. This configuration allows to preview the reports.

The option "B" is the most used actually.

For these two options it will be necessary to use the Rpv Print Server.


Rpv Print Server. What is it?

The Rpv Print Server is a resident program that is able to check one specific directory (on Unix or Windows) and print or preview the files that are on that folder.

To connect the Rpv Print Server to Unix there are two alternatives: using the FTP queue or using the Samba.

In case that Samba is available, Rpv Print Server will see the folder like a local folder or a folder within a Microsoft network. In this case is not recommended to use the FTP queue basically is not needed.

When Samba is not available it will be necessary to create a CNX file (that means connection) and contains the information to connect to that folder in Unix and manage the files. This file is created with the program RPVCONNECT.EXE that is on the Rpv directory (ussually c:\program files\rpv).

It is necessary that the FTP service is running on the Unix server. This is required.

In any case, it is required to create on the Unix server a directory to place the reports that have to be printed. This directory has to have an user that has all the rights on it. This means, a user that can delete the files once they have been printed.

This directory will be a temporal directory and all the files that are placed on it will be deleted. For that reason, is recommended not to place important files there.


Creating the CNX file.

To create a CNX file the RpvConnect.exe file must be executed. It can be accessed by using the menu option: Start / Programs / Rpv Reports / Ftp Connection Utility.

When this program is started a simple form will be displayed to fill the connection data to the FTP server: host (can be specified using a name or numeric ip address), username, password, queue directory and pattern.

For the first fields is only necessary to explain that is not required that the username is the same user that the person uses to log in. In fact, it is possible that is convenient to have an special user to connect the Rpv Print Server to Unix.

For security reasons IS NOT RECOMMENDED to use the ROOT user in any case.

It is strongly recommended to perform the conection test before using the Rpv Print Server.

Queue directory.

This will be the directory that has been created on Unix to place the files to be printed.
NEVER use the root diretory or the $HOME directory of a user because all the files place on that folder will be deleted.

An example of a queue directory created on Unix can be the following:

/tmp/rpvqueue


Pattern

This pattern field is optional but very important for those cases when the queue directory has reports of multiple users. This avoids to create one directory per user. When the pattern is set, the print server will select the files RPV, RPX, RPD, TXT, LST or PRN that begin with the specified character(s) and will manage them.

How to declare the pattern

It is possible to declare more than one pattern. They have to be separated by comma.

Let's suppose that the pattern is "mike" (without the quotes), the print server will manage all the files that begins with "mike". For example: "mike9382349.rpx"

It is possible to work with two different patterns. For example, in case that Mike's printer also prints the invoices. In that case, the pattern could be "mike,invoice" (without the quotes).

The Rpv Print Server will only print then the files that begin with "mike" or begin with "invoice".


Starting the Rpv Print Server.

Before starting the Rpv Print Server, let's check for the necessary elements to start printing from Unix.

1.- The Unix user and the queue directory must be created to place the reports.
2.- The CNX file must created and tested.

The Rpv Print Server can be started from the MS-DOS prompt:

C:\Program Files\Rpv>Prtsvr.exe -s -v -fC:\UNIX.CNX

In this case the Rpv Print Server is starting in visible mode (-V) accessing the Unix server using the UNIX.CNX file. Is remmarkable that the CNX file can have any name.

Important: there is no space between the argument "-F" and the name of the CNX file.


Previewing the reports using the Rpv Print Server.

In case that is necessary to preview RPX, RPD or RPV is required to include OPEN_VIEW=Y in the configuration section of the report. When Rpv Print Server finds that file it will open the viewer automatically.

...
...
ORIENTATION=2
REPORT_TITLE=Report from Unix
OPEN_VIEW=Y
$Col_1=400
$Col_2=500
...
...


In case that is necessary to preview TXT, LST or PRN reports, it will be required to configure each type with the printer "PREVIEW".




How to print the images.

The images are ussually external files that are linked from the reports. To print these images there are some options:

1) To copy all the images to the queue directory (in Unix).
2) To place the images on the local disk where the Rpv Print Server is in execution.
3) Place the images in some location to be accessed by any computer.

This last is one of the best options. Is to place the images or the related files in some place of the server that can be accessed via http.


How to print or preview the reports

Doing this is very simple and all that has to be done is to copy or move (better to move) the report to the queue directory on Unix.

If the file is generated by a program, it must be generated on a directory different than the queue directory to be moved later. What is important at this point is to avoid that the Rpv Print Server finds the file before the report is completelly created.

Supposing that the queue directory on Unix is "/tmp/rpvqueue" and the files "invoice.rpx" must be printed (or preview) it can be copied or moved like the following:

$ mv invoice.rpx /tmp/rpvqueue

or

$ cp invoice.rpx /tmp/rpvqueue





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