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Is Citrix a Print Software Company?

By Steven Jones, Regional Director - EMEA UniPrint.net on February 6, 2017

Is-citrix-a-print-software-company

When talking to people about printing in a Citrix world, many customers I have come across will ask, “why do I need UniPrint Infinity when I have Citrix UPD?”

My answer is always the same: “Citrix is not a print software company”. This seems obvious, so why is it so important to remember? To answer this, we have to venture back to the root cause of printing issues in Citrix, or more to the point: printing issues in Microsoft.

Most customers blame Citrix stability issues and the ability to manage printing when in reality the culprits are Microsoft and the EMF print process.

EMF printing was introduced way back in the NT4 days when Microsoft was as interested in printing as the biscuit crumbs in my keyboard are to me as I write this. Microsoft decided that they would leave it up to the Printer Vendors to manage printing and gave them the ability to develop and handle the creation and manipulation of the print process, thus giving birth to print drivers.

As Citrix moved through its great history, we all began to realise that printing offered us a huge challenge when deploying a Citrix environment, and it was here that Citrix was thrust into the world of print themselves. 

Citrix had to do something, print driver conflicts were crippling its multi user contexts. The issue was that in the EMF printing process, pressing “print” would load all printer drivers. Even if printer drivers weren’t being used or assigned to printer objects, they would still load.

The result was that individual elements of those drivers, processors, and libraries began to fight for control of the print process. It was because of this that Citrix began the journey to produce a Universal context for printing.

The truth is that Universal printing is a myth. There is no such thing! No single printer driver can print to all printer types and models on the planet today; it’s simply a dream for us in IT.

So, what is the core reason for the creation of the Universal Print Driver (UPD)? Simplify printing? Print to any printer? Create this illusive UPD for all printers in the world? It serves none of these purposes. Put simply, the UPD is designed to protect Citrix from the impact of print.

The Citrix UPD doesn’t print. It captures the EMF data that’s created by the Microsoft print process and then hands it over to the vendor driver to render in the target printer’s language. The vendor driver still needs to be in existence, somewhere, either on the client device the user is logging in with or the remote provider (print server).

It’s that simple. Citrix is not a print software company. Printing is not just about printer driver management; it’s about business processes, and even the digitisation of business processes.  It’s about omni-channel access to those processes from any device and from any location. It’s also about security and compliance and reducing the massive costs associated with printing. It’s about adopting a focus on how to reduce paper usage and adopt a method of printing without being reliant on EMF or hardware.

Ultimately, printing is about defining print processes as software-defined, not by paper and machines.

By it’s own description, Citrix is “the leading specialist in App virtualization and VDI, Enterprise Mobility management, file sync/sharing and networking”, not printing

But what about UniPrint.net? It drives both digital and cloud adoption by empowering IT owners, allowing printing to become a software-defined part of IT strategies and solutions. It offers uniformity in the print environment without being dependent on one particular printer vendor or type.

UniPrint Infinity Suite also adds security and omni-channel access for the user, the UniPrint Infinity Suite continues to cement itself as the leading software defined print solution in today’s IT environments.

Think outside the box and learn more about us! UniPrint can help you look at printing in a more modern way, a software-defined way (as it should be).

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