This function can collect almost any information from your network printers (MIB). See below how this process can be performed periodically and even e-mails with the scan results can be sent to you.
An easy to use provided additional piece of software can compare two network scans and calculate for each printer the printed amount of pages.
FleetMeter is able to scan periodically the named IP address range[es] and send the results by e-mail to some static e-mail addresses. As special version it comes on an USB stick and can be used without the need of installation. But note hat both versions need to run on a PC, which has Excel installed. FleetMeter makes use of the Excel ODBC functions.
If you do not want to install Microsoft Excel on your server, you may be able to download just the ODBC extensions from the Microsoft website.
There are 2 ways to collect the information:
Default and always as the first try: Using the SNMP (Simple NETWORK Management Protocol).
Only if collection the page counter and the printer name fails via SNMP, as maybe the printers SNMP support is turned off or the network box is not supporting it, ELP may use on request as well the standard @PJL (Printer Job Language) commands.
The main screen offers four different ways to define the printers, from which the information is collected:
1. Analyze all installed network printers
ELP will read all local installed print queues from this server, and if a port is using the TCP/IP communication method, ELP opens a communication link with the printer and reads back all available MIB information.
2. Analyze/Search all printer within a range
You may enter here a single IP address or a complete range of them, from address to address.
Note: It may take a pretty long time to analyze each possible address, so keep the range as narrow as possible.
If needed several projects with individual address ranges can be defined to search for, e.g. companies or departments. Simply click on the Edit button and ELP will bring up the ini file into notepad with a detailed description of how to setup these projects. Each project can hold as many IP address ranges as you like. A range can be only one printer address or two addresses: FROM up to TO. Both addresses are included in the research.
In addition each project can define a unique project file name, in which ELP stores the results.
4. All IP addresses from a previous run
To speed up the search, a result file form a previous run can be selected as well. This is maybe the best way to get the fastest result.
Independent which mode is used, the following parameters can be set. They are used mainly for the automatic time scheduled processing, described later. All result files are stored into the PGCOUNT directory below the main installation directory as a ASCII based CSV file (Comma separated ASCII files). This can be opened with nearly any spreadsheet application or even any text editor.
|Add collected results to..||advises ELP to append the collected results to an existing protocol file.|
|Use PJL method if SNMP fails||offers a second way of collecting at least the total printer counter and the printer name. This method will even work, if for example the printers SNMP protocol is turned off, as some companies do. But note, this option could take a long time per IP address, which is not reachable, by default 75 minutes. See configuration page for further information.|
|Use only PJL method||if SNMP is turned off. As in some networks SNMP it switched off, the PJL method will still work. As an advantage not more then the page counter is retrieved from the printers.|
|Send result to e-mail addresses||
is only selectable if the e-mail feature configured in the Admin Register Tab is configured and one or more e-mail addresses are defined. Then ELP will automatically send right at the end of the process the final documentation file to the provided addresses. This function realizes for example automatic page counter evaluation on a repeated time based schedule. The e-mail addresses are defined here: FleetMeter configuration
|Show result opens||the CSV file right after the collecting process is finished. The file extension CSV must be dedicated to an installed spread sheet application|
|Exit ELP after research||is done is mainly used for time scheduled operation. The Control Center is automatically ended after the research is finished.|
|Run||starts the analysis of the requested IP range[s].|
|Analysis||A small Java tool, which compares the results of 2 runs and calculates the monthly, quarterly and yearly consumption of printed pages|
|Configuration||Mainly the e-mail and PJL collection mode can be setup here|
Read MIB Generates a text file with all readable MIB addresses of a provided IP address.
The Control Center will keep your last setting for the next start-up. If the Control Center is called with the /P operator: ...\WELP\PPAdmin.exe /P then the last performed request collection is repeated.The MS DOS AT command can be used to start the analyses on a time scheduled base. In that case the Exit option should be set, as well as you may receive an e-mail with the results.
A table tries to read the known MIB addresses of the manufacturer and if not found the printer name. If a piece of hardware reacts to these requests, it is considered to be a printer. But sometimes this is not the case. Sorry for that. If used mode 4, it is recommended to erase such failure reads by hand.
Automatic collecting Page Counters, time triggered
The PPAdmin command line paramter /P will start automatically the FleetMeter screen and perform automatically the exact same research as done with the last settings. So in order to setup a functionality like that, proceed through those steps:
Start PPAdmin without using any parameter.
Open the admin window and setup and test the e-mail functionality, as in most cases the results is sent out via e-mail.
Configuration the system, especially the e-mail addresses.
Ensure that the e-mail feature of ELP is configured properly in the Admin tab.
Return to the Fleetmeter main window and configure it according to your requirements, like the mode and all options. Obviously PPAdmin has to send the stuff by e-mail and shut down after finishing the process.
Click on Run to start the process in order to test your settings and even more important to store the settings.
Is the result like you requested it, then finally set up the time based process. Windows offer several methods to call applications time based.
We recommend to use the Microsoft build-in Task Scheduler to setup the time based page counter functionality. Just execute PPAdmin with the command line parameter /P which uses always the last performed page counter research as the default setting. For example: c:\Program Files (x86)\welp\PPAdmin.exe /P