Output processing or printing from SAP systems will be performed in the same way as other application software performs. You have to install and configure printer device at your operating system to send documents to actual printers.
In SAP systems, Printing will be performed in two steps,
Step 1. Spool request will be created with administrative information along with actual print data
Step 2. Output request will be created with print device information
Device independent information will be converted in to printer language that the selected output device understands
This 2 step process helps you to avoid recreating spool request if there is a wrong paper in the tray or no toner in the printer. Of course, you can also create spool request and output request simultaneously with the option ‘Output immediately’ which can be set in the user profile
The parameter rspo/store_location defines the actual location of the document information in spool request in TemSe (Temporary Sequential objects) Ex: database or global directory
You can also specify storage location for each output device using SPAD transaction code. This can be done using menu path Edit- Data storage
Device types: Device type should be defined at SAP level to inform the SAP spool system about printer which is then informed to operating system spooler(OS spool). This will be done when the output request is being created.
If the printer is not being controlled by an operating system, it cannot be controlled by SAP system also. SAP system will send the formatted printer dependent data to OS spooler using different access methods.
Access method is used to describe reaching of output request from SAP system to OS spooler.
There are 3 ways of creating output devices available in SAP systems.
1. Local printing
2. Remote printing
3. Front end printing
Important steps to check printing environment within SAP system.
• You can check number of spool work processes within SAP system using either SM50 or SM66 t-code
• You can check the number of spool servers that are available in your SAP system using SM51 t-code
• You must remember that you cannot change the number of spool work processes using the concept of operating modes
• You can use SU3 t-code to set the default option ‘output immediately’
• You can use the navigation ‘Start – Control panel – Printers’ to find out printers that are configured in your server or front end computer