The native way of printing on most IBM mainframes is to a 3287 printer. This method of printing is totally different from the print spoolers that send print jobs via batch processing to LPD or socket print servers. It is often much faster. Common names for this type of printing are session bound, SNA, associated or LU printing. With 3270E the data is normally in SCS (SNA Character String) format. Also supported is the older 3270 Data Stream with SSCP (System Services Control Point).
(Another “session bound” method of printing may be created from mainframe applications written in Natural/Adabas or any application that can generate the Natural file transfer screens FileTransNatural. This method uses only one terminal session to handle both screen and printer data. The terminal side setup is simpler than 3287. It corresponds to the back- or thru-printing of VT terminals.)
The Inet3270 terminal emulator can be configured to be a printer by changing the terminal typeTermTerminalType to IBM-3287-1. Other common terminal typesTermTerminalType are 3230, 3262, 3268, 3288 and 3289.
How to set up your 3287 printer:
- Start an Inet3270 terminal.
- Change the terminal typeTermTerminalType to IBM-3287-1 on the Setup | Telnet pageHIDD_TELNETOPTIONS.
- If the mainframe is not going to assign an LU name, enter your printer LU name on the Setup | Telnet pageHIDD_TELNETOPTIONS.
- Set up the printer options under Setup | Printers | 80 Column Host PrinterHID_1ST_HOST_PRINTER_SETUP (or Setup | Printers | RTF Host PrinterHID_RTF_HOST_PRINTER_SETUP if you expect RTF data).
- Specify the mainframe address and port under Connection | OpenHIDD_OPEN_CONNECTION. Also select the “Auto connect when loading this configuration” option.
- Select View | Minimize to system trayHID_MIN_TO_SYSTRAY to hide your printer in the system tray.
- NB: Do not Save – use File | Save AsHIDD_SAVE_AS_CONFIGURATION to create the new configurationTermConfiguration.
- For automated start up of the printer, either
- create an icon in your StartUp group or
- enter this new configurationTermConfiguration name in your normal terminal session’s Setup | SettingsHIDD_3270_SETTINGS at the “Auto start 3287 printer” box.
Note: When you close the terminal session, the printer session will not be closed automatically.
Future extensions to Inet3270 may include the facility to print multiple formats (e.g. Portrait/Landscape and 80/132 column) from the same logical printer, even to different physical printers if required.