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Know where your spooled files are going

Learn how printer reports end up in different areas, and how to designate exactly where they end up.

Does this scenario sound familiar? A user is printing reports but they come out of the wrong printer. Where do you change the printout to print on the right printer? Is it in the program? In the user profile? In the printer file? There are many places where a spooled file can be directed to a printer: printer file, job description, user profile, device description, system value, and then there are those nice printer overrides that can be very convenient, but could just as easily add to the confusion.

Welcome to the wonderful world of spooling! If the final destination of a report has to be changed, the first thing you have to know is the name of the report (the 'FILE' name how it appears in your spooled files) this is usually the name of the printer file used to create the report.

You could specify the out queue right there, but this would mean that this report would always be sent to that queue -- for every user. This could be just fine for some spooled files (i.e. invoices to be send out can be printed on the invoice printer that is filled with special paper.)

You can also use job descriptions to send the spooled files to the correct out queue (i.e. all prints requested in the test environment could be send to a test queue that has no printer attached. Most reports would have to be printed on different printers based on the user who requested the printout (i.e. department printers.) Another option is to print based on the workstation (i.e. prints requested by any user working on the computer at the loading dock.)

We have four areas that we steer the spooled file to: PRTF, JOBD, USRPRF, and DEVD. If that is not enough for you, these four areas all have two values that can control your spooling: out queue name and printer device. Sounds complicated but it's not really that bad. Look at the graphical flow of the spooled file here.

Simply follow the arrows and you will end up on some out queue or printer. The red values are the defaults when creating the various objects.

Note: If all objects have been created with default values for the out queue and the printer, you will end up in the printer specified in the system value QPRTDEV.


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