The device type indicates the type of printer to be addressed. When you define an output device, choose the name of the device type that was defined in the SAP System for your printer model, such as Post2 for a PostScript printer. In the case of front-end printing under Microsoft Windows, you can also use the generic (device-independent) device type SWIN.
The system uses the information in the device type to convert a document from the internal SAP character representation (spool request in OTF or in text format) to a device-specific, print-ready data stream (output request). Since a device type specifies attributes that apply to all devices of a certain model, it can be shared among device definitions. For example, all devices in the SAP spool system that are compatible with Hewlett-Packard LaserJet IIID printers would use the HPLJIIID device type.
You should not confuse the device type with the printer driver. The device type is the total of all attributes of an output device that the SAP System must know to control the output device correctly, such as control commands for font selection, page size, character set selection, and so on. These attributes also include the printer driver that SAPscript/Smart Forms (the SAP form processor) should use for this printer. The SAPscript printer driver that is to be used for devices of this type for output formatting is therefore only an attribute that the device type specifies.
● In most cases, the SAP System already provides the appropriate device type for the printer type for the printer model that you want to use.
These standard device types are completely defined and need no modification or extension before you use them in device definitions.
On the screen where you can edit output devices, the Device Attributes tab page contains, next to the Device Type field, a button, , with which you can call the “Device Type Selection” function. This function supports you in the selection of the appropriate device type for your output device. For more information, see Device Type Selection
● You can also download missing device types from the sapserv server. For a current list of the supported device types, see SAP Note 8928 in the SAP Service Marketplace.
● Most printers can be controlled using a generic format, such as PostScript. They can be switched to a mode that is compatible with one of the standard printers for which an SAP device type is available. In this case, a supported model is emulated.
● Almost all printers are delivered with Microsoft Windows printer drivers. The system can control these printers with the generic (device-independent) device type SWIN. The Microsoft Windows spool system then performs the processing of the print data.
● If the specified device types are not available, and generic device types cannot be used, you must create your own device type or edit a copy of an existing device type. We recommend that only those with specialist knowledge of the SAP Spool System and printer driver code do this. For more information, see Defining a New Device Type.
A device type is distinguished by the attributes listed below. If you change an existing device type or create a new device type, you must change at least some of these attributes.
● Character set: A character set specifies the codes with which characters must be represented in the print-ready output stream (output request). This code replaces the generic SAP character set that is used internally by the SAP spool system (spool request).
● Printer driver: You can specify different printer drivers for printing SAPscript documents and ABAP lists.
● Print controls: Print controls represent printer operations, such as boldface or changing the font size. These print controls are replaced by printer-specific commands during the creation of the output request from a spool request.
● Formats: Formats specify the format supported by the SAP system. The system differentiates between SAPscript formats (DINA4 and LETTER) and ABAP list formats (X_65_132 = 65 rows/132 columns). There is also a special format for additional print options (format POSS). For more information about the format POSS; see the Print Options section.
● Page format: A page format is the interface between a format and SAPscript. It specifies the paper dimensions with which SAPscript can calculate the row and column lengths.
● Actions: Actions are output device-specific commands that are required for the implementation of a format. The action printer initialization, for example, can contain a printer command with which the number of rows on a page is defined. There is a set of actions for every format supported by a device type.