Questions regarding the DCMPRINT library, a DCMTK add-on that implements a DICOM Print Management SCP and SCU
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As the DCMPRINT overview page says, DCMPRINT consists of three parts:
- A print server (Print Management Service Class SCP) that implements both Basic Grayscale and Basic Color print management along with a number of optional SOP classes (e.g. everything you need for IHE compliance). The print server backend produces PostScript code that can be spooled to a PostScript printer. The print server is typically used as the central component in a "DICOM paper print" product. The print server mainly runs under Posix operating systems (Linux, Solaris, BSD etc.) but a limited port to Windows also exists, the main limitation being that the Windows port does not handle multiple clients in parallel.
- A print client (Print Management Service Class SCU) that has a rather terrible command-line based user interface and is only intended as a demo tool that explains how one can use the underlying print client library classes to implement a real DICOM print client.
- The underlying class library that implements both the print server and print client classes.
- The DCMPRINT print client supports color printing (the free one does not) and is able to create/handle print jobs of multiple pages, whereas the free client always spools one page as one print job. The implementation approach to messaging is also quite different - the DCMTK print client always collects all attributes into a single message whereas the DCMPRINT client tries to send many "atomic" update messages. One could argue which of these two implementation strategies is better, in the end this largely depends on the capabilities of the printer.
- The DCMPRINT print server is much more powerful than the one in the free toolkit. It handles multiple print clients in parallel, while ensuring that print jobs never get mixed. It supports color printing. It has PLENTY of configuration options, allowing it to emulate many other printers. It also has plenty of workarounds for bugs found in other commercial print clients. And, of course, it creates PostScript code while the free print server only stores incoming print jobs as Stored Print DICOM objects.
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