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Questions regarding the DCMPRINT library, a DCMTK add-on that implements a DICOM Print Management SCP and SCU

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General Info

#1 Post by abraxasc » Mon, 2006-07-17, 22:41

Hi,I'm interested in the DCMPrint library but would like to have more general information. Can you give me Documentation, demos and scientific papers, more detail about the library ???

Marco Eichelberg
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#2 Post by Marco Eichelberg » Tue, 2006-07-18, 09:50

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.
DCMPRINT is a DCMTK extension, i.e. one additional module that is not contained in the free toolkit. Since the free toolkit also contains Print SCU/SCP components (the dcmpsprt, dcmprscu and dcmprscp tools), one should probably also explain the differences between these components and DCMPRINT, which do not share any code except for the DCMTK base 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.
An evaluation version is available freely on request, but requires you to sign a contract that is basically a non-disclosure agreement (details see here). If anyone is interested in the few papers we have published about the first version of the DCMPRINT toolkit (which dates back to early 1994, being possibly the first implementation of the DICOM print service ever), send a mail to <dicom at offis dot de> and I will send a copy.

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