XES Printer Replacement Considerations

XES printing is now a two step process.

Xerox no longer manufactures a printer with the XES processing capability built in. In order to replace the XES printer, a method is needed to convert XES commands and fonts to a print language that the new printer can handle.

The udk2pcl software converts the XES/UDK commands to PCL5 available on all replacement printers available.

The effort to rewrite applications can be staggering.

XES/UDK commands are generally embedded in mainframe based applications that have been written since the early 1980's. The applications work OK. It's the printer that needs replacing. The programming work to use a different print language to print the same reports can be staggering both in terms of time and money.

You can replace your XES printer NOW. udk2pcl's Plug 'N Play compatibility enables you to print your jobs WITHOUT changing your applications. NO CHANGES are required to run your XES /UDK print jobs on a replacement printer.

The XES commands are powerful

The XES language was designed to use substitute characters for the escape character that identified a command. It uses a minimum of characters to perform functions that are very understandable compared to other print languages. The result is that applications can take advantage of powerful formatting commands that can be transmitted through host based communications networks to remote printers.

In fact, the XES language has advanced features not easily available in other languages.

Some of these are:

  • Selective duplex on/off within a job.
  • Selective multiple copies collated.
    • This feature allows for sections of a report to be printed a different number of times using only one copy of the input file, which minimizes transmission time.
  • Immediate offset stacking.
    • This permits large reports to have different sections offset so the user can easily identify the different sections.
  • Plotting as part of a print job.
    • This is used to draw diagrams or logos on the same page as other data.

    udk2pcl supports these "advanced" features by doing the work for you on PCL5 printers with the necessary duplex or offset stacking hardware capability.

XES printers use 300 dpi bit map fonts.

Font parameters are critical for the proper execution of XES commands. Substituting scalable printer fonts for the original bit map font ignores these requirements. Logo or signature fonts can not be substituted.

The desktop XES printers can only store fonts in a cartridge or in memory. Fonts often accompany print jobs and must be converted "on the fly".

In some cases, the only copy of the fonts being used are on specially formatted font cartridges or font backup disks.

Foreign language accents are handled in the XES language two different ways. They can be represented as separate characters, combining two characters to print one accented character or the Foreign Language Translation Table can be used.

udk2pcl converts and stores your fonts with "dot for dot" fidelity, then loads them as needed onto the replacement printer producing output that looks the same as the Xerox XES printers. If needed, your fonts and logos can be extracted from 3700 backup disks and 4045 font cartridges. udk2pcl handles accents the same way as the XES printers.

Edge to Edge printing

All Xerox XES printers print edge to edge. Most PCL printers can not because their print engines leave a 1/4" unprintable margin all around the page.

udk2pcl can support edge to edge printing or selectively squeeze the printed output in one or both directions the percentage desired.

Design differences between XES printers

Each Xerox XES printer has a slightly different implementation of the XES language. This is the result of independent development teams designing each model. In addition, new functionality was added to some models and not added to older ones.

udk2pcl has an option to specify which printer "personality" to use in processing the XES commands.

Undocumented Features

Over the years, many undocumented features or "quirks" became part of the XES language. Applications were put into production when they worked, even though the command syntax did not follow the requirements specified or expected by the manuals or previous models.

udk2pcl has been developed to do what the XES printers do. Many of these undocumented features have been incorporated into udk2pcl, as users have made us aware of these quirks. Using udk2pcl to do the conversions, standardizes the processing, regardless of the printer chosen to print.

Connectivity Conversion:

XES printers have been generally connected to a mainframe via:

Coax (3270)
SDLC (3777) RJE
Bisync (3780) RJE

Converting from one transmission method to another can result in differences that effect the print data stream. Code conversions can occur that will make the print job impossible to process correctly.

udk2pcl has additional "Plug 'N Play" Interface Options that use these connectivity protocols to get the print data from the host.