V3 and V4 printer driver development

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Client Profile

Our client is a trusted imaging brand and a leading manufacturer of photo printers used in high-volume production environments and in high-quality photo shops across the globe requiring robust support for a wide range of capabilities. With products sold across the world, the client provides localized support to each of its market locations.

 

Project Needs

The client contracted with ESN to design and develop a Windows print driver for the client’s new thermal photo printer.

 

Challenges

The new printer needed to support the wider range of image sizes and formats that modern imaging devices are capable of capturing — including selfie-sized images and larger panoramic formats. This required integrating a custom DLL into the driver to prepare a proprietary print file format for high-quality printed output.
The installed worldwide customer base included users on older Windows systems requiring continued legacy support, so the new printer needed to serve as a replacement for older printers that were aging out. At the same time, our client needed to continue its expansion into new business opportunities that use the latest Windows systems. The client needed to support both sides of its customer base.
As part of the development, a highly customized V3 renderer module needed to be re-engineered for the V4 XPS filter and bi-directional approach.

 

Technology and Tools

  • Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 operating system
  • V3 printer-driver architecture
  • V4 printer-driver architecture
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Windows Driver Kit
  • Photoshop
  • Team Foundation Server
  • JIRA (bug tracking)
  • WinDbg
  • Device Test Manager (DTM)

 

Results

  • Leveraging our expertise in the printer- and device-driver development, ESN met the challenge of serving both legacy and future Windows systems by designing, testing, and delivering printer drivers based on Microsoft’s V3 driver architecture (continuing support for Windows 7 and other legacy Microsoft operating systems) and V4 architecture (to support Windows 10 and other forward-looking architectures). The V4 printer driver also improves the quality of users’ printing experience and provides support for future Microsoft driver architecture.
  • Assisted the client’s team resolution of firmware issues related to interactions between the print drivers and various Microsoft operating systems
  • Using the Microsoft guidelines for printer driver specifications, ESN built the driver with the following features:
    • High-quality or high-speed image printing
    • Robust production quality and performance for the photo-imaging industry
    • Increased support for localization and international business opportunities
    • Glossy or satin finish
    • Support for multiple print sizes (4×6, 5×7, 6×8, 5×15, 6×20, and others) and formats, including panoramic
    • Dynamic color adjustment settings (including brightness, contrast, saturation, gamma, and RGB)
    • Provide continuing support for expanded print sizes and higher quality imaging