Tutorial :Printing to a remote printer from a website


I would like to be able to print to a number of remote printers from a website.

The website runs on a Linux server, and it is the application within the website that generates the print jobs. The remote printers are located at a number of broadband sites. The printers will be serial receipt printers or USB printers. There will most likely be Windows machines near the printers, so they can be used as a part of the solution.

Assuming I can generate the stream of bytes I want any particular printer to receive on the web server, what would be the best way to get those bytes to the remote printers?

I want this to be a simple and reliable process to the end user (once the printers are set up). I could do it through a web browser, delivering a PDF and then printing that through a local driver, but I would like to avoid extra steps for the user. They just click a button on a web page and the printer near to them (or even at another site) should come to life to print the item. In some instances the printer will not have an operator, so it should print fully automatically.

I have heard of node.js being used to manage remote printers at restaurants, printing out orders that people have entered into a website, but I cannot find any information on how this is achieved. It does sound very similar to what we want to do.

Any ideas or suggested approaches appreciated.

-- Jason

Just found this Remote print module in Java but I would like to avoid java if possible (just not my skill set) but if it is the best approach..?

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