BarTender Print Portal is the web-based application that allows users to print anywhere by accessing the website where Print Portal is hosted. The application lives in Internet Information Services (IIS) and runs on top of a .NET core. This article will help familiarize you with some of the components and how to work with common issues. This is by no means an extensive list, but it should help to get you started. This guide is meant to help troubleshoot issues on BarTender's side as troubleshooting IIS is a bit out of scope of this article.
In order to troubleshoot any version of BarTender Print Portal, make sure you are running the latest release of your version so you do not try to troubleshoot an issue which may be already fixed. Please see How to Update to the Current Revision of BarTender for assistance on how to do this.
You will also want to have the IIS web management console installed on your system. You can find this console under Windows Features or Server Features. If you have trouble locating the features list, please contact your IT for assistance.
Components of BarTender Print Portal
BarTender Print Portal relies on a number of components to operate, including several services that help keep the application upright. Here are some of the key services:
- BarTender System Service - responsible for communications with the BarTender system database
- BarTender Print Scheduler service - handles print engines mentioned in the next section
- .Net/Tcp Port Sharing Service - a Windows service that helps with communications between BarTender Print Portal and BarTender Print Scheduler for printing jobs
In addition to the services used for operation, here are two major components in detail:
Print engines are essentially BarTender Designer running as a service, starting and stopping dynamically as needed to handle BarTender Print Portal's demands. These print engines are maintained by the BarTender Print Scheduler service and require no user interaction to operate.
When a user creates a print job by clicking the print button, a print engine is automatically started if one is not already running. It opens the document, processes any data sent from BarTender Print Portal, then sends a print job to the Windows Print Spooler to send to your printer. In BarTender 2021 and later, print engines are also responsible for rendering the label previews.
The system database is a SQL database that operates behind the whole of the BarTender Suite. This could be a local database installed via the Administration Console or the installation wizard or a centralized database hosted on a dedicated server.
In all versions of BarTender, the system database is required to run BarTender Print Portal. The application will not operate without it.
Permissions for normal operations
BarTender Print Portal requires certain permissions for normal operations. This isn't permissions for controlling access for individual users but instead permissions the components to do their job effectively. These permissions allow BarTender Print Portal to do the following:
- Access labels, open them, and print them
- Access printers, locally or on the network
- Access the Active Directory users and groups list (for BarTender 2021 and later)
- Access Librarian
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it covers some of the key functionality that BarTender Print Portal requires to operate. By default, BarTender Print Portal operates on a local administrator account that has access to locally installed printers and the Print Portal directory on your system, but sometimes that isn't enough and permission checks fail.
There are three main points of potential permissions issues: the BarTender Print Scheduler Service, the IIS App Pool Identity, and the system database login.
For the Print Scheduler Service and the App Pool Identity, you will need a Windows account with the following properties:
- Be a local administrator, since it will need access to the Print Portal file directory
- Have domain-level access, if you plan on using domain resources such as printers or network drives. It does not need to be a domain administrator.
- Have permissions to read the list of users and groups in the Active Directory (for BarTender 2021 and later)
- Not change its password. You don't want permissions errors if your password policy kicks in a few months down the road.
- Have the local logon group policy permission. It cannot run a service or an app pool without it
- Have permissions to access the system database. This one is only required if you use Windows Authentication.
It is recommended that you use the same account for the Print Scheduler as the App Pool identity. You can add the account to the service first to test the permissions as the App Pool Identity tends to not give error messages when a permission is lacking.
For the system database, it is recommended you use SQL authentication to avoid any permissions issues with Windows authentication. For more information, please see Configuring permissions to a System Database (Video - 5:45).
Setting BarTender Print Scheduler Service permissions
To change the account on the Print Scheduler service, please do the following:
- Open the Windows services list by searching for it in the Start Menu or locating it in the Control Panel.
- Scroll down to the BarTender Print Scheduler service.
- Right click on the service and go to Properties.
- Click the Log On tab.
- Select "this account" and enter the username and password. Remember to add the domain name else the service will attempt to start with a local account
- Once you have entered the credentials, click OK and proceed to click through the notifications about changing an account.
- Right click on the BarTender Print Scheduler service and select Restart to reboot the service under the new account.
If you receive any errors during startup, double check that the account has all the permissions listed in the previous section and repeat these steps again.
Setting IIS App Pool Identity permissions
To change the account on the IIS App Pool Identity, please do the following:
- Start the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
- Click the arrow next to your server name to open the tree
- Click Application Pools
- Right click on the BPP_AppPool and select Advanced Settings
- Scroll down and locate the Identity setting. The identity will likely have a boldened value as it is set to a custom local Identity that BarTender has created for it.
- Click on Identity then click the button to the right of it with the elipsis [...] on it. This will open up the settings dialog.
- Click the Set button
- Type the full username and password into the box. Remember to add the domain name so that the App Pool knows to use a domain user instead of a local one.
- Click OK and close all the dialogs, returning you back to the IIS manager.
- With the BPP_AppPool still selected, click Stop on the right-hand menu then Start. This will restart the App Pool to run on the new account.
If any error messages show up, double-check that the credentials entered are correct and that the account meets all the requirements listed in the previous selection.
To ensure that BarTender Print Portal runs smoothly, it must be run on a compatible operating system. You can see the list of compatible operating systems and versions here: BarTender supported Windows versions. When you run BarTender Print Portal on an operating system it is not compatible with, for example BarTender 2021 on Windows Server 2008, services and print engines may not run properly and you may experience crashing or irregular behavior during print time. To avoid this, check the list before installing BarTender Print Portal.
It is also recommended you match the bitrate of BarTender to the bitrate of the operating system. If you are running 64-bit Windows, install 64-bit BarTender to match it. This ensures compatibility with IIS and the BarTender services, and that print engines are running efficiently.
Troubleshooting BarTender 2021 and later
Click on the symptom or error message to expand the section for troubleshooting steps.
Print Scheduler could not be reached
Print job aborted: file could not be opened, read, or accessed
Users or groups list appears empty when setting permissions
Not all users or groups are showing up on the domain list
No root folders have been configured
Print Portal appears to hang when navigating folders
An unknown error has been encountered
Troubleshooting BarTender 2016 & 2019
Click on a error message to expand the section for troubleshooting steps
Unable to access the BarTender System Database
Failed to connect to the BarTender Print Scheduler Service
This request operation sent to PrintScheduler/Service did not receive a reply within the configured timeout
Print job aborted: file could not be opened, read, or accessed
The record set could not be created
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