Windows Dev Center

Bidi Printer Communication

With Windows XP, bidirectional printer communication (bidi communication) is provided. This allows drivers and applications to make requests to and get responses from a printer device. Previously, the lack of bidirectional communication limited the ways applications could interact with printers. For example, users had to manually choose installable options because there was no way for applications to configure printers.

The bidi communication support involves two parts: the bidi communication schema and the bidi spooler API. The schema describes the requests that an application can make to a device and the format for the requests. The bidi spooler API sends the requests to the device and also sends and receives the bidi data. An application can also send a request to a network print provider for a network printer or a printer that is connected to a remote printer server.

For information on the bidi spooler API, see Bidi Communication Interfaces. Also, there is an example in Using the Bidi Schema to Query a Device that uses the bidi spooler API.

The rest of this section contains the following information about bidirectional printer communications:



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