Print Management Guide - Enabling printer location tracking
Your network environment must have the following to be able to use this feature:
A working directory service with more than one site or more than one subnet.
A network IP addressing scheme that corresponds roughly to the physical layout of your enterprise.
Client computers that can query the directory service.
A subnet object for each site. You can create them using Active Directory Sites and Services.
If these requirements are met, you need to do the following to enable this feature:
Establish a naming convention for your organization.
Location names are in the form name/name/name/name/... (The slash (/) must be the dividing character.)
A name can consist of any characters except for the slash (/).
The number of levels to a name is limited to 256.
The maximum length of name is 32 characters.
The maximum length of an entire location name is 260 characters.
Because location names are used by end users, they should be simple and easy to recognize. Avoid using special names known only to facilities management. For better readability, avoid using special characters in a name, and keep names to a maximum of 32 characters to make sure that the whole name string is visible in the user interface.
Consider an organization with multiple locations in North America and Europe. The naming scheme for the organization might be as follows:
Note that the tree varies in depth depending on the complexity of the organization and the amount of detail available in the IP network. The naming convention for this example includes more levels than for a smaller organization located in a single city, or a single building. The full name of the design building in Buffalo, New York is NorthAmerica/NewYork/Buffalo/Design; for the design building in Paris, the full name is Europe/Paris/Design, and the smaller office in Dallas has the name as NorthAmerica/Dallas.
Setting standards when printer location tracking is disabled
Create a subnet object in the directory service.
For location tracking to work, you must have more than one subnet or site. You also need a subnet object for each subnet that a client computer might use. The naming of subnets is defined by the directory service.
To create a subnet
Open Active Directory Sites and Services.
In the console tree, right-click Subnets, and then click New Subnet.
Active Directory Sites and Services/Sites/Subnets
In Address, type the subnet address.
In Mask, type the subnet mask that describes the range of addresses included in this subnet.
Under Select a site object for this subnet, click the site to associate with this subnet, and then click OK.
To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group or the Enterprise Admins group in Active Directory, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.
To open Active Directory Sites and Services, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Active Directory Sites and Services.
Note that to set and manage the directory service site and subnet you need to use Active Directory Sites and Services.
Set the location attribute of the sites and subnets.
After you have created the site and subnet objects, you need to set the location string for each subnet. Use the Location tab of the subnet property page to set the location string. Note that the directory service site name does not have to be the same as the location name.
Enable location tracking.
You need to use Group Policy to enable location tracking.
Set the location of each printer.
Add the location for each printer in each printer's property page. You can either type the location attribute, or you can click to browse for it.
Consider adding more information about the location of the printer, such as its room number.
Test your settings.
Always test your settings by trying them on several printers, and on different print servers from different locations.
How an end user uses location tracking
When the user clicks Find Now, Active Directory lists all printers matching the user's query that are located in the user location. Users can change the location field by clicking Browse to search for printers in other locations. For example, suppose a company is located in a building with several floors, where each floor is configured as a subnet. If a user located in the first floor fails to locate a color printer in Floor 1, then the user can change the location to Organization 1/Floor 2 or even to Organization 1 to increase the scope of the search.