Scanning: Part 4 Server Message Block (SMB)

Welcome back to adventures in scanning. This time we will be looking at scanning using Server Message Block (SMB). The SMB protocol is an application layer network protocol mainly used to provide shared access to files, printers and other communication on a network. SMB works through a client server approach, which means that the client makes specific requests and the server responds accordingly.

It allows access to remotely stored files as well as other resources, including printers. The client is able to read, create, update files, and communicate with a program running on a server setup to receive the client request. The scanned files then can be accessed through the user’s network or the user’s own computer.

So what does all that mean to your network or workflow scanning? Well in order to use SMB for scanning a Scan folder must be created and configured before the network / workflow scanning can be configured. SMB scanning uses a shared folder with full control located on a network computer. Scans will be sent or filed to the shared folder.

A scan user must also be created with sufficient rights or permissions to access the scan folder. It is recommended that the user be created specifically for the network scanning process. The scan user is used by the multifunction device (MFD) to access the scan repository or folder during the scan process. Make sure that you make note of the user name and password as you will need that information later on.

You are responsible for creating and configuring the Scan folder and the scan user. If necessary contact your System Administrator, network support personnel, or the person that helps with your network issues to help you create the folder and user.
The hostname of the workstation must also be known to set up the SMB scanning. This information will be used later to set up the templates used in the scanning process.To recap in order to scan SMB you will need the following list of items to be complete:

  • The printer must be connected to the network.
  • The IP Address of the printer is required, and the HTTP option must be enabled. If you do not know the IP Address or whether HTTP is enabled, print a Configuration / Settings Report from your MFD.
  • A user account for the scanner must be created (account needs full control access rights). The user needs to be a local user on the workstation and not a domain user.
  • SMB uses local rights and not domain rights. Record the username and password for future use.
  • A folder to be used as a repository for the scanned files must be created. The folder must then be shared with full control.
  • The Hostname of the workstation must be known.

The SMB protocol used for scan-to-file encrypts passwords so a network trace is unable to capture the file, this makes SMB scanning more secure than FTP filing. This is something to consider and / or discuss with your Network or Systems administrator before choosing your scanning protocol.  Due to protocol and security changes in the MAC 10.7 and above operating systems the SMB protocol cannot be used for scanning.

So that is SMB, next time we will look at how to create the templates at the Multifunction Device. See you soon!!

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