In short one driver supporting multiple printer manufacturers and models and languages. BEAR has developed such as driver that is now in infield testing.
New BEAR MultiStation Touch Screen kiosks have been successfully deployed into the new Melton City Council library delivering self service print and copy to the library patrons.
PrinterCUB Printing Options
BEAR PrinterCUB network printing system is designed for use with multiple environments and multiple markets including education, libraries and commercial customers. To operate across all these environments PrinterCUB must offer a significant level of flexibility.
In this blog I describe some of PrinterCUB’s document outputting options. Each of these options can be established at a outbound printer queue level allowing each site to establish a “best mix” of printing options for their environment.
Lets explore a some of these options.
Direct printing allows for user to either click the print button within their application or select a print queue from the list presented at their workstation (File>Print, CTRL P or P). If the user has authenticated onto the workstation then nothing else is required. The document is sent to the print server PrinterCUB will audit the document and apply any rules that may be associated with the user. If the user is operating in an unauthenticated environment then PrinterCUB will require the user to authenticate with their CMSIP creditials via the PrinterCUB pop up.
Options here include:
- Microsoft Windows (XP +) or Apple Macintosh (10.5 +) compatibility
- Rules based on user groups
- Account/cost code/cost centre allocation via pop up or BEAR Balance
- User communication via pop up or task bar notifications
The key advantage to this printing process is that there is no change to the way your users print now.
Print Anyware (Follow Me Printing)
Print Anyware (BEARs version of the now standard Follow Me printing system) is by far the most common form of network printing installation. Print Anyware allows one or a minimal number of drivers to be visible to users. By select the Print Anyware queue users can send their documents to a print server where the document is held until it is released from the print server by the user at any printer connected to the Print Anyware system.
The immediate benifits of this type of print environment are:
- Convenience: Documents can be held on the print server until the document owner is ready to release. Documents can be “stacked” ready for release when the document owner has the time to do so. The document owner
- Confidentiality: Documents are only printed when the document owner is present to release and the document owner is the only persion who can view the list of their documents
- Choice: If a printer is busy or off line users simply move to another device
Within a commercial environment the two core requirement we have from our customers is the ability to hold the document until the user is ready to release, particularly in shared environments where confidential documents might be printed. The second is the ability to print a document and collect that document at a different location, either the next floor up, across town or across continents.
Within our pay for print environments customers predominately seek the following functions.
- Review before print. Users will not print (or be charged) for documents that they don’t want to print
- Load declining balance funds after documents have been sent to the print server (but before documents are released to the printer!). This is a great benefit when workstations are busy
- Document confidentiality ensure documents are only released when the document owner is ready to release
Print Anyware will work with BEARs range of external terminals and embedded terminals and can further provide for the introduction of Transform controls. Permission and document output controls still can be enabled using Print Anyware to further enhance user controls.
Account/Cost Centre/Department Charge Selection
Both of the two described PrinterCUB printing options allow users to assign the print transaction against either a default account or if the user has access to multiple account they can select one of these accounts to assign the transaction against. Note that the reference to account also refers to a cost centre, department charge code, cost code, billing code, matter number and so on. For simplicity I’ll refer to account within this blog. Within CMSIP and PrinterCUB accounts can be one of 3 states:
- Personal – only the user has access to this account however the user may have multiple personal accounts
- Shared – Multiple users have access to this account and share its available balance or add to its usage totals
- Global – All users have access to this account and its available balance or add to its usage totals
There are two ways to manage account allocation (and again this is only a concern for those users who have more than one account).
The first of these is via client side tools and BEAR provide two options for use here.
- PrinterCUB popup will request the user to choose an account from a presented list for each document that is printed. Once the user has selected the account the document will then proceed to the next document processing step, but not without the account being select.
- BEAR Balance is an account selection tool that resides in the Windows system tray and available for Windows workstation implementations only. BEAR Balance allows users to hover over the BEAR paw icon and view available accounts, view balances and select accounts for print allocation. The difference here is that there is no pop up to prompt the user to select an account. Whatever the current selected account is then that is the account the print is assigned to
The second available account allocation process requires no client side installations but does require the use of Print Anyware. A user will print as per the established printing method (see above). Once the user presents at the print and swipes/badges their account through the BEAR external or embedded terminal they then have the ability to select the account they wish to charge the printing against. The caution point here is that each document released will be charged against the selected account. If the user wants to change accounts they must physically instruct the terminal to do so.
I hope this helps and happy to answer any questions. Leave them on the comments section below and I’ll be sure to respond.