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Posted on by Chris

Quick update on pending 10.5 release

Ticking watch

Just a minute!

We’ve recently had a few people contact us via Twitter and email asking about the 10.5 release. We’re running a little late behind schedule, however this is for good reason. This is likely to be our largest release in terms of features yet. Hence testing and feature finalization is taking a little longer than expected. Some of the highlights in the release include:

Watermarking:
The ability to add some text to the bottom of every page printed. This text is configurable in terms of content, font-size and color. Typical uses include:

  • adding student names or student numbers to the bottom of their print jobs
  • writing job metadata in the footer such as print time, printer, document name, etc.
  • add a digital signature (SHA1 or MD5 HMAC) to all pages allowing you to track documents and verify authenticity/originality/source.

Multiple Personal Accounts:
It will now be possible for users to have more than one personal accounts. This feature has been developed in conjunction with Cambridge University in the UK. A typical use would be splitting student cash payments and free print quotas into separate buckets to make refund management easier. However in large organizations such as Cambridge it can be used, in conjunction with print scripting, to allow different departments/groups/colleges to manage their own print credits on their own printers.

Re-sending data after connection failure:
We’ve added new code to handle exceptional cases such as network connections failing between servers. For example say you have PaperCut installed on a business WAN with print servers spread across geographic regions. If the connection temporarily fails between offices, PaperCut can now be configured to locally record transactions and re-send them across when the connection comes back up.

All the three features listed above have been on the top of the vote list for many months. It will be great to have them released. And don’t forget that we’ll always include in many, many minor improvements and bug fixes.

We’re working hard to get the release out next week and will keep you posted on progress via our twitter feed.


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Comments

  • Daniel

    The “re-sending data” feature sounds good. Will this work on all versions of the client software? (ie. plain pc-client, pc-client-local-cache, etc)

  • Chris

    @Daniel: The re-send feature is aimed at server-to-server communication. e.g. communication between a the “PaperCut Print Provider” component running on secondary servers (or desktop systems with locally attached printers). The idea is that if the WAN connection is down at a satellite location, printing can continue and it will be at least logged.

    The client software (pc-client.exe) is a different story. It’s really pretty light-weight and contains very little logic (not involved in the print analysis process at all). All it does is act on the direction of the server. i.e.
    * Show message X
    * Update the displayed print credit balance to Y
    * Display dialog Z and prompt for input from user.

    If the connection is down on the client-side there is not much we can do about this client-server interaction. The current approach is that the client goes into a sleep-mode waiting for the connection to come back up.

  • Chris

    I also forgot to mention that this release will also have Web Print (simple mode) for the Mac. Another bit new feature requested by many Apple sites.

  • Nissim Pinto

    The Watermarking feature is super impotent.
    Well done guys!

  • Chris

    Thanks nissim. It’s been on the top of our most voted for features for about 4 months now. Print job security and identification must be a hot print management topic! We’ve put a lot of R&D into this and use some really advanced postscript code and cryptographic stuff. I first started playing around with HMACs a few years ago implementing a one-time password system in my spare time. I always wanted to use this in print job watermarking…. 5 years later the dream comes true 🙂

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