Custom Modifications for Print Server Software

RPM Remote Print Manager® (RPM) already has many features to control print workflow. Yet, sometimes you need a solution we can’t provide out-of-the-box. For this reason we designed RPM to work with an external program. We can embed all the custom behavior in the program. In turn, that program works smoothly with RPM.

Below please find a sampling of the customer problems we have solved by customizing RPM.

Data extraction for intelligent naming, plus error handling

The problem:

  1. The customer wants to pull text from the print job to name the file.
  2. If the information is missing, send the job to an error queue for further examination
  3. If the information has certain pre-set values, delete the print job

The customer benefited by not examining thousands of print jobs per week.

Custom processing by username

The customer wanted to route incoming print jobs to queues using the username associated with the print job, rather than the queue.

They liken this to “mailbox by username” functionality. Each queue in RPM already has its own setup giving them complete customization on the way you process jobs. The customer benefited by processing incoming jobs using their own criteria. The sending system no longer made those choices.

Hourly reporting requirement

The customer had an end user who needed hourly reporting on all incoming print jobs. This included the times the job arrived and when it printed. The benefit to the customer is that they were able to provide the specific logging requested.

Custom PDF naming

The customer wanted to parse a value from the incoming print job and use that for setting some values in the resulting PDF file.

Set the print time

The customer wants print jobs to stay in RPM and start printing at a pre-set time in the late afternoon. RPM already has the ability to suspend and resume print queues from an external program, such as the user interface. To meet this request we only had to provide a way for the user to set the time they wanted the printing to start.

Specific job routing

The customer had a need to process jobs in a specific order. They wanted to use the job title to move the job to a specific queue. Then, they were processing jobs one at a time, using the queue and other criteria. They also wanted to suspend queues from the user interface and have that influence the process as well.

RPM already provides many ways to determine the order in which jobs process. This customer benefits from getting exactly what they needed.

Job routing by content

The customer needed a user interface that lets them specify a line number in a print job, and a pattern to look for. If that match is found, then the user wants to specify which queue the job is sent to for processing. The interface lets them specify as many matching patterns and destination queues as they like.

If none of the matches are found, then process the job in the queue it’s already in.

On top of that, the customer wants to be able to do the same thing for any number of queues, each with their own setup of matches and destinations.

We were able to deliver on exactly the specifications they were looking for.

The customer benefits by getting custom processing based on the contents of the print jobs.

Custom job bursting

The customer wants the print jobs to be burst into single page files using an embedded invoice number as the name for each file. The invoices were then organized in the customer database. It’s not convenient for future users of the system to search one or more massive files for specific invoices.

Fix page breaks and custom naming

The customer wanted us to fix page breaks in their files, something left over from the way the jobs were created. Also, we renamed the files using two fields extracted from the print job itself.

The benefit was print jobs which were completely ready for downstream processing.

Tag based bursting and customized PCL handling

Cosmo Corporation (whose story is told in this blog post) wanted us to burst their incoming print jobs using start and end tags.

Then for each output file, we inserted a PCL header, performed PCL macro expansion, and inserted fonts as needed.

Finally, we converted the PCL files to PDF. This conversion at times included appending pages to an existing PDF file.

The customer benefited by producing sophisticated PDF reports with minimal changes to their existing system.

Multi-lingual handling

The customers print jobs have the path for a configuration file on the first line. We used this system to generate documents in both English and Spanish. We assembled the document from resources in various directories, as per their instructions.

The benefit to the customer was to be able to automate assembling documents, rather than training staff to assemble documents.

Extract report ID and job title

The customers print jobs contain a REPORT_ID tag. We use that to extract the ID, which we use as a job name; and at the same time get the job title.

We converted the print jobs to PDF and moved them to a folder based on a date string, which is part of the file name.

Collation using copies

The customer uses a command line argument in their print process to specify the number of copies of the job to print. We burst the jobs and collate using the number of copies.

Incorrect format

The customer specified a particular format for the print jobs, and a location in the job where there would be a certain value. If the format was wrong or the value missing, we were not to process the job.

The customer benefited in two ways:

  1. they were sure that everything printed is correct
  2. they could review non-printing jobs without wasting paper

Alternating trays

The customer had incoming print jobs and wanted us to override the tray selection. The printer had two trays and the jobs were to go to alternating trays. Furthermore, we were to send a custom page at the head of each print job denoting the recipient.

The customer benefited by having RPM separate the jobs rather than doing this by hand.

What is your story?

Do you have a challenging print workflow problem? Have you seen something here which gives you hope for solving the problem easier than you suspected? Maybe we can help! We have customers worldwide who rely on RPM in a variety of ways. The stories above involve our customization work but there are far more who use RPM "out of the box" so to speak. In fact, one of our latest additions, data extraction, opens the doors to many possibilities.

We hope you will contact us today about your print workflow needs!