As many of you might now—there’s a new update to iPrint available for the latest version of Open Enterprise Server: OES 2015 SP1. But what’s so exciting or new about this update? Why should you care?
First of all, for those who’ve kept track of what’s happening with iPrint in OES, there have been two main ways to deploy iPrint—either in conjunction with OES or as a stand-alone, virtual appliance. There are benefits to each way of deploying these—but many OES admins prefer the included iPrint version, rather than going through the hassle of managing a complete new virtual appliance separate from your OES environment.
However, the features between the virtual appliance and the OES-included version have not always kept parity with each other. Many of the newer features that make iPrint a great choice for enterprise printing were lagging behind in the iPrint for OES version. The good news is—that’s beginning to change with this latest release.
So what’s new to iPrint for OES with this latest release?
- WalkUp Printing: Save costs, while creating convenience to release jobs on any printer.
- Mobile-Ready: Micro Focus iPrint for OES is ready to process jobs from mobile devices. No need to install new software when you’re going to enable mobile printing.
- Chromebook Support: Micro Focus iPrint clients on Chromebook is supported with Micro Focus iPrint for OES.
- Policy-based purge: Automatically purge the files in the salvage system based on policies. The policies today can be based on time or file extension or a combination of both.
- Email Print: Users can send an email to the printer to print with a Global mail ID or private mail ID for printers.
- Cluster-aware: All features from Micro Focus iPrint for OES are cluster aware and will work with your Micro Focus iPrint resources on cluster.
Let’s dive into the two most exciting features in my opinion, WalkUp Printing and Mobile-Ready.
This is accomplished through the use of a virtual print queue so jobs are put on hold by the iPrint for OES server and won’t be released to the printer until specifically told to.
- Flexibility to print from any printer: Allows users to print documents to any printer. Even if a printer is unavailable, user can select another printer and collect the printout.
- Simplified User Printing: User no longer needs to install multiple printers. Installing a single WalkUp printer will allow the user to release documents to multiple printers.
- Saves Paper: Many times a user gives print and forgets to collect the documents from the printer. WalkUp printing prevents such accidental and unwanted prints by putting the job on hold and also automatically deletes any dormant jobs. The users can now print or cancel the hold job at their convenience.
- Enhanced Security: Users have to authenticate and then only the documents can be released. This ensures confidentiality of the document is maintained and only the owner collects the document.
Users release on-hold print jobs to the desired printer via a web-based portal from mobile devices such as phones, tablets, or laptops either via a mobile app (see the next section) or via a web browser by typing in the proper address in the following format: (https://<iPrint for OES server address>/username).
While full-functionality of mobile printing must still be paid for—the only real way to get that functionality before was through the iPrint appliance. That has now changed. With the latest version of iPrint for OES, you can now enjoy mobile printing (which still must be paid for) without having to install the appliance.
Users of iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices can download the Micro Focus iPrint app from their respective mobile stores. The iPrint app allows you to print from the mobile devices directly to the printers in your organization. The iPrint server includes the necessary document rendering and conversion for printing from mobile devices. Your users can select the printer from a list and adjust all the basic print specifications through a simple touch-screen–friendly interface. The common mobile app benefits are:
- Simplified and intuitive GUI
- Flexibility to print WalkUp jobs and release the jobs when you are near the printer
- Print documents on any iPrint-enabled corporate printer and print infrastructure
- Print securely using access restrictions
- Scan a QR code to quickly connect your mobile device to a specific printer
So kudos to the OES and iPrint teams for making iPrint for OES more in line to features and functions of the stand-alone, virtual appliance. I certainly hope they continue with this theme and provide similar feature-parity or complete feature parity going forward.
Note: The features talked about here are available for Open Enterprise Server 2015 SP1 only. So if you’ve been delaying in your upgrade to OES 2015 SP1, you might want to consider doing that to get these new iPrint features. Micro Focus iPrint for Open Enterprise Server 2015 SP1 can be downloaded by existing customers under maintenance through the customer center.