PaperCut Development Update – Sep 04
We’ve recently have a number of customers ask for an update on the planned dates for our next release, and what new features will be included. The developers at PaperCut Software P/L now keep weblogs to help keep everyone informed on what we’re up to, the ideas we have, and what we’re planning next. I’ll give a quick overview now.
We have forked the PaperCut code base and now have two projects under way. One is our “next generation” PaperCut scheduled for release next year. The other project is improving on our existing applications in an incremental fashion. We plan to release our next iteration before the end of September. As yet we have not decided if this will be a 4.3 or 5.0 release, however my personal thoughts are that the new features definitely justify a 5.0 release.
As most existing PaperCut users would know, PaperCut’s Internet Quota support was introduced a few years after the initial PaperCut release. Our Internet quota functionality has hence always lagged our print quota functionality by a year of two. In this release we are driving to bring our Internet charging features up to the same level of maturity as our print quota support. Planned features include:
- Time based charging (in addition to bandwidth based charging)
- Support for other proxy servers including Squid with Winbind support
- Better integration with existing supported proxy servers such as MS ISA Server
On the general development side, we have included a number of features to ease the administration overhead associated with of managing large numbers of users. Most of the suggestions have come from, and been ranked by our larger customers. These include:
- New admin scripts to automate tasks such as syncing user accounts with Active Directory. This allows these tasks to be scheduled overnight or any other defined intervals. (i.e. automated “TuneUp”)
- Tools for creating “TopUp” cards. This concept is similar to the TopUp cards used with pre-paid mobile phones. Organizations can sell these cards (e.g. at the school cafeteria) and users can use the card’s number to top up their own credit. Although a number of schools have been doing this for a while, we include a number of tools and templates to assist with this process.
- Full transaction audit logging so administrators can view a history of money moving in and out of accounts, including when it was moved, by who, and how much.
PaperCut Enterprise is gaining a few new additions to the popup client. Many of our business customers have requested the ability to have different charging levels. Users will now be able to offer discounts or charge print jobs at a draft rate at the time of printing and this will be reflected in invoices issued at the end of each month. We’ve also included an array of other little enhancements in all areas.
If anyone has any ideas, please make sure you email us! Please see here to read why we are keen on new ideas.