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PaperCut NG & PaperCut MF Manual


User card and ID numbers

PaperCut NG/MF supports two closely related features:

  • card number—the number read from a swipe or proximity card assigned to a user. Swipe and proximity cards are often used for user authentication at hardware terminals, copiers and print Release Stations.

  • ID number—a unique number allocated to a user. It can represent a student or employee number or can be a random number. It can be keyed in at a copier, hardware terminal or Release Station as an alternative to username/password authentication. As ID numbers can be guessed or learnt by others we recommend a secret PIN be used in conjunction with an ID number when used for user authentication.

As both card numbers and ID numbers function as a unique number identifying a user, they both share the same field in the User record of the database—the card/ID number. This means that all administrative functions related to card numbers and ID numbers are the same, because they operate on the same database field.

PaperCut NG/MF supports two different card/ID numbers for each user. These are called the primary and the secondary card/ID number. There are many reasons why having two numbers is useful. For example:

  • One number can be for a card, and the other for an ID number in case the user misplaces their card.

  • Different card readers can sometimes read different numbers from the same card, so having two numbers allows both types of readers to be supported.

  • You can issue new cards to users and phase out the old card with an overlap period in which they both work.

Use of either the primary or secondary card/ID number field is optional.

PaperCut NG/MF offers a range of tools for managing card/ID numbers allowing for either centrally managed or user managed card/ID numbers:

Automatic card/ID generation

PaperCut can generate random card/ID numbers for your users. This might be the ideal solution if you don’t already have ID numbers assigned for other purposes. PaperCut provides a number of options allowing you to choose whether to centrally administer the card/ID numbers or to allow users to generate and manage their own numbers. You can:

After you generate numbers for your users, you need to inform them what their number is. PaperCut can help with this task as well. You can:

  • Send an email to each user with their new number. This is set up in Options > Notifications > Card/ID Number Notification. See Card/ID number notification for more information.

  • Allow users to view their number in the user web portal. To enable this feature, select the Allow users to view their card/ID numbers check box in Options > General > User Features. Specify whether you want users to view their primary or secondary card/ID number.

User management of card/ID number and PIN

You can allow users to manage their own card/ID number or PIN or both. These options are controlled in Options > General and result in different functionality in the Change Details menu item of the User web interface.

Allow users to edit the card/ID PIN

When using card number and PIN authentication, you might want to allow users to change their PIN in a similar way to changing passwords.

To enable this feature:

  1. Click the Options tab.
    The General page is displayed.

  2. Select the Allow users to change their card/ID PIN check box.

When users log in to the User interface, the option Change Card/ID PIN is available under the Change Details menu item.

Allow users to generate a card/ID number

You can allow users to generate their own card/ID number from the Change Details page:

  1. Click the Options tab.
    The General page is displayed.

  2. Select the Allow users to change their card/ID number check box; then select which card number they can change. Users can edit the primary number, or the secondary but not both.

  3. Select the Auto-generate random number (users cannot manually enter a number) check box. This option gives users the ability to generate a new random number, but not to create a number of their own choosing.
    If this check box is cleared, users can select any number they want. Please note that this may be a potential security risk as it may allow users to confirm the existence of a valid card number used by someone else. We recommend that sites enable two-factor authentication by also requiring users to have a secret PIN number.

Users can then log in to the User interface and under the Change Details menu, the Change Card/ID option is available.

Batch user card/identity update

The batch user card/ID update feature allows the administrator to update user card/ID numbers and optionally import or update PINs by reading data from a simple text file. User card/ID numbers can also be imported using the batch user import/update feature (see Batch import and update user data).

Example: To update/import the card/ID numbers or PINs of all the users in the import.txt file on a windows system.

C:\> cd C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG/MF\server\bin\win
server-command batch-import-user-card-id-numbers "C:\card numbers\import.txt"

Note: Quote the import path if it contains spaces.

Perform a batch user card/ID update by calling the batch-import-user-card-id-numbers server-command. Use of server-command is detailed in Server commands (server-command). The import file format is detailed in Batch User Card/Identity Update File Format.

Batch user card/identity update file format

The import file is in tab delimited format and contains the following fields in the given order.

User Card/Identity Update File Format
1.UsernameThe user's username.MandatoryMax. 50 characters
2.Primary User Card/ID NumberA unique primary card/ID number for this user.Optional (card/ID number not set if blank)Max. 100 characters. To specify that the number is blank, enter a hyphen (-).
3.User Card/ID PINThe user's card/ID PIN.Optional (card/ID PIN not set if blank)To specify that the PIN is blank, enter a hyphen (-).
4.Secondary User Card/ID NumberA unique secondary card/ID number for this user.Optional (card/ID number not set if blank)Max. 100 characters. To specify that the number is blank, enter a hyphen (-).

Other limitations: Although any actual limit to the size of an update file should be large enough for any purpose, we recommend keeping the file size below 10MB.

If your card/ID numbers are stored in an external database, see Looking up card numbers in an external database.

Looking up card numbers in an external database

PaperCut NG/MF can import user card/ID numbers from Active Directory and LDAP. This is the recommended approach because it allows the card/ID numbers to be associated with users in a centralized location. For more information see Synchronize user and group details.

Card numbers can also be imported using the import file described in Batch user card/identity update.

In some circumstances the mapping between card numbers and users is stored in another external database (e.g. a database used for secure door access). In this case, it might be more convenient to look up the card numbers in this database in real-time.

Once external user lookups are enabled, PaperCut NG/MF does the following when looking up a user by card number:

  1. Looks for a user with the matching card number in the PaperCut NG/MF database.

  2. If not found, it looks up the card number in the external database.

  3. If it finds a match, it uses the information returned to find the matching user in the PaperCut NG/MF database. If a user is found the lookup is successful.

Configure external database lookup

To enable external card number lookups:

  1. Select Options > Advanced.
    The Advanced page is displayed.

  2. In the External User Lookup area, select the Use external database for card number lookup checkbox.

  3. Select the database type. If using Oracle or MySQL you must install the database driver as described in the Comments, and restart the Application Server.

  4. Enter the database connection URL. For examples see Step 4 - Change the PaperCut NG/MF connection details of Upsize to an external database (RDBMS).

  5. Enter the database connection username and password.

  6. SQL to map card number in external database to allows you to choose what the card number in your external database maps to. Select the option that matches the mapping in your external database. The options include:

    Lookup fieldUse if your external database contains a mapping between card numbers and one of the following:
    user's identity numberuser ids. The user ids must have been imported and stored in PaperCut NG/MF.
    username aliasusername aliases. The username aliases must have been imported into PaperCut NG/MF and enabled. See Enable username aliasing.
    username or aliasusernames OR aliases. A match with a username is tried first, and if no match is found, a second search looks for a match with the alias.
    emailemail addresses
  7. Enter an SQL select query that looks up the card number in your external database and returns either a username or user id as selected above. The query must return a single row with the first field being the username or user id (as found in PaperCut NG/MF). The SQL statement must contain {cardnumber}, which is replaced with the card number to find.

    Some example queries are:

    Lookup methodQuery
    emailselect email from users_table where card_number = {cardnumber}
    username aliasselect user_alias from users_table where card_number = {cardnumber}
    username / username or aliasselect user_name from users_table where card_number = {cardnumber}

Testing database lookup

  1. Click the Users tab.
    The User List page is displayed.

  2. Pick a card number from your external database that maps to a user in PaperCut NG/MF.

  3. In Quick Find, enter this card number; then click Go.

  4. Verify that the matching user is displayed. If the expected user is not displayed check the App Log tab for errors.