Nuts & Bolts
All the moving parts that make PaperCut and Universal Print work together.
Architecture Overview for Integration
There are four potential integration points for us to insert print management value (job analysis, tracking and modification) into the Universal Print job flow
At the source
- Integration could be done on the client machine, before the print ticket and job file are submitted to the UP cloud.
- We could hook into the operating system print flow, or interact with jobs between the operating system and the outbound network connection.
In the Universal Print cloud
- The Azure Graph will expose APIs to monitor, route and modify print jobs as they pass through the cloud equivalent of a print server spool.
- This requires the print management engine to communicate with Azure.
- As long as it can reach the Graph endpoints, the print management software could be running on a local server, or on a cloud VM.
On the connector
- When jobs come down from the cloud, before going to a printer for release, they can be interacted with on the Microsoft connector.
- Alternatively, the IPP-Infra functionality of the connector can be implemented directly into print management software, making the same IPP calls up to the cloud and handling job delivery to printers.
- Using a print management product as the connector makes it simple to interact with jobs, and reduces the number of software components.
On the printer
- The final possibility for job interaction is at its last stop before turning into paper - on the printer itself.
- Once a print job file arrives from the cloud (or via the connector for legacy printers), software running on the printer could perform print management functions before outputting the printed document.
We're continuing to update our connector component during Preview. When Universal Print launches, this component will become a built-in part of MF and NG.
We're also continuing to work on Graph API integrations to support the coming generation of printers connecting directly to Universal Print in the cloud.
The PUP Journey
See all the episodes of our journey to bring PaperCut and Universal Print together, and catch up on anything you've missed
22 JUNE 2020
In this episode I'm sharing some juicy insights from an internal PaperCut presentation I not-so-secretly recorded, as well as providing some more info about what's coming up and what you can expect as a PUP member.
2 JULY 2020
You want behind the scenes? This is how you get behind the scenes.
Join me in conversation with the man, the legend, THE Alan Morris.
Before he joined PaperCut to take our technical support to a whole new level, he spent 18 years at Microsoft in the Windows Print team.
Alan knows print, he knows Microsoft, and he shares can't-miss insights into print, cloud and Universal Print.
9 JULY 2020
Nishant and Braeden of the Microsoft Universal Print team, with Ranga and Will from our team talking about:
- Universal Print extending the Graph API platform
- Microsoft and PaperCut collaborating on new APIs for print management
- Progress adding the newest Universal Print APIs to the Graph, and when they'll be available
16 JULY 2020
It's the Kris & Chris show!
Kris Iverson and Chris Dance - two heavy hitters in the print world - join us to talk everything IPP, why Microsoft believes the future of printing is built on public standards accessible to everyone, and where Microsoft and PaperCut are pushing the boundaries of cloud print platforms for the future.
Who would have thought internet printing standards could be this interesting!
23 JULY 2020
It's big news week!
Universal Print has graduated to Public Preview for anyone to try, and we've got new software to go with it!
That's right! You can download our working connector component to use PaperCut MF and NG with Universal Print right now!
Watch Jamie explain how we've built the connector into PaperCut, making it easy to use our print management on Universal Print today.
30 JULY 2020
What's next for Universal Print after last week's big news?
Issa Khoury and Alan Meeus from Microsoft join me to recap the Inspire conference and market reactions to Universal Print, as well as our own integrated connector.
Plus they share juicy, up-to-the-minute clues about what's next for Universal Print - including GA launch dates!
5 AUGUST 2020
There's still a ton of work to be done by Microsoft - and us - before Universal Print can graduate out of beta.
This week I sit down with Saurabh Bansal, Program Manager at Microsoft to talk about how customer feedback and feature requests are shaping their next steps in development, plus what new features we might see next.
15 October 2020
You know what Universal Print could really use? Find-Me Printing.
This cool feature allows users to send print jobs to a single print queue and release their jobs from whichever printer they choose to.
This quick walkthrough from our engineering lead Will, shows you step by step how to publish your PaperCut Find-Me print queues with Universal Print.
Follow along and try it for yourself today.
Stay tuned for more interviews, tech talks and insights from Microsoft and PaperCut insiders
You've got questions, and we've got answers. These will be updated as development decisions are made, and as Microsoft continues to finalize their features and functionality.
Why is PaperCut partnering with Microsoft?
Because at PaperCut, we believe in choice
We support Windows Print Server, CUPS for Linux and Mac systems, and now we’re supporting Universal Print for Azure.
Whatever print infrastructure you choose, PaperCut has you covered
Will the PaperCut integration cost anything?
Our Universal Print integration will be included with every PaperCut MF or NG licence.
Microsoft will be including Universal Print with M365 licences, and is exploring additional subscription licensing options for their other Azure customers.
Does PaperCut MF/NG work with Universal Print today?
We're the first print management product with integrated support for Universal Print today, even while Microsoft is still in preview.
You can download and install our preview (beta) connector component for MF/NG right now.
We've reimplemented the IPP-Infra stack in PaperCut MF/NG, completely replacing the need for the Microsoft connector. PaperCut acts as the connector, handling printer registration and job delivery without the need for any extra servers, black boxes or software products to manage and maintain.
When Universal Print launches into General Availability, this connector functionality will be built in to PaperCut. It'll work out of the box with every PaperCut license at no extra cost, making it super easy to use Universal Print and PaperCut together for the best possible print experience.
How does Find-Me printing work?
Find-Me printing can be set up in PaperCut for Universal Print printers, just like any other printer. Users can securely release their jobs on any printer they can access, just by logging in.
Universal Print does not support Find-Me printing natively, and requires MF/NG
How does secure print release work with Universal Print?
Exactly the same way it does with PaperCut on any other infrastructure
Once the print job is received from the Universal Print cloud service by PaperCut, it’s securely held by us until the user authenticates at the printer and is ready to release the job
All our secure release methods like PIN numbers or swipe cards continue to work seamlessly with printers using Universal Print
What is the connector?
The connector is a software proxy, running on a machine with network access to the printers (like your PaperCut application server). The connector publishes printers up to Universal Print, and receives print jobs from the cloud before relaying them to printers
Using a connector, existing printers can be connected to Universal Print without any upgrades or new firmware
We’ve built connector functionality into PaperCut, so it’ll just work with Universal Print out of the box
Can the print connector be hosted on a Windows Server that's hosting "legacy" print queues?
Yes, the connector can be installed on an existing Windows Print Server
Can the connector be run on an Azure virtual machine?
Yes, as long as the VM has network access to the printers it can be run in the cloud
At this point in time is there anything that Universal Print does not support?
Microsoft are moving rapidly with Universal Print, however it's important to note that in its current state Universal Print does not support:
- Client devices running anything other than Windows 10
- Native Printer Support (you will still need the connector component for PaperCut running on your application server)
- Connector high availability. We’re working with Microsoft to find ways to make our implementation of the IPP-Infra connector resilient as part of PaperCut MF/NG
- Advanced finishing option on some printers. Universal Print supports all attributes included in the MOPRIA IPP 2.0 standard, but some printer manufacturers have implemented driver functionality for things like stapling and folding outside this standard.
What are the requirements for Azure AD joined devices to use Universal print? Is there a client or anything that needs to be installed on each device?
Client devices need to be running Windows 10 Enterprise or Education, version 1903 or later, and be joined to Azure Active Directory
There is no need to install any software on client devices. Support for Universal Print is built into Windows 10. Once a printer is registered and published to users, they can start printing with no driver install needed
How will users see printers? For example, if you have multiple sites and potentially hundreds of printers, what will a user see when they try to print?
User visibility and access can be managed by assigning permissions when publishing printers.
What about Role Based Access Control (RBAC)?
Azure AD users and groups are used for assigning access to Universal Print printers
Each printer can be shared as widely or as specifically as you choose
Will Microsoft support other operating systems than Windows with Universal Print?
Microsoft is working on support for more client operating systems, but for now only support Windows 10
The Microsoft connector can only be run on Windows desktop or server operating systems
PaperCut MF/NG - with our integrated connector - will run on all operating systems supported by PaperCut, including Windows, Linux and Mac
What kind of encryption is used to secure print jobs and protect sensitive data?
All data in transit is secured using SSL over HTTPS.
Data in the Azure cloud is stored in each tenant’s Office storage partition, just like email and OneDrive data
X.509 certificates are used to uniquely register and identify printers, preventing impersonation attacks during job delivery
What firewall ports need to be opened for Universal Print to work?
None. All requests, whether from future UP-native printers or a connector like the one in PaperCut MF/NG, are outbound only
The connector polls the Universal Print cloud service for jobs, and jobs are delivered as replies, avoiding the need for any inbound connections.
As long as the PaperCut server can reach the Universal Print cloud endpoints, you’re good to go
Which printer manufacturers will be natively supported at launch?
So far, only have Canon announced that they will offer printers with native support
Current printers can be used with Universal Print through a connector, like the one we're building into PaperCut MF/NG
Are there any plans to support Android and iOS mobile devices?
Microsoft has mobile device support in their feature backlog, but these are not currently supported by Universal Print
Until Universal Print adds support for mobile deivces, PaperCut’s got you covered with our Mobility Print solution
What about Linux workstations or Macs?
These are not currently supported by Universal Print
If you need to print from Linux or Mac computers, PaperCut’s got you covered with our Mobility Print solution
What about Chromebooks?
These are not currently supported by Universal Print
If you need to print from Chromebooks, guess what? Yep, PaperCut’s got you covered with Mobility Print, our free Google Cloud Print alternative.
Can you set default printing preferences in Universal Print?
Yep, in the Azure portal you can configure default printing preferences for each published printer
In PaperCut MF/NG, you can configure additional print policies and settings for individual printers or users if you need additional control
Does Universal Print support the scanning, copying or faxing?
Microsoft currently have no plans to extend Universal Print to support scanning or copying functions. But if that changes, we’ll let you know
If you want to secure and control the scanning features of MFDs, you can use the power of PaperCut MF
Does Universal Print support pull printing?
Not yet, but it’s something Microsoft are considering
What kind of reporting capability is available for things like print usage and user cost allocation?
Universal Print comes with some basic reports in the Azure portal, and using the Graph API raw usage data can be downloaded into your BI tool of choice
Microsoft are investigating additional reporting capabilities
How does Universal Print know which printers are near a users’ physical location, especially if they have access to hundreds?
The Country, City, Building, and Floor fields can be populated in the Azure AD printer object model
Alternatively, latitude and longitude data can be populated for the printer objects. Using this approach, the user’s device location can be used to perform a nearest match when choosing a printer
If those approaches aren't feasible for you, PaperCut MF's Find-Me printing makes it easy for users to select their printer just by walking up to it and logging in.
What you'll need:
- An installation of PaperCut MF or PaperCut NG, version 18.0 or newer
- Universal Print Preview enabled in your Microsoft 365 tenancy
- The spirit of adventure! A willingness to try out Preview (beta) software and be among the first to explore what PaperCut and Universal Print can do together