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Batch import and update shared account

The batch import and update feature allows the administrator to import accounts, and optionally update existing account details by reading data from a simple text file or directory structure. In addition to being able to create accounts, it enables administrators to update the following account data:

  • Enabled / disabled status

  • Account PIN / Code

  • Credit balance

  • Restriction status

  • Users allowed to use the account

  • Groups allowed to use the account

  • Invoicing options

  • Comment options

  • Notes

Examples of where the batch import feature is useful include:

  • When importing account and balance data from another external system (e.g. a project management or accounting system).

  • To reset the account balances at the end of a billing period (year/term/semester).

  • To bulk update the users and groups who are allowed to use/access the accounts (security).

Tip:

To update shared accounts from a tab delimited file on a regular basis, see Synchronize shared accounts with external source instead. You can also synchronize shared accounts against the directory structure of a file system, for example, when there is a separate folder for each department or customer.

Note:

You cannot perform batch imports or updates unless you have admin access to all shared accounts.

To perform a batch import:

  1. Manually inspect your file in a text editor and ensure it's in the prescribed tab-delimited format as detailed at Batch account import file format.

  2. Select Accounts > Batch Import / Update.

    The Batch Import/ Update page is displayed.

  3. Click Choose File to select the file to import. (The format of the file is described in Batch Account Import File Format).

  4. If you want to delete accounts that exist in PaperCut NG but not in the import file, select the Delete accounts if they do not exist in the import file check box.

  5. Click Test.

  6. The window displayed indicates how many lines were processed, and how many shared accounts will be imported, updated, or deleted when you click Import.

  7. If you are happy with the results of the test, click Import.

Tip:

Consider testing your import file format with a small sample first (e.g. maybe a copy of the file containing only the first five lines). This way any formatting mistake only propagates to a few accounts rather than all!

Some example shared accountA shared account is an account that is shared by multiple users. For example, in business, shared accounts can be used to track printing costs by business unit, project, or client. Organizations like legal firms, engineering firms, or accounting offices often have long lists of accounts, projects, clients, or matters. In a school or university, shared accounts can be used to track printing by departments, classes, or subjects. import files are located at [app-path]/server/examples/import/shared-accounts/ in both Excel and TSV (tab separated values) formats. Use the Excel format to produce the TSV format by saving as Text (Tab delimited). Examples include a flat list of accounts using the example of departments in a school (school-departments.tsv) and another with subaccounts using the example of a client-matter layout for a business' clients (client-matter.tsv).

Batch account import file format

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

Table 34: Shared account import file format
Column Field Description Optional? Limitations
A. Parent Account Name The name of this account's parent. When creating a top level account, leave the sub-account name blank (this is the account's name). Mandatory Max. 255 characters
B. Sub-account Name When creating a sub-account (1 level deep only), enter its name here. Optional - account is top level if blank Max. 255 characters
C. Enabled Whether or not this account is enabled. (Y/N where Y = YES, and N = No). Optional - account is enabled if blank
D. Account PIN/Code The account PIN/Code. For parent accounts, the code must be unique for all parent accounts. For sub-accounts, the code must unique amongst accounts with the same parent account. Optional - PIN not set if blank Max. 50 characters
E. Credit Balance The account balance.
  • When updating an existing user, a blank balance indicates that the existing balance is maintained without modification.

Optional - Balance not updated if blank A number with no currency symbol or separators, using a full stop for the decimal separator. Correct: 1.23 Incorrect: $1.23 or 1,23 or 1,023.00
F. Restricted Status The account's restricted status. (Y/N where Y = YES, and N = No). Optional - if blank, set to a configurable default
G. Users Modifies the users who are allowed to select this account from the list (no CODE/PIN required). You can modify the access list as follows:
  • To replace the previously defined access list, use a pipe (|) delimited list of usernames. e.g. user1|user2|user3 sets the list to these three users (removing any previously defined).

  • To add users to the existing access list, prefix the pipe delimited user list with a plus sign (+). e.g. +user1|user2|user3 adds these three users to the access list.

  • To remove users from the existing user list, prefix the pipe delimited user list with a hyphen (-). e.g. -user1|user2|user3 removes these three users from the access list.

  • To remove all users from the access list, enter a hyphen (-).

Optional - users are not updated if blank No real limit, but if there are many users consider using an access group instead
H. Groups Modifies the groups that are allowed to select this account from the list (no CODE/PIN required). To reference the special 'All Users' group, use the syntax [All Users]. You can modify the access list as follows:
  • To replace the previously defined access list, use a pipe (|) delimited list of groups. e.g. group1|group2|group3 sets the list to these three groups (removing any previously defined).

  • To add groups to the existing access list, prefix the pipe delimited group list with a plus sign (+). e.g. +group1|group2|group3 adds these three groups to the access list.

  • To remove groups from the existing group list, prefix the pipe delimited group list with a hyphen (-). e.g. -group1|group2|group3 removes these three groups from the access list.

  • To remove all groups from the access list, enter a hyphen (-).

Optional - groups are not updated if blank
I. Invoice Option The invoicing option defines how prints allocated to this account are invoiced. Available values are: ALWAYS_INVOICE - prints allocated to this account are always invoiced NEVER_INVOICE - prints allocated to this account are never invoiced USER_CHOICE_ON - it is up to the user whether or not to invoice prints allocated to this account. The default is yes. USER_CHOICE_OFF - it is up to the user whether or not to invoice prints allocated to this account. The default is no. Optional - set to USER_CHOICE_ON if blank
J. Comment Option The comments option defines whether or not comments are added to prints allocated to this account. Available values are: NO_COMMENT - comments cannot be added COMMENT_REQUIRED - comments must be added COMMENT_OPTIONAL - it is up to the user whether or not to add a comment Optional - set to COMMENT_OPTIONAL if blank
K. Notes Notes about the shared account (placed in the Notes field). Optional - notes not set if blank Max. 2000 characters

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

Tip:

A simple way to create a tab delimited file is to create a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, and then save it in the Text (Tab delimited) format.

Import file format examples

The following lines shows importing all the above fields. (The fields are separated by tabs).

Maths Y 12 5 N user1|user2 group1|group2 ALWAYS_INVOICE COMMENT_REQUIRED Science Physics Y 1620 100 Y user3 NO_COMMENT A Note Science Biology N 16 12.50 N group3 USER_CHOICE_OFF

The following lines show updating only the groups that can access the account. NOTE: The tabs still exist for the enabled status, pin, balance, restriction and users fields, but each entry is blank.

Maths group1|group2|group3 Science Physics group1 Science Biology group3

Tip:

The shared account import process is triggered by the command-line scripting tool server-command. See Server commands (server-command).


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