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Google Cloud Print

Overview

Google Cloud Print (GCP) is a cloud based printing service from Google that lets people print anywhere from any device. Users are increasingly bringing their own mobile devices (BYOD) to the workplace and need a printing solution. Google Cloud PrintGoogle Cloud Print is a technology that allows you to print to any printer from any web connected device, such as a phone. Google Cloud Print works on a phone, tablet, Chromebook, PC, and any other web-connected device you want to print from. provides a way to print from any mobile phone or tablet, running Android or iOS.

On its own, Google Cloud Print provides untracked printing only to Google Cloud Print enabled printers. Coupled with PaperCut, Google Cloud Print becomes a powerful mobile and BYOD printing solution for organizations of any size:

  1. PaperCut tracks and controls Google Cloud Print jobs the same as any other PaperCut print job.

  2. Google Cloud Print deployment is managed centrally, using the PaperCut Admin web interface to publish and deploy Google Cloud Print on selected printers.

  3. Rich enterprise PaperCut features such as Find-Me Printing (see Find-Me printing and printer load balancing) work alongside Google Cloud Print.

  4. Use Google Cloud Print with your existing printers. With PaperCut you do not need to have Google Cloud Print Aware printers.

Supported environments

Note:

Google Cloud Print is not available on direct print queues. To offer this service to your users, set up a server queue for this device/printer.

Users can print to Google Cloud Print in many ways:

  1. From a Chrome browser (mobile or desktop) or Chromebook device

  2. From an iOS or Android device with a Google Cloud Print enabling app installed

  3. From Google applications, such as Drive, Gmail on all platforms

  4. From a Windows or Mac desktop using the Cloud Printer app

A current list of compatible printing applications is available at https://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/apps.html.

How it works

Google Cloud Print and PaperCut

The diagram shows PaperCut as the bridge between an organization's printers and the Google Cloud Print service.

  1. PaperCut publishes selected printers to Google Cloud Print, making them available to Google Cloud Print user applications.

  2. A mobile or desktop user prints a document or email using Google Cloud Print and selects a published printer.

  3. PaperCut is notified and downloads the print job from the cloud.

  4. PaperCut authenticates the user sending the job, then renders and spools the job to the specified printer.

  5. PaperCut tracks and manages the print job in the same way as any normal print job.

  6. PaperCut informs Google that the job is complete.

PaperCut takes care of publishing printers with Google, downloading jobs from the Google cloud, and managing the print work-flow. This makes it very easy to integrate Google Cloud Print into your existing print service.

Printers must be published to Google Cloud Print to make them available for users to print. Once Google Cloud Print is enabled, a single click is all that is needed to publish a printer. PaperCut manages any Google Cloud Print print jobs on behalf of the printer, and jobs are processed by the normal PaperCut work-flow.

Tip:

Some internet printers are marketed as Cloud Print Ready and can be connected directly to Google Cloud Print. However, if you directly connect a printer to Google Cloud Print, you cannot track and control print jobs from Google. We recommend you use PaperCut to connect your printers with Google Cloud Print. Cloud Print Ready printers are not required.

Requirements

The following requirements must be met for a successful Google Cloud Print integration:

  1. Google Cloud Print is supported by PaperCut Print Providers running on Windows, Linux or Mac OS. Printers managed by a Novell print serverA print server is a system responsible for hosting print queues and sharing printer resources to desktops. Users submit print jobs to a print server rather then directly to the printer itself. A print server can be a dedicated server but on many networks this server also performs other tasks, such as file serving cannot be published to Google Cloud Print.

  2. The Print ProviderA Print Provider is a monitoring service installed on a secondary print server to allow PaperCut to control and track printers. This monitoring component intercepts the local printing and reports the use back to the primary Application Server. software must be running a version of PaperCut that supports Google Cloud Print. Printers managed by an older version of the Print Provider cannot be published to Google Cloud Print.

  3. Some printers and printer drivers do not respect all printer settings, such as color or grayscale, single sided or duplex as specified by the user in the Google Cloud Print User ClientThe User Client tool is an add-on that resides on a user's desktop. It allows users to view their current account balance via a popup window, provides users with the opportunity to confirm what they are about to print, allows users to select shared accounts via a popup, if administrators have granted access to this feature, and displays system messages, such as the "low credit" warning message or print policy popups.. If you observe issues in this area, try upgrading to the latest drivers, as Google is working with the printer manufacturers to resolve any such issues.

  4. The Mobile web client must be used to perform Account Selection for Google Cloud Print jobs (see Mobile web client).

  5. The PaperCut Application ServerAn Application Server is the primary server program responsible for providing the PaperCut user interface, storing data, and providing services to users. PaperCut uses the Application Server to manage user and account information, manage printers, calculate print costs, provide a web browser interface to administrators and end users, and much more. must be able to connect to the internet to communicate with Google Cloud Print servers. You might need to make ports or exceptions in firewalls or proxy servers. The full details are: TCP (HTTPS) port 443 connections to https://www.googleapis.com/*, https://accounts.google.com/* and https://www.google.com/cloudprint/*, as well as a TCP port 5222 (XMPP with STARTTLS) persistent connection to talk.google.com.

  6. Configure Google Cloud Print to allow the use of a proxy server by setting the following config keys:

    system.network-proxy-address

    system.network-proxy-port

    system.network-proxy-user

    system.network-proxy-password

    For information about setting config keys, see Using the Config Editor.

User authentication and printer sharing with Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print uses Google's OAuth based system for identifying users and printers. These must be reconciled with the users and printers managed by PaperCut so that you can track Google Cloud Print jobs as normal PaperCut jobs and allocate them to the correct PaperCut user.

This integration between Google Cloud Print and PaperCut domains is managed as follows:

  1. A Google account is set up for Google Cloud Print administration. PaperCut uses this account to publish printers and communicate with Google Cloud Print over the internet.

  2. User's Google accounts are added to the PaperCut user database as secondary email addresses. This can be done either manually or via an automated email verification process.

  3. Printers are published using PaperCut then shared with users using Google's sharing tools.

Each of these topics are covered in detail in the sections below:

Administrator authentication

You need a Google administrator account

When Google Cloud Print is enabled in the PaperCut Admin web interface, you are asked to authenticate with Google credentials. All printers are published by PaperCut using these credentials. The use of one set of credentials to register all printers is in line with Google's best practice recommendations.

You can use any Google account for this purpose, but we recommend that you set up a dedicated account for Google Cloud Print administration. A personal account is not recommended as it might be deleted if an employee changes role or leaves your organization.

When you first enable Google Cloud Print, you are asked to log in to your Google administrator account and authorize PaperCut to have access to the Google services needed to manage Cloud Print. After accepting this request, PaperCut permanently stores an access token, which means you do not need to authenticate each time.

User authentication

Each Google Cloud Print user must have a Google account associated with their PaperCut account.

Each Google Cloud Print user requires a Google account. This account might be self-registered, or provided to the user under a Google Apps managed environment.

PaperCut must map each user's Google account used for cloud printing to a PaperCut user. For example, Google might know a user as joeadams@gmail.com, whereas the same user in PaperCut might be adamsj with an email joe.adams@myorg.com.

As with this scenario, PaperCut allows multiple email addresses to be associated with a user. Each user can have one primary email address and multiple secondary email addresses. All addresses must be unique across the system.

PaperCut provides two ways to populate the secondary emails on behalf of each user. You should select which method is best for your organization:

  1. Manual configuration. An administrator can add and remove secondary email addresses on behalf of a user in the Users tab of the PaperCut Admin web interface.

  2. Self registration through automatic email verification.

When a print job arrives from Google, PaperCut finds the user with a primary or secondary email address matching the address of the sender. The matching user is then associated with the incoming print job.

If no matching user is found, you can choose to have PaperCut cancel the job, or hold the job and perform automatic email verification. Cancelling the job is the appropriate response if you are choosing to manually configure the secondary email addresses.

Automatic email verification works as follows:

  1. When a job arrives from an unknown user, the job is held and an email is sent to the originating Google email address asking for the user to click a link to validate their account.

  2. The link takes the user to the login screen for the PaperCut web interface.

  3. The user logs into their PaperCut account and the Google address is automatically associated with this account.

  4. The job proceeds to print as the verified PaperCut user.

Publishing and sharing printers

Each printer must be published and Shared with end users.

Printers are published to Google Cloud Print in order to make them available for Cloud printing. By default, printers managed by PaperCut are not published to Google Cloud Print. To publish a printer after enabling Google Cloud Print:

  1. On the Printer Details page, click Publish to Google Cloud Print.

PaperCut publishes printers by using your chosen Google administrator account. By default only that account has access to the printers for printing. To make printers available to your Google Cloud Print users, you must share your printers.

Printer sharing is a Google feature and is administered in Google's Cloud Print web interface (https://www.google.com/cloudprint#printers), not in PaperCut.

You can share printers with individual users by specifying a list of Google email addresses. You can also share printers with a Google Group. For example, you could set up a Google Group for Students and another group for Teachers and share printers to those groups. Users can self-register with the appropriate Google Groups, but you might need to moderate these registrations. Google provides mechanisms for people to request membership to a Google Group and for a moderator to accept or reject those requests.

Tip:

When a printer is shared with a user, the user must accept the sharing invitation before they are able to use the printer for printing. This is done within Google's web interface and at the time of writing is not available on some mobile devices. We recommend you test the sharing of printers at your site and provide users with any guidance needed to ensure they are able to successfully accept printers shared with them. People might need to use a computer browser to accept the sharing invitation.

Setting up Google Cloud Print

Setting up Google Cloud Print in PaperCut is straightforward. First you must create an administrator Google account (see Administrator Authentication). Then:

  1. Enable Google Cloud Print in Options > Mobile & BYOD > Google Cloud Print .

  2. Publish printers to Google Cloud Print and share with your users.

  3. Test your major user printer scenarios on a range of devices and printers.

These steps are covered in detail below:

Enabling and Configuring Google Cloud Print

  1. Select Options > Mobile & BYOD.

    The Mobile & BYOD page is displayed.

  2. In the Google Cloud Print area, select the Enable Google Cloud Print integration check box.

    A wizard is displayed to lead you through the process.

Google Cloud PrintSetup Wizard

The first step in the process is to authorize PaperCut to use your administrator Google account. (See Administrator Authentication.) Give PaperCut permission to use your Google account to obtain an authorization code. The authorization code is needed for PaperCut to use your administrator account to manage your printers with Google Cloud Print on your behalf.

Google Request for Permissions Window

Note:

You must grant permission for your PaperCut Application Server to use your administrator Google account to work with Google Cloud Print on your behalf. You are not granting permission for any third party, including PaperCut Software, to access your account. Your authorization only applies to your PaperCut Application Server instance.

Once your Google Cloud Print administrator account is authorized, you can publish a printer to Google Cloud Print and test. Printers are published using a button on the Printer Details page. See Publishing Printers to Google Cloud Print via PaperCut for more information.

There are several choices to make on how PaperCut process Google Cloud Print jobs with respect to user authentication and client popup reminders.

  1. Configure what PaperCut should do when a job arrives from an unknown email address.

    PaperCut searches the user database for the originating email address of each job. If the email address is not found, you can choose to have PaperCut cancel the job or hold the job and email the user with instructions for verifying their Google email address. (See User Authentication.)

    You might want to cancel the job if you have decided to manually configure the user Google email addresses on the Users page.

  2. Choose whether to send a reminder email for jobs requiring a popup response. (See Mobile web client.)

Publishing Printers to Google Cloud Print via PaperCut

Before a printer can be used with Google Cloud Print it must be published to Google and shared with users. Publishing a printer to Google Cloud Print makes the printer known to Google and enable access from Google's Google Cloud Print user interfaces.

  1. Printers are published to Google Cloud Print on the printer details page for a selected printer in the Printers tab. Click Publish to Google Cloud Print to publish a printer. The printer remains published indefinitely.

    If you do not see a Google Cloud Print area on the printer details page, check that Google Cloud Print is enabled under Options > Mobile & BYOD > Google Cloud Print .

  2. Once published, you must share your printer with users, using your Google administrator account to log in to the Google Cloud Print printer management page: https://www.google.com/cloudprint#printers

    Printer published to Google Cloud Print

    You can unpublish a printer by clicking Delete from Google Cloud Print.

    Sharing a printer sends a sharing invitation to each invited user. Each user must respond by accepting the invitation by logging in with their own Google account to the Google Cloud Print printer management page: https://www.google.com/cloudprint#printers

    The printer sharing process is provided by Google as their solution for printer security and access control. This is not included in this manual as Google's interfaces for sharing printers are likely to change. For example, at the time of writing, the sharing interfaces require a computer or Chromebook browser.

    You should test sending and accepting printer sharing invitations at your site, using your targeted mobile devices, and document any required steps for your users.

Tip:

You can list only those printers published or not published to Google Cloud Print using a filter:

  1. Click the Printers tab.

    The Printer List page is displayed.

  2. Click [edit] to edit the filter.

  3. From Published to Google Cloud Print select Yes or No; then click Apply Filter.

Testing Google Cloud Print

You should test the operation of Google Cloud Print before rolling out the system to your users. Your test plan should factor in the following items:

  1. Sharing and accepting printer sharing invitations. Share your printers and test using your targeted mobile devices and applications.

  2. Printing to a range of printers, page sizes, duplex and color settings.

  3. Automatic email verification (if used). Send a print job from an unknown Google account and check that a verification email is sent. Follow the steps in the email to associate the account with a PaperCut user and print the job.

  4. Tracking and control of Google Cloud Print jobs. Verify that print jobs from Google Cloud Print are associated with the correct user and are being tracked in the print log.

You should take into account the requirements listed in Requirements when creating your test plan.

Troubleshooting Google Cloud Print Problems

Troubleshooting Printer Publishing Problems

Some printers might not be able to successfully publish to Google Cloud Print. There are several possible causes:

  1. The PaperCut secondary print server is running on Novell

    For various technical reasons, PaperCut does not currently support Google Cloud Print on Novell print servers.

  2. The secondary print server is a Windows desktop machine

    When running the Print Provider on a Windows desktop, PaperCut disables by default the server events needed for Google Cloud Print operation. This is done for performance reasons for sites running many desktop Print Providers.

    You can enable server events on a desktop Print Provider machine by adding the following line to the print-provider.conf file and restarting the Print Provider service:

    ServerEventsEnableOnDesktops=on

    There might be performance implications if this change is made on a large number of desktops.

  3. The secondary print server is running an older version of PaperCut

    The Print Provider must be running a version of PaperCut that supports Google Cloud Print.

    Google Cloud Print support was first introduced in PaperCut release 13.5.

  4. A connection from the Application Server to the Internet is unavailable

    The Application Server must be connected to the Internet to publish printers and process Google Cloud Print jobs.

  5. Google access has been revoked

    This might occur if the Google administrator account used to publish printers has been deleted or PaperCut's access to this account has been revoked. To recover from this scenario, disable and re-enable Google Cloud Print in Options > Mobile & BYOD > Google Cloud Print and re-publish and share your printers.

Troubleshooting printing problems

Print jobs printed to Google Cloud Print might not print correctly. If this occurs, check the App Log for error or warning messages. The user should also check Google's print job page https://www.google.com/cloudprint#jobs for job status information. If the job was submitted, but has not printed, some causes are listed below:

  1. The job is from an unknown user

    PaperCut must map the Google email originating the job with a PaperCut user. If no user is matched, the job is canceled. See Enabling and Configuring Google Cloud Print. To resolve, manually add the Google email as a user's secondary email address in the User Details page. Or you can enable automatic email verification.

  2. The job requires a popup response and no response received

    If a job requires popup response, for example, to select an account to charge, and no response is received, PaperCut waits up to 10 minutes before cancelling the job. Users must respond using the Mobile web client - see Mobile web client. PaperCut sends a reminder email to use the Mobile web client. If a user has not received this email, check that the reminder setting is on, and that the email is not being diverted to the user's spam/junk folder.

  3. The print driver is not capable of rendering the job

    When printing using CUPSCommon User Printing System (CUPS) is a printing system for Unix operating systems that allows a computer to act as a print server. A computer running CUPS is a host that can accept print jobs from client computers, process them, and send them to the appropriate printer. (Linux and Mac Print Providers), the print driver is responsible for rendering the PDF document from Google Cloud Print. Some drivers, such as a generic Postscript driver, might not be able to render a PDF document. If you are using a generic Postscript driver as pass-through, you might need to set up a separate queue for Google Cloud Print using the proper printer driverA printer driver or a print processor is a piece of software that converts the data to be printed to the form specific to a printer. The purpose of printer drivers is to allow applications to do printing without being aware of the technical details of each printer model. for your printer.

  4. The print driver does not perform as expected

    Some print drivers might not fully comply with the print ticket from Google Cloud Print. This can result in the printed output not respecting the requested paper size, color or duplex setting. Google is working with printer manufacturers to resolve such problems. The first course of action is to update the printer driver to the latest version to see if the problem has been resolved. Otherwise, you can report the issue to our support team.

    If the PaperCut page counts or color page counts are incorrect, contact our support team.

  5. The PaperCut Application Server has lost connection with the Internet

    The Application Server must be connected to the Internet to publish printers and process Google Cloud Print jobs.

  6. The printer or secondary print server is down

    A printer can still appear available in Google Cloud Print even if the printer is currently down or the Print Provider managing the printer is unavailable. The job will print when the Print Provider is brought back up.


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