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Offline operations

Site Servers ensure the access to print and copy services is supported during a network outage. However, some services will remain unavailable during an outage, as detailed below.

Supported functions

Table 18: Supported Functions
Function Normal Operations Offline with NO Site ServerSite Servers take over the role of a Primary Application Server in the event of network outages. Key roles taken over include authentication, copy and print tracking and Find-Me printing. Site Servers ensure continuous availability of printing resources to support key business functions over unreliable network links or during unplanned network disruptions. Offline WITH Site Server
Basic printing (Failure mode) Yes Yes Yes
MFD login (ALL devices) Yes No Yes
Hardware terminals (CPad, Alpha, VCC…) Yes No Yes
Secure Print Yes No Yes
Find-Me Print Yes No Yes
User Balances Yes No Yes
Filters and conversionsConversions are a type of print filter that changes something about the print job, for example, from color to grayscale, or convert to duplex. Yes No Yes
Release Stations Yes No Yes
Shared Accounts at the MFD Yes No Yes
Mobility Print Yes No Yes
Mobile Print (Web PrintWeb Print enables printing from user-owned devices without the need to install printer drivers and manage server authentication., GCP, iOS, Email to PrintEmail to Print allows any device to print documents by sending an email to your network's print devices.) Yes No No
Payment Gateways, Kiosks Yes No No
Desktop Client / Account Selection Yes No No
Scripting Yes No No

To ensure continuity, Offline Policies allow an Administrator to define the application behavior ahead of any outage that disrupts PaperCut normal operations.

Offline policies

The 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., scripting services, and payment options are not available during an outage. Offline Policies fill the gaps allowing users to continue to work. Offline policies are available after installing your first Site Server.

To set the offline policiesOffline Policies allow an Administrator to define PaperCut's behaviour when there is an outage that disrupts PaperCut normal operations. Offline policies include account selection policy (the default account to charge (default is "Offline account")), offline credit policy (whether to assume credit is available or to deny the job when the Application Server is unavailable), user authentication policy (the behavior in offline mode where PaperCut cannot validate the owner of the job), and User Password Authentication (whether user authentication is attempted during a network outage).:

  1. Select Sites > Offline Policies.

    The Offline Policies page is displayed.

  2. Complete the following details as described below:

    • Account Selection
    • Restricted Credit
    • Unauthenticated Users
    • User Password Authentication
  3. Click Apply.

Account selection

The PaperCut User Client is one service that remains connected to the 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.. Users who normally have the desktop client popup ask for a 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. before prints are accepted need a policy to determine the account to charge when the desktop client is unavailable during an outage. The policy options are:

  • [default] Automatically charge to a single shared account—The print job is charged to a specified shared account (the default is "Offline Account").

  • Automatically charge to personal account—The print job is charged to the user’s personal account.

  • Cancel the print job—If a shared account must be selected by the end user and this is not possible, the job is canceled.

Restricted credit

The Offline Credit Policy determines how PaperCut should determine whether to assume credit is available or to deny the job when the Application Server is unavailable. As an example, organizations can choose to allow an overdraft should the ability for users to top up their accounts be impacted whilst the central Application Server cannot be contacted.

The following policies are defined for restricted users and accounts whilst a site is in offline mode:

  1. [default] Use last known balance—Only deny jobs when the user’s balance (as known by the Site Server) is used up.

  2. Use the last known balance and allow overdraw by—Only deny jobs when the User’s balance known by the Site Server, plus a specified offline overdraft amount is used up.

  3. Allow job to proceed, regardless of balance—Treat the account as unrestricted and allow all jobs to proceed. The account might go into negative when the Application Server is available again.

  4. Assume no credit. Deny any job charging to restricted accounts—Only unrestricted accounts can be used when offline with this policy. For example, when offline, Staff are able to use resources, whereas Students are not.

Important:

The first three policies might result in accounts being deficit when the Application Server is online again.

Unauthenticated users

The User Authentication Policy determines the behavior in offline mode where PaperCut cannot validate the owner of the job. This is anticipated for sites that rely on the Handling unauthenticated (non-domain) laptops feature of PaperCut. For unauthenticated users, the following policies are available:

  1. [default] Assign print job to this user—(The default user is "unknown"). Configure the preconfigured user as unrestricted, so that jobs allocated to this user are not denied based on the Offline Credit Policy. You can also configure this user to charge to a specified shared account (which should also be unrestricted).

  2. Do not track, but allow job to print—Jobs pass through physical queues unimpeded to the destination printers. However, jobs sent to virtual queues do not print.

  3. Cancel the print job—Any print jobs sent from the unauthenticated users are canceled immediately.

Important:

This policy also applies for users who have not been encountered by PaperCut previously. i.e. new domain users who have not been previously synced into PaperCut.

User password authentication

PaperCut normally performs user authentication from an external directory source, such as Active Directory. In normal operations, this validation is performed by the Application Server. When offline, you can choose between the following options:


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