Multiple personal accounts
Users in PaperCut NG/MF have a personal balance used to fund their personal printing. This balance can be treated as a bank account used for printing. When the account is out of credit the user can no longer print until more funds are added to the account. By default, users have a single account to store their balance, but this can be too restrictive in some situations. For example, it's often useful to have separate accounts for "free" print quotas and cash payments.
The multiple personal accountsA personal account is the individual user's account that is charged by default. Each user has their own personal account. feature is an advanced feature that has been carefully architected with the assistance and feedback from leading Universities and Colleges from around the globe.
When multiple personal accounts are enabled, a user has multiple accounts with credit available for printing. Each account is a separate pool of credit that adheres to the following rules:
Credit is deducted from the available funds in the order configured by the administrator.
If the designated account does not have enough credit, the next account in sequence is used until all of the credit is used.
If a print job costs more than the total credit in all accounts, the job is disallowed.
From the perspective of the end user little changes when multiple accounts are enabled:
The total balance of all accounts is displayed in 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., Release StationPrint Release Stations place a print job on hold and allow users to release it when required. Often a Release Station is a dedicated PC terminal located next to the printers, however, Release Stations can take other forms such as a web browser based interface. Some common examples where Release Stations can be used include secure printing, approved printing, and authentication. In a secure printing environment jobs are only printed when the user arrives at the print area and confirms his or her identity. This ensures the user is there to collect the job and other users can't "accidentally" collect the document. In some organizations it may be appropriate to hold jobs until they are approved by selected individuals. A good example would be a teacher approving printing on an expensive color printer. Hold/Release queues can be used as a form of authentication in an unauthenticated environment. Users must authenticate prior to releasing their jobs allowing PaperCut NG/MF to confirm their identity., and User web interfaceThe User web interface provide a range of services for users, including a summary of usage and balance history, a list of the shared accounts that the user can use for printing, the current costs for printing usage, ability to add balance by using a TopUp/Pre-Paid Card or an external payment system (when using the payment gateway module), transfer funds to other users, view a history of balance transactions, view a list of the user's recent printing, and view print jobs pending release (when using a Release Station)..
Printing, quotas, TopUp/Pre-Paid cards and all other PaperCut NG/MF features work the same with multiple accounts as they do with a single account.
The fact that there are multiple balances can optionally be effectively hidden from the user.
Although the concept of multiple personal accounts is quite simple, the management can be complex depending on implementation. Readers are advised to read this section in full and conduct some planning before full deployment. Good print management in large organizations is hard enough, and multiple accounts if not implemented right could make it just that little bit harder!