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Hold/release usage scenarios

This section describes various usage scenarios discussing why and how to use a hold/release queue. They provide a good starting point for your own implementations.

Saving paper and toner

A large source of wasted paper in organizations are documents that were never collected from the printer. Some of these uncollected documents are caused by accidental printing, and others were just forgotten. But the majority of these documents end up in the bin.

If the document is not printed until a user walks to the printer to collect it, then this source of waste can be mostly eliminated.

To implement a 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. to save paper:

Secure printing

When users print documents that contain sensitive information, it is important that no one else picks up the document from the printer. Even when the printers are close-by, people can accidentally leave sensitive documents on the printer. Use print Release Stations to implement Secure Printing, which ensures that a document can only be released by the person who printed it and only when that person is standing near the printers.

Secure printing is implemented as follows:

Secure printing requires users to be authenticated on the network when printing (i.e. an Active Directory domain). This allows the Release Station to enforce the secure printing so that users can only release documents they print.

Pay per print (e.g. library or Internet cafe)

Libraries and Internet cafes usually only allow printing once a user has paid for the cost of the printed document.Implementing pay-per-print can often involved deploying expensive card-based payment solutions, however, PaperCut NG/MF Release Stations allow this to be implemented in a more cost effective way.

An example of how print Release Stations would be used in this scenario is:

  1. Users print documents from a workstation without any assistance from staff.

  2. The printed documents are held in the queue until released by a staff member.

  3. The user goes to the staff desk and asks for the document to be released.

  4. The staff member opens a Release Station (the program or a web page), finds the user's job, notes the cost and collects the payment from the user.

  5. The staff member clicks Print, allowing the job to be printed.

  6. The user then collects the printed document from the printer.

If the user does not pay for a print, then the print job is automatically deleted without any staff interaction.

To implement a pay-per-print hold/release queue:

Expensive printers (approved printing)

At times it is necessary to restrict access to an expensive printer (like a color laser printer), or other printer that should be used only with an administrator's permission. Instead of locking the printer away where no one has access to it; you can configure the printer so that only administrators or hold/release managers can release print jobs. In this situation:

  1. The user prints the document to the restricted printer.

  2. The document is held in the queue awaiting approval by an authorized person.

  3. The user talks to the administrator (or approved user) who would decide whether the user is allowed to perform the print.

  4. The administrator logs into the web-based release interface from any machine on the network, and "Release" or "Cancel" the job as appropriate.

To implement admin/manager only release interface:

  • In PaperCut NG/MF, enable the hold/release mode on the printer(s); then select the Admin/Manager only release mode. For more information, see Enabling hold/release support on a printer.

  • You do not need to set up a dedicated Release Station near the printer, because the web-based release interface can be used from any machine on the network.

  • It is also a good idea to put a notice on the printer that tells users how to have their documents released.

Delegated Print Release

You can allow a user to release jobs printed by other users. This is called Delegated Print Release. An example scenario is when a teacher needs to view and release jobs printed by their students. If you make each teacher a hold/release queue manager, they can view and release any job, including other teachers’ jobs. By using Delegated Print Release, teachers can view and release only the print jobs they need to manage.

In this situation:

  1. A student prints a document.

  2. The document is held in the queue awaiting approval by a teacher.

  3. The student talks to their teacher who will decide whether the document should be allowed to print.

  4. The teacher logs into their User web-interface Release Station from any machine on the network and releases or cancels the job as appropriate.

To implement delegated print release:

  1. In PaperCut NG/MF, enable the hold/release option on the printer(s). For more information, see Enabling hold/release support on a printer.

  2. Select the teacher's account on the User List page.

  3. In the Advanced Optionsarea, select the Allow this user to release jobs printed by others (Delegated print release) check box.

  4. Enter a list of student usernames delegating print release to the teacher. Alternatively enter an existing group name under Groups. For example, if all students belong to "students" group, you can enter "students".

  5. Click Apply.

  6. Now this teacher can release delegated jobs via the User web interface Release Station.

  7. To apply this setting to multiple teachers, use Bulk User Actions link under Users tab. For more information, see Bulk user operations

To prevent students from viewing/releasing their own jobs, only allow group "teachers" to view held jobs:

  1. Click the Options tab.

    The General page is displayed.

  2. In the User Features area, select the Allow users to view held jobs (hold/release queues) via end user interface check box.
  3. Select the Only allow users in this group to view held jobs check box.

  4. Set the group name to "teachers".

  5. Click Apply.

Override/change account selection using Admin web interface Release Station

Many educational organizations want to charge for printing, which means that some users might not be able to print because of a low balance. This means that the print job waits in the Secure hold/release queue until it is either canceled, times out, or the user obtains sufficient credit to release the job.

A hold/release queue manager (for more information, see Hold/release queue managers) can use the Admin web interface Release Station to override the selected account (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. or personal balance) and charge the print job to a specific shared account, moving the cost of the print job from the selected shared account or user's personal balance to a shared account that the hold/release queue manager has access to.

In this situation:

  1. A student prints a document.

  2. The document is held in the queue awaiting additional funds.

  3. The student talks to their teacher who will decide whether the document is allowed to print.

  4. The teacher logs into their User web interface Release Station from any machine on the network and selects the [override] action for the job.

  5. The teacher then selects a shared account to charge the job to, optionally enters a job comment; then clicks Print.

To implement Override Print Settings to charge to a shared account:

  1. In PaperCut NG/MF, enable the hold/release option on the printer(s). For more information, see Enabling hold/release support on a printer.

  2. On the User List page, select the teacher's account .

  3. Click the Accounts tab.

    The Shared Account List page is displayed.

  4. In the Actions menu, click Create a new account.

    The Account Details page is displayed.

  5. Give the shared account a name. Determine if this is to be a restricted shared account (e.g. cannot have a negative balance, limiting the amount of use) or if it is unrestricted and allowed to accrue a negative balance.

  6. Click Apply.

  7. Click the Security tab.

  8. In the Users area, select the teacher's user account; then click Add.

    This teacher can now override jobs using the Admin web interface.

Unauthenticated printing

In some environments it is not possible (or very difficult) to have users authenticated when printing. This could be due to a technology constraint (like using Macs in mainly Windows environment) or could be for convenience (like having kiosk computers in the library that people can use without logging in).

In these scenarios, print jobs are printed under one name, but charging is allocated to another. For example, a job is printed by a generic "library user", but you need to charge to the user's real account. In order to charge the correct user for printing, PaperCut NG/MF needs to identify the user to charge. You can achieved this using a Release Station in "Release Any" mode.

This works as follows:

  1. The user prints from a workstation but is not authenticated, so jobs are allocated to a generic user.

  2. The print job is held in the queue awaiting release.

  3. The user walks to the Release Station and enters a username and password. Alternatively the user can log in to the PaperCut NG/MF User interface; then select Jobs Pending Release.

  4. All jobs held are listed. Jobs can be identified by document name or workstation machine name.

  5. The user selects his or her jobs. Any jobs released are charged to that user's account.

To implement unauthenticated printing using a Release Station:

To implement unauthenticated printing using the browser interface:


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