How does PaperCut Work? A behind the scenes look!
Last modified on 15 August 2020 04:24 AM
A few customers have asked “how does PaperCut track printing”? This knowledge base article gives a quick overview of the process and explains what’s happening behind the scenes.
As a general rule on all platforms, PaperCut works by interfacing with the Operating System’s standard print queueing system rather than attempting to replace it. This approach means that you don’t loose any of the functionality provided by the underlying OS and in most cases can benefit from your existing setup and queues (e.g. AD driver deployment, existing permissions, etc.)
PaperCut does include optional client software, however this is not involved in the print analysis process. The client software is optional and at the simplest level can be thought of as a viewing tool. It simply acts on the direction of the server to say show the user their account balance, ask them to select an account or confirm a print, or show messages such as low balance warnings. The client software is required to use some advanced features such as popup account selection.
PaperCut is designed according to the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principle and has full support for a multi-server and multi-operating system environments. In a standard setup, one server is nominated as the “Primary PaperCut Server” and this hosts the main Application Server. Other servers are called Secondary Servers. Secondary servers run a lightweight monitoring component and communicate with the primary server via XML Web Services over HTTP. PaperCut is a fully cross-platform print management software solution. It is possible to mix server operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac and Novell) and have them all working together as one.
PaperCut may be hosted in a clustered environment.
PaperCut offers two solutions,
These servers act as an extension of the Application servers’ print provider, they carry out the instructions of the application server, analysing and controlling print jobs. These servers have 3 simple failure modes should the network between them and the Application server be severed. Read more on these modes in the manual.
To add enhanced resiliency to the PaperCut system Sites servers run a copy of the Application servers database which is replicated constantly to minimise the impact on the network. These servers can be standalone or print servers on the site, and allow the majority of the application server functions to be carried out (including hold release and MFD Embedded functions used in PaperCut MF), while the site is cut off from the Application server. Read more about site servers in the manual.
There is some more discussion on the architecture here in the manual: