INGENICA Updates Universal Print Driver
May 13, 2008 Alex Woodie
INGENICA last week introduced a new release of UniPrint Host Edition, its universal print driver that enables users of host systems such as mainframes, Unix servers, and i OS-based Power Systems servers (formerly System i) to print using inexpensive Windows servers, as opposed to expensive dedicated host printers. With the new release, hosts no longer need a separate Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Server machine to process the print jobs, making the printing process smoother and less complex.
Installed on a Windows server, UniPrint Host Server enables any mix of mainframes and Power Systems servers running i (formerly i5/OS) and AIX to print to cheap and abundant Windows servers. The UniPrint software does this by converting the print jobs from their native format to PDF, and then sending them to connected Windows printers.
UniPrint widens the net of supported printers while maintaining the high fidelity of print jobs that would normally be processed using expensive IPDS printers. So even though inexpensive network printers are being used, the software maintains support for features like tray mapping, stapling, and duplex printing.
With previous releases, UniPrint required a Windows emulation server–either Citrix or Microsoft–to process print jobs originating from host systems such as the AS/400. Considering that the UniPrint suite is primarily focused on printing in terminal services environments, it’s understandable that the company took this route. But with the new release, UniPrint can now grab any print job directly off the host and send it to the specified Windows printer.
It’s all about giving customers more flexibility, says Arron Fu, vice president of software development for INGENICA. “Despite the fact customers found cross-platform printing made great sense from a productivity standpoint, they had given up on the idea because it posed too many problems, and because the only available software and hardware solutions were far too expensive and far too difficult to implement,” he says. UniPrint addresses this lack of flexibility, he says.
INGENICA is based in Toronto, Ontario, and is a division of Bell Business Solutions, which itself is a subsidiary of Bell Canada Company. The company sells several versions of UniPrint, including two Citrix offerings (UniPrint Server and UniPrint Gateway Edition) two offerings that works with Citrix and Microsoft RDP (UniPrint Terminal Server Edition and UniPrint Gateway Server Edition), and UniPrint Host Edition (previously called UniPrint Host Module) for host-based printing.
Subscriptions for UniPrint are based on the number of printing impressions customers make. Pricing starts at $3,999 for 60,000 pages per year. For more information, visit www.uniprint.net.