CAPS: The enterprise printing service
The University Copy and Print Service (CAPS) is a system for managing printers, copiers and other sorts of equipment with similar functions (eg. plotters and laser cutters); the flow of funds associated with the use of such equipment; and the management of quotas and allocations.
This service represents a significant change from the NetAccount system used to manage this across campus previously.
Copy and print balances are merged
The new system does not manage pools of money for copy or print activities separately. All fund sources available to a user can be used for either service.
The software used to manage the new service is called Pharos (http://www.pharos.com/). Pharos has been deployed in a distributed fashion around campus. Copy and print servers (sometimes called spoolers) have been delegated to local support groups across the University, and these connect back to and a central database and licensing service managed by the Electronic Campus Services group within ITS.
Print and release
The basic CAPS printer works much the same as the NetAccount system did -print jobs are held on a server, and released to printers via an interface in a print release station.
Print release stations may take the form of a computer sited next to a printer, an integrated piece of software (such as you get in the multifunction devices -aka. photocopiers), or a touchscreen interface attached to a printer. All will offer the same functionality -swipe your ID card (or type in your University username and password); select which of the various pools of money you wish to charge the activity to; select the print jobs you want to release; and wait…
The cost of the print job is calculated before it is released. When the job is released to the printer, the cost is deducted from the fund source you selected after logging in.
CAPS differs from NetAccount in that the print job is charged whether something comes out of the printer or not, and the cost of the job will not vary after it is released. NetAccount would only charge for what came out of the printer, so jobs that failed to print cost $0.00, and jobs that produced more pages than expected were charged for the cost of those pages.
CAPS allows each user to manage multiple purses and cost centres. Purses hold cash and finite pools of credit made available to people by departments. Cost centres represent unlimited lines of credit underwritten by an activity centre or research fund.
When you log onto a print release station, and have access to cost centres, you will be presented with an opportunity to choose where the print/copy activity you are about to do will be charged.
Windows print spoolers everywhere
In Science we would typically use one (or all) of the following:
- Ostensibly for Science staff on the city campus
- sciprnp01lp (postscript queue)
- sciprnp01caps-print (PCL queue)
- Ostensibly for Science students on the city campus
- sciprnp02lp (postscript queue)
- sciprnp02caps-print (PCL queue)
- Ostensibly for Tamaki in general
- tmkprnp01lp (postscript queue)
- tmkprnp01caps-print (PCL queue)
In theory you can print on any of the above and they will arrive at any CAPS managed multi-function device (or MFD -think photocopier) or printer.
For those with odd network configurations, you may need to use the full intername of the print spooler. Add uoa.auckland.ac.nz to the server names above to get (for example):
Purse and allocation management
Check your account details, and if you are suitably empowered, allocate funds to people.
The key to a lot of CAPS activity revolves around group management in NetAccount.
This is a useful method for forcing a change of the username associated with a print job. Essentially, you authenticate to the printing system in the printer configuration which overrides the username you use to log into the desktop environment.
A simple solution to authenticating into Pharos with a UPI, while logging into Windows with a different username.
Configuring a printer in CUPS to work around a login UPI mismatch issue in MacOS X Leopard and Snow Leopard (10.5 & 10.6). For Tiger (10.4) use the quick and dirty fix.
A work around for the Windows environment where there is a need to access specific features in a CAPS managed device that are not available through the more generic driver used to deploy the LP queues.
CAPS Packages for specific printers, such as printers which don’t have login screens (so require popups)
The manual provided by RICOH, explaining the CAPS/Pharos implementation on the multifunction devices (MFDs) deployed in late 2009/early 2010.