9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2017 11:22 AM by Jeff Geller

    Charge On Schedule

    Tyler Beebe Newbie

      Is it possible to setup a printer that it only charges for jobs at a certain time?

      We would not want to charge while a class is in session only when it is open.

        • Re: Charge On Schedule
          Paul LaFollette Guide

          Ah!  That's a great question!  I'd like to have that option.

           

          Every semester and for certain events, I'm asked to make printing free at certain locations on our campus to accommodate things like new student orientation, enrollment, new arrivals because these are times when people may have need to print some forms, info, etc critical to being enrolled however their accounts (and in some cases their campus ID) have not yet been completed (and may be why they need to print a form) which makes it hard for them to pay for print jobs as their account isn't active yet.

           

          To accommodate, I have to "tweak" the billing settings temporarily and then remember to set back to normal later.

           

          Ability to schedule such things would be great!

           

          Thanks,

          - Paul L.

          • Re: Charge On Schedule
            Nic Meadows Ranger

            This is definitely possible. However, are the periods when free printing is required regular or ad-hoc and are they always the same printers or groups of printers? If they are regular (i.e. every Mon 10-11, 1-4, Tues 9-10, 3-5 etc) then its quite easy to configure a BillingScript and or a JobCost Script to do this. Ad hoc is more problematic as there isn't a nice button in Uniprint admin that can be hooked into to turn on/off the charging and you end up with the scenario that Paul has mentioned.

            A script could be written to use the Pharos Access times as a way of scheduling the billing. The only other thing to consider is whether you want to charge the print jobs to another user/cost centre when they are released or just set the job cost to zero.

             

            If I get a chance, I may write this script as techinical exercise...

            Nic

            • Re: Charge On Schedule
              Jeff Geller Guide

              Hi All,

               

              Here is what I have done in the past.  It relies on several things being static and not changing like the Job Cost Method that is assigned to the Print Group you wish to change the cost for and the name of the Print Group.

               

              1. You need to determine what the Job_Cost_Method_Id is for the Print Group you wish to use from the Print_Groups Table in the Pharos database and the Job_Cost_Method_Id of one that does not have a charge.  Replace myprintgroupName below with your Print Group name.

               

              For the Job_Cost_Method_Id to use you can use a query like below to determine this.

              select

                pg.print_group,

                jc.job_cost_meth_id

              from print_groups pg

              join job_cost_methods jc

                on pg.job_cost_meth_id=jc.job_cost_meth_id

                where pg.print_group = 'myprintgroupName'

               

              For the Job_Cost_Method_Id that has your zero cost.

              select * from job_cost_methods

               

              2. Once you have the two Job_Cost_Method_Ids for each we now create two batch files that that use OSQL (or SQLCMD) to make a T-SQL Query to the database.  Label one batch file your "On" and one your "Off".

               

              The T-SQL query to change the Job Cost for a print group is below.

               

              update print_groups

              set job_cost_method_id = 'x'

              where print_group_name = 'x'

               

              3. For the automation you use a Windows Scheduled Task to run the "On" batch file to change it to the free Job Cost Method and then the "Off" batch file to set the Job Cost Method back to the one you would like it have normally.

               

              Regards,

              Jeff Geller

              Pharos Support

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Charge On Schedule
                  Steven English Guide

                  Jeff,

                   

                  Would not a change control be needed in order to have it take effect?  When I have done things like this in the past - not specific to job costing - I have had to restart the service in order to get the server service to pick up on the change.

                   

                  Regards,

                  Steven

                    • Re: Charge On Schedule
                      Jeff Geller Guide

                      Hi Steven,

                       

                      Thanks for that information.  In testing this your correct, it appears that a service restart is needed for the costing change to actually take effect or a Change Control has to be issued.

                       

                      Here is another way. This method uses a custom Table in the Pharos database that holds a list of queues that you do or do not want to charge for and a custom "Job Cost" script.  The script will look in the Table to determine if the queue for the inbound job is in the Table.  If it is then assign your desired cost to it.

                       

                      Then using batch files we can update the custom Table as needed using a Scheduled Task in Windows.  With this mechanism no Change Control or service restart would be needed as we are not changing the configuration of the system.

                       

                      Note: Any custom Table in the Uniprint database needs to be prefixed with "TP_" so it will not be touched during an upgrade.

                       

                      Regards,

                      Pharos Support

                      Jeff Geller

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Charge On Schedule
                          Steven English Guide

                          Jeff,

                          Jeff Geller wrote:

                           

                          Note: Any custom Table in the Uniprint database needs to be prefixed with "TP_" so it will not be touched during an upgrade.

                          Very good to know!!!

                           

                          Regards,

                          Steven

                          • Re: Charge On Schedule
                            Scott Copus Adventurer

                            Hi Jeff,

                             

                            Does the latest version (9.2R2SP4) of Uniprint's upgrade logic still ignore those 3rd party "TP_" database tables in its database?  Is that logic planning to remain in future versions for the foreseeable future?  I'm only using a few extra custom tables for now, but was curious if the same goes for views, stored procedures, etc. in case that comes in handy for my environment later on.

                             

                            thanks,
                            Scott

                              • Re: Charge On Schedule
                                Jeff Geller Guide

                                Hi Scott,

                                 

                                Yes, any database object in the Pharos database prefixed with "TP_" will remain during an upgrade of the database. As far as I know this will continue to be the case in upcoming versions. A number of customers use custom database objects like Tables and Stored procedures and some even use custom Views.

                                 

                                Thanks,

                                Jeff Geller

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Charge On Schedule
                            Nic Meadows Ranger

                            I like that Jeff, theres always a way to do these things