what it is ...

printer++ is a flexible and powerful windows virtual printer that allows you to print from any application (excel, webpages, word…) and then have the print job sent to a printer++ SDK solution tailored to your needs and requirements.

With printer++, you can now send and process a lengthy document, presentation, spreadsheet, forms or literally anything that’s "printable”. printer++ captures the “printed data” and then processes it. With printer++ you can easily send these usable data to a data store, email, do sms, pump data into another system or even custom workflows. Imagine the power of the data that can be released from your “printable pages”.

the idea ...

Problem: I am using system A and somehow I need some data in system A to be copied over to system B in real-time.

Usual Solutions:

  1. Just do user manual input and type the data from system A into system B.
    Pros: Practical, doable
    Cons: Repetitive, manual user intervention, error prone, “really ?”

  2. Do custom programming at the backend of system A and system B that somehow will trigger the copying of data from system A into system B at some predefined events.
    Pros: More accurate than #1. No manual user intervention.
    Cons: Hard to do if system A or system B is proprietary system. You’d have to go thru the vendors. Might be expensive. Will take time.

printer++ Solution:

In every application, you would have the ability to print pages. In system A, if you can print the “data” needed to be copied over to system B, then we are saying that we should be able to “capture the printed data”, parse it and use it. The steps are:
  1. We would install a printer++ virtual printer into the user computer. We could name it “System A to System B printer”.
  2. We would create a solution (dll) using printer++ SDK to work with the above printer. The solution will look for the data elements from the parsed page and pump it into system B. This could be done thru a couple of ways (i.e, system B APIs, windows macros.) The hard part is already done, getting the data into a useable state from system A.
  3. From the user standpoint, any time data from system A has to be copied over to system B, it is as easy as hitting the “PRINT” button and choosing the “System A to System B printer”.

real client scenario ...

A client of ours is a country distributor of a popular home shelving product from a Scandinavian company. The client would go to the principal’s website, use the shelving design program and print out the program’s output listing all the parts, components needed to build the desired shelving design. The client would then use the printout to manually input into Excel, lookup prices in local currency in the client’s database, put in markup and then create a quote document from the Excel for its customers; all this work being done while the customers wait for the quotes.
real screnario
Using the printer++ SDK, we created a solution that parses the printed parts list, lookup prices in the database and printing out the final quote document in real time without any manual user input.
real screnario

if you think about it ...

You sometimes find yourself using some software, finding it lacks certain functionality but have all the data points needed, how you want to add “a button” for this functionality but can’t because it is a third party software. printer++ allows you to add “a new button” to your existing third party applications. It is a quick and easy way to extend functionality to your legacy, closed, proprietary systems, without having to go back to the vendors. You can even add multiple printer++ solutions to act as “different buttons” for a single system (e.g. System X printer++ for P&L Calculations, System X printer++ for Email RFP). Then for the user, it is as simple as JUST PRINT IT.

you now have ...

  1. power to extend 3rd party software
  2. a user friendly approach – JUST PRINT IT