With so many companies implementing secure printing and accounting for their printing costs, the need for systems such as Uniflow and Papercut MF is growing, but it can be very confusing and difficult to choose the right system. Often companies are pushed into implementing the system that the supplier prefers. We help all kinds of organisations implement both systems and have put together what we consider to be an unbiased guide to help you choose the system that is right for you.
Uniflow licensing is not too straightforward, it has two licence models:
Each print device is licensed, and this licence includes a master print server and up to 500 concurrent users spread across all the servers in the system. This means that you can have up to 500 users with a print job in the system, rather than 500 fixed (named) users. This limit of 500 users becomes unlimited once the 7th device is added to the system. The SMB licence includes both the Secure Print and Statistics modules. Additional Print Server and functionality module licences are available.
Functionality module options are:
A system licence is purchased for the maximum number of concurrent users. This means that you can have up to x users with a print job in the system, rather than x fixed (named) users. Upgrades to the next edition are possible at a later date. The licence includes one master print server and one functionality module. The editions are as follows:
Functionality module options are:
In addition to the server licence, to enable access control, secure printing and copy accounting, each print device must be licensed separately. Additional Print Server and functionality module licences are available.
Papercut MF is licenced per fixed (named) user, every user that prints through the system will take up a user licence. The licence includes as many print servers as necessary throughout the system. All functionality is included within the core licence, there are no additional functionality modules as is the case with Uniflow.
There are three editions:
In addition to the server licence, to enable access control, secure printing and copy accounting, each print device must be licensed separately.Update - 01/04/2019: Papercut MF is now licensed per device, with unlimited users and the full Professional (Client Billing) capabilities.
Both Papercut MF and Uniflow support printing to devices from most vendors. Accounting for prints from as many printers as you like is standard on both systems (assuming Uniflow has the Statistics module licensed). However, in order to control access, account for copying and utilise secure printing, the device must be able to be licenced as an embedded device.
Currently Uniflow supports embedding on: Canon, Konica Minolta, Xerox, OKI.
Papercut MF currently supports embedding on: Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Xerox, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Muratec, Ricoh, Riso, OKI, Samsung, Sharp, Sindoh, Toshiba.
N.B. Compatibility is dependent on support for the particular model, as well as vendor.
Uniflow leans heavily toward Canon, and as such has the ability to lock-down access to individual device features on Canon devices, which Papercut MF cannot.
Papercut have the advantage of the user experience being a pretty seamless experience across different devices. Uniflow support of devices other than Canon can be a bit hit-and-miss. The user experience of print release on non-Canon devices can be improved with the addition of a Print Release Station at each non-Canon device. Papercut MF also supports the use of Release Terminals for devices where a full embedded solution is not possible.
With Uniflow, devices other than Canon can only be licensed with the Standard editions, it is not possible using Uniflow SMB licensing.
Papercut MF has a disadvantage when licensing Canon devices as the licence is tied to the serial number of the device, if the device is replaced a new licence must be purchased. With the exception of the above, both Uniflow and Papercut operate a pool of device licences for most other vendors’ devices, where the licences are tied to a vendor, but not to a particular device.
Both systems provide support for user authentication at the device by Username & Password, PIN or various types of proximity/swipe card.
Papercut MF supports installation on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux server operating systems.
Uniflow only supports installation on Windows server operating systems.
Uniflow requires a MS SQL/SQL Express server to house its database.
Papercut MF has its own internal database or alternatively can be configured to use an external MS SQL/SQL Express, PostgreSQL, MySQL or Oracle database server.
Both systems support printing across multiple servers and distributed WAN environments.
Both systems support encrypted transmissions between servers, clients and devices using SSL.
Both systems support user authentication by users manually created on the system, local server user account lookup, or by AD/LDAP lookup.
Uniflow supports printing from both Windows and Mac OS X clients.
Papercut MF supports printing from Windows, Mac OS X and Linux clients.
Both Uniflow and Papercut support mobile/BYOD devices via combinations of LPR printing, email-to-print, web printing, Google Cloud Print and mobile apps. Both systems cover this scenario in different ways. If mobile/BYOD printing is an important part of the spec, then it is worthwhile establishing and discussing your exact requirements prior to making a decision on which system to implement.