Forms Printing in the “Real-World”
Monday, February 26, 2018
by Alex Kitzberger
When it comes to managing documents in certain industries, the ability to quickly, accurately, and reliably print forms is a business-critical task. ERP systems and other back-end systems are designed to produce good-looking and well-structured business documents. For this reason, external forms printing solutions are often used to handle the layout and graphical formatting of the raw data.
The LRS Enterprise Output Management (EOM) software solution, commonly known as VPSX, has various standard interfaces to integrate forms software in the document workflow of your company. VPSX software can work with LaserSoft, DoXite or StreamServe solutions, just to name a few. There is a standard HTTP interface in the VPSX software that can call StreamServe processes to render the documents and return the formatted data streams back to the VPSX server for delivery. For other form printing services, it is possible to interface to them using the generic VPSX filter processes.
Here’s a real-world example: at a recent EOM project; I worked with a team at an IT service provider to modernize their old output management infrastructure. We integrated the LaserSoft and StreamServe software in the organization’s SAP landscape to work with the VPSX solution instead of their legacy print software.
This company produces all the invoices, delivery notes, dunning letters, etc. for their end customers, which are primarily utility companies. Each of these clients had different letterheads and logos, of course, and no two page layouts were exactly alike. However, the data in each document was produced in basically the same way.
The raw business data comes from various SAP systems and is transmitted to the VPSX EOM server via a standard SAP BC-XOM-Interface. Along with the raw (SAPGOF) data comes a lot of SAP metadata like the client number, department, etc. as well as information about whether the data is from a test or production SAP system.
Depending on the metadata it receives, the VPSX software can call the form printing software with different parameters to ensure that the correct letterhead is printed on the documents for the different clients. Likewise, the metadata can prompt the forms software to insert a TEST watermark on the documents if the SAP system was running test data. This would prevent an unwitting employee from sending test documents to a real customer. (Don’t laugh – this scenario happens more than you might imagine!)
For small IT environments or office applications, it is also possible to use our LRS Universal Print Driver (UPD) to handle custom forms printing. With the LRS UPD, you can select an overlay in your office application on the client side before printing the document and insert overlays like DRAFT, CONFIDENTIAL or COPY on the documents.
The LRS EOM software can interface with standard forms printing packages or custom form printing software. If you have a mature document composition infrastructure using different forms printing software and services, the LRS EOM server is the perfect solution for you. Why? Because it can seamlessly integrate into your existing environment without requiring you to re-design countless existing forms that you’ve created over the years. You get the benefit of faster, more reliable print management without “recreating the wheel.”
VPSX software is the glue between all your systems that produce documents, your forms printing software, and all your output devices like printers, MFPs, network folders or archives. If you want to know how it works, feel free to contact us and we’ll provide a reference. When it comes to working with your forms printing software, we’ve got the tools and expertise to make it happen.