[Cloud] Analysis of Cloud Printing use-cases

[Cloud] Analysis of Cloud Printing use-cases

William Wagner wamwagner at comcast.net
Wed Apr 27 17:53:48 UTC 2011

I think we largely agree with Randy, and it was understood that the use
cases submitted were to be considered for Cloud and/or IPP Everywhere
applicability, since we needed use cases for each.

There are several circumstances however where printing to a local printer
might still best use Cloud Printing. One is where the client is using Cloud
Computing services. Although the real use case of QuickBooks check printing
did not involve a Cloud based service, one could conceive of a situation
(and the user in this case is considering it) where it might. In that case,
it would be the Cloud based service that is the client, acting on behalf of
the end user. Or the cloud based service somehow relays the print file to
the user, who then sends it to the printer; but with this alternate
approach, how does the service know the printer characteristics to format
the job...?)

Another case where cloud printing would be necessary, even when the user and
printer are physically co-located, is where there is no ability for the user
to connect to the local network (or perhaps there is no local network).
There are various scenarios for that, including perhaps situations where
guest users are not allowed for security or regulatory purposes. Indeed,
this would be a network remote although physically local user. Several of
the submitted use cases could easily be cast into this mode.

Bill Wagner

-----Original Message-----
From: cloud-bounces at pwg.org [mailto:cloud-bounces at pwg.org] On Behalf Of
Randy Turner
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 1:10 AM
To: cloud at pwg.org
Subject: [Cloud] Analysis of Cloud Printing use-cases

My summary analysis of the use-cases (so far) is that the bulk of these
use-cases are not "compelling" enough to utilize cloud services.  And one or
more of these use-cases seem somewhat contrived.  From my perspective, any
time the client wants to print to local ("on the same network") printing
services, Cloud printing is really not needed.  There are too many
ad-hoc/guest printing services that can achieve this functionality, and
these methods are far less complex than erecting a cloud printing service to
do this.

On the other hand, any time the printing destination is "remote" and
somewhat "virtual" from the perspective of the client, this is where I think
Cloud Printing shows the most value.

For instance, in the "Doctor sends a prescription to a drug store for a
patient" scenario, I would assume that the drug store has "registered" a
destination with a cloud provider (the destination can be temporary or
permanent), and the destination is just a name, it's a "virtual" printing
destination. The Doctor is told (via email to his PDA) what the destination
"virtual" name will be.  The Doctor subsequently types up a prescription and
sends it to the virtual destination.  He doesn't really know if it's a
printer, printer-to-fax gateway, or some other kind of device.  The remote
pharmacy has registered the necessary information with the Cloud Provider
and the Doctor doesn't care (assuming there's a trust relationship between
doctors and pharmacies in the Cloud).

This type of Cloud "imaging" service (could be more than printing, probably
would be, something like an imaging "pivot" service that pivots the source
among a number of different virtual destinations, each destination being
potentially a different type of imaging device...print-to-fax gateway,
print-to-email gateway, traditional printer, etc.

The way I see Cloud Imaging, the more the "source" of an imaging job is
isolated from the "destination" for the imaging job, the more value a Cloud
Imaging Provider can offer. By "isolated", I mean that the client knows
little or nothing about the destination of the print job (isolated in
knowledge), and nothing about "where" the destination is (isolated

Years ago, Kinkos broached the idea of "Cloud Printing" by tying together
all their geographic locations into a virtual printing network, and
subscribers could send their complex print jobs into the Kinkos cloud, and
Kinkos would deliver the complete, finished bundle to the Kinkos location
closest to the zip code of the job submitter (subscriber).  This is
something similar to what I am thinking about, but the concept of Cloud
Printing (especially an Cloud "Imaging" Provider) could go beyond Kinkos.

To me, if the source and destination are on the same LAN, Cloud Printing
becomes far less compelling, however, device discovery and IPP Everywhere
become more compelling.

I will try and add to the list of use-cases published thus far with a couple
of more concrete scenarios to which I'm referring in the above text.


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