OL Connect 2020.2 New features summary

Release2020.2_new-features

A more secure, efficient and cloud-aware technology with performance improvements for PReS Connect.

With changes to the licensing to enable more parallel processing, the second release for 2020 includes security enhancements for OL Connect Server, productivity improvements for advanced Designer users, PDF enhancements and more! We’re also continuing to strengthen OL Connect Send with easier deployment of the driver and support for multiple domains and subdomains, among other improvements. Continue reading to learn more!

Cloud-friendly – License mechanism fit for the cloud

The Magic Number is no longer hardware-specific. Whether you install on a local machine, a VM or the cloud the Magic Number won’t change. This license mechanism improvement therefore provides more stability for installations in a cloud environment.

PReS Connect Performance Changes

Changes to the base performance of PReS Connect and optional packs provides more parallel processing and maximum output speed.

PReS Connect will now process up to 64 jobs in parallel to provide more overall performance on smaller jobs when compared to PlanetPress Connect, which is limited to 7 parallel jobs at most.

Now 2020.2 
InstancesSpeedInstancesSpeed
PReS Connect8100001610000
PReS Connect + Perf Pack16200002420000
PReS Connect + 2 Perf Packs24300003240000
PReS Connect + 3 Perf Packs32400006480000

OL Connect Send

Simplified driver download and installation

The installer has a new way to be pre-configured that simplifies the whole installation process: it can now download settings directly from a web site. This means it is no longer necessary to download multiple files and follow a list of instructions to install the driver. Instead, one can download the installer, copy/paste a url in the installation wizard, and the installer takes care of the rest.

In addition, to prevent users from accidentally changing settings that are crucial for the OLCS client to work, a setting has been added that prevents users from modifying the downloaded settings. This also further simplifies installation.

OLCS User Mode License changes

Until now, the only way to have access to any domain, was to use a credit-based license. With this release, user-based licenses allow jobs to be received from a specific domain and its subdomains or, optionally, all domains. This removes a hurdle in the sales quoting process where customers had to know ahead of time how many domains they needed for their users.

OLCS Enterprise license change

As a consequence to these changes, the Enterprise license – which now supports subdomains and, optionally, all domains – has been limited to 1000 users. Customers with more than 1000 users will need to purchase additional licenses. Existing customers will not be affected by this change.

OL Connect Server Security

As part of our effort to move to the cloud, we are improving security of our software. This is ongoing and will produce various improvements in upcoming product releases.

For this release, we have introduced role based authorization. The well-known user ol-admin with its well-known “secret” password, will no longer be present in new installations. Instead, a user and password has to be provided at installation time, and more users can be added after installation. User and password for the Connect Server will also have to be set manually in Connect Workflow. The Designer will prompt for credentials when printing.

In this release, the authentication is still based on local users managed by OL Connect. However, you can expect further improvements such as support for Azure Active Directory and HTTPS communications in future versions.

Runtime parameters for Content Creation

Runtime parameters provide a more elegant way to pass information from Workflow into the document creation process. They were already available for Data Mapping and Job Creation, and this version adds them for Content Creation.

Examples are: the location to send form data in the case of COTG; the sender name for email batches or locations to dynamic stationery background images in case of the Ad Hoc Mail solution.

Being able to set variables from Workflow and then have them used throughout the entire system will make your solution easier to relocate and therefore easier to use in DTAP environments.

Send to Connect Server

The new Send to Connect Server in the Designer allows users to upload configurations and templates directly to the OL Connect Server. Customers with their own workflow engines will now have an easy way to deploy, use and test their Connect resources.

The interface is identical to the Send to Workflow option and a new application Preference was introduced to setup the host and credentials for one or more OL Connect Servers.

DataMapper

JSON support

Avoid needless conversions from JSON to XML and back: the DataMapper now allows you to use JSON files just like you would an XML file. When you select a JSON file, its content is internally converted to XML and is displayed exactly as an XML file would be. As a result, you can use the XPATH syntax to access any arbitrary element in the file.
Future versions of the DataMapper will provide full native support for JSON and the JSONPath syntax.

Improved PDF processing

PDF processing is faster and more accurate with this release. In the unlikely event that the improved processing introduces discrepancies with existing data mapping configurations, an option is made available to revert the processing method to what it was previously. But obviously, we recommend that instead of doing that, you adjust your configuration slightly if need be, so you can benefit from the improvement.

Runtime parameters have moved!

For easier and faster access, the DataMapper’s runtime parameters have now moved into their own dockable pane, just like in the Designer. This allows you to keep them in view and edit them at all times instead of having to navigate back to the Pre-processor step, which can be a bit of a hassle when your configuration contains many steps.

Export sample files

The DataMapper now allows you to save one or many of your sample files at once. By default, the name for each file saved is prefixed with the name of your data mapping configuration, allowing you to easily determine which sample file belongs with which DM config.

Workflow

Resource drag&drop

Work faster by simply drag&dropping Connect resources onto your process to let Workflow create the appropriate task. When several different tasks could be created from a single resource, Workflow asks you to select which one you had in mind and creates and configures it accordingly.
When drag&dropping a Data mapping configuration, Workflow even asks you if you want to automatically use its first sample data file as the process’ sample job file and change the default emulation accordingly!

Consolidate and optimize print jobs

Make your Workflow print processes more efficient and easier to maintain by allowing the LPD Input task to capture jobs from multiple queues at once. The task now also accepts empty queue names.
Furthermore, the task now has an option to immediately convert incoming PostScript files to PDF without having to go through an additional conversion

This feature allows your users to print jobs to their own individual or shared queues while allowing you to centralize the processing of all those jobs in a single process.

Improvements to Connectors

Several improvements have been implemented in the M-Files and DocuWare connectors, available for download from the OL Resource Center. The Resource Center will be updated with these connectors at the same time as release of the 2020.2 version.

Output Creation

PDF job options

Until now, settings for PDF security and optimization were the domain of Imaging, which meant using Workflow. OL Connect now has these features built in, which means they can be applied to signed PDFs. Consequently, performance will be increased because files no longer need to be moved into Workflow and customers using their own workflow engines can also gain access to the features.

  • Security
    • Password protection against reading and/or modification, and whether or not printing is allowed.
    • Control what modification/access is allowed.
    • Setting a password also encrypts the PDF.
  • Optimization
    • Down-sampling and compression of images to create smaller images, resulting in smaller output files.
    • Optimize for fast web view, which benefits online reading of large documents.

PDF Attachments

Until now, attachments in PDF input would be removed by OL Connect. With version 2020.2 it is possible to keep attachments in PDF input, when generating PDF output. This functionality is limited to PDF input that is processed with the bypass Content Creation feature.

Because of this, OL Connect can now create e-invoices (PDFs) that comply with the Thai e-Tax regulations that call for a digitally signed PDF/A-3 with an attached XML file.

OL Connect’s ability to handle attachments will be further extended in future versions.

Other improvements

OL Connect Send

  • Submitting large jobs will be faster because we have reduced the the time for compressing documents before they are transmitted. The speed gained depends on the nature of the actual job and can range from around 10 percent to a factor 4 or 5.
  • Uninstalling could leave print queues behind, this has been addressed.

Designer

  • A search option is added to the Script pane of the Designer. This allows you to quickly filter scripts based on their name, selector or script code.
  • New functions are added to the Script API of the Designer, these include:
    • Use .html() in a Control Script to retrieve and update elements in sections and master pages
    • Dynamically change the width and height of sections and media.
  • A new preference is introduced to set the initial search mode for scripts created by dragging and dropping a data field to the main editor. This allows you to create optimized scripts (selector based rather than plain text search) out of the box.
  • The background image option for print section now supports standard image formats like .png, .jpg, .tiff (including multi page TIFFs). Formerly, this was limited to PDF. This is also supported via the Control Script API.
  • The File Open dialog now supports multi-select allowing a template and datamapper config to be opened in a single action.