New in this release
New functions and updates in Version 3.8.2
- Change to the Ricoh ProcessDirector prerequisites
To use the AFP Support feature to drive AFP printers on Red Hat Linux secondary servers, you must use Red Hat 7.1 through 7.x. The AFP Support feature cannot be used with any version of Red Hat 6.x.
This change applies to Ricoh ProcessDirector 3.7 and above.
- Updated translations
The content of the Version 3.8.1 product interface and the help system has been translated into these languages:
- Brazilian Portuguese
You must install the latest Language Pack feature to get the latest translations.
- Improvements to the Jobs table
A new capability on the Jobs table has been added that displays totals of the values of properties such as Total sheets or Document count for the set of jobs selected on the Jobs table. You can select what properties to include on the Totals footer. Look for the new function on the Settings menu of the Jobs table.
The context menu of actions on the Jobs table was reformatted to make it easier to use.
- Improvements to the workflow editor
The time it takes to open a complex workflow in the workflow editor was reduced.
- Updated features
Newer versions of the Ricoh PDF Printer feature and the Ricoh Transform features are provided.
New functions and updates in Version 3.8.1
- Workflow Editor enhancement
The Workflow Editor has supported the ability to drag and drop a workflow into another workflow for some time, allowing you to build small chunks of steps that you frequently reuse when building a new workflow. But after you dropped a workflow into a workflow, it “dissolved” into a set of steps that you could have added individually to the workflow. In Version 3.8, we added a new object called a step chain. Step chains are collections of steps just like workflows but when you drop them into another workflow, they retain their identity as a step chain, occupying less space on your canvas. The step chain gives you a way to do the equivalent of the ChangeJobType step to execute a set of steps but adds the ability to return to the original workflow at a known point for processing to resume.
If you use the same set of steps in many of your workflows, you can create a step chain with those steps. You can then use the step chain instead of adding each step every time you create a new workflow.
- Portal to send Ricoh your enhancement requests
A way to send your feedback to the Ricoh ProcessDirector team was added to the user interface. A Submit ideas button was added to the banner at the top of the window and to the Help menu. Clicking on either button opens a portal where you can sign up to send your suggestions to the team. You can also vote on ideas that others have submitted to help us prioritize enhancements to the product. Your input helps us make Ricoh ProcessDirector better for everyone.
- New and improved links to other applications
A link was added to the website where you can download updates to Ricoh ProcessDirector. Under the Help menu, select Download updates to go directly to the website where you log in with your Entitlement ID to access EPK and ISO files containing the latest product and feature code.
The website where you retrieve your license keys for Ricoh ProcessDirector was recently streamlined with faster performance. The Install License dialog that was added in Version 3.8.0 has been updated to take you to the newer URL.
- Usability enhancements on the Main page
Several actions on the Main page open a Jobs table in its own dialog that you can move around on top of the Main page. Examples include showing candidate jobs for a printer and showing jobs waiting on an inserter. The contents of this type of Jobs table are not refreshed automatically when more jobs arrive in the system. A Refresh button was added to this type of Jobs table so that you can leave the dialog up and get updated information when you need it.
The Schedule Jobs dialog was enlarged to show more information about jobs and printers.
New functions and updates in Version 3.8.0
- The user interface transformation is complete!
With Version 3.8, we have replaced the legacy user interface with the updated one – for customers installing it on a new system. If you install a Product Update at Version 3.8 or later, the legacy user interface will remain, but most of the new functions we added as we built the updated interface are not supported. If you upgrade an existing Ricoh ProcessDirector system to Version 3.8, the legacy user interface will be removed but the URL you used to access the interface will automatically redirect you to the updated user interface. For those of you who have been straddling the two interfaces as we moved function over, you can now operate and administer using one graphical user interface! Install features, add licenses, manage media – all under the same umbrella.
- Simplified editing of job properties set in a workflow
When creating or editing a workflow, it is sometimes difficult to find which step sets a job property so that you can set the default value you want. You can use the Manage job defaults action to display a list of all of the job properties set in the workflow along with the values set on the steps.
Some job properties are not associated with steps and their values can only be set in files. For example, the Common Properties feature adds several useful job properties, such as Company Name, but a step template does not set the properties. You can change the default property values in a workflow with the new Manage job defaults action.
- Notifications added for input devices
Email and web service notifications have been available for changes to printers and jobs but not for changes to input devices. In particular, Download input devices can lose connection and Ricoh ProcessDirector is not notified. In Version 3.8, hot folder and Download input devices can be monitored for status changes and have notifications sent using email or web services. If you have the Deadline Tracker feature installed, you can set up the notification so that you are informed when expected work is late. Monitoring of the process that connects a Download input device with its mainframe system has also been added so that if the connection is dropped, the connection status changes on the operator interface.
- Extract document properties from Datamatrix barcodes
The ability to extract document properties from Datamatrix image-format barcodes in a PDF file has been added to the PDF Document Support feature. Using the Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, you can draw a box around a barcode and map strings of the barcode data into document properties. This saves you time from having to identify fields on the PDF page that contains the same information that has already been encoded into a barcode.
- Distributed transform processing
The Ricoh Transform features can now be installed on a different computer than the primary server. And the transform server can also have other computers defined to share work, allowing you to distribute the processing load of these resource-intensive steps across multiple processors.
- Support for remote AFP printing
The AFP Support feature has been enhanced to support remote AFP printing with a secondary server, staging work to the remote server so that Ricoh ProcessDirector keeps the pipeline to the AFP printer full, reducing the likelihood that the printer will be waiting for data. This feature is particularly useful if you have installed Ricoh ProcessDirector on a separate network, such as a virtualized environment that is far removed from the physical printers. This function is only available if a Secondary Server feature is installed on the remote print server.
- Enhanced support for last-minute PDF printing changes
Operators often need to reassign jobs from one printer to another. Sometimes the printers have specific requirements on how JDF or PDF instructions are defined in order to achieve a certain output format. Often a change to the target printer requires some reprocessing of the job in order to account for those differences. In the worst case, the job has to be recomposed entirely. In Version 3.8 we added the ability to specify an action list of programs that can be executed after a job is assigned to a Ricoh PDF or Ricoh TotalFlow printer but before it is transmitted to the printer. This action list can include any of the filters that are available on the EnhancePDF step template provided with Ricoh ProcessDirector. This capability lets the operator reschedule the job without concern for any reprocessing because the action list for the target printer will take care of preparing the PDF and JDF for that printer.
- Operating System and Browser Support Changes
With Version 3.8:
- Windows Server 2012 is no longer a supported environment for the primary server, application servers, or for the Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat.
- Windows Server 2019 is added as a supported environment for the primary server, application servers, or for the Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat.
- The Edge browser is no longer supported to use the Ricoh ProcessDirector user interface.
- Original Web Services Deprecation
Version 3.8 is the last version of Ricoh ProcessDirector that will include the SOAP-based web services originally provided with the product. The new REST API is documented in the product so that you can perform any action available on the graphical user interface using a web service call. The API calls are documented in an online library that is easy for programmers to use.