The ol' Check Chesnut
By Tim Dexter-Oracle on May 29, 2008
Quick one today, Im looking for feedback/information - I have written about check printing here on numerous occasions, the one piece we as a product struggled with was signatures and their security. I wrote about some of the 'soft' alternatives to securing the signatures in a previous post. It has always niggled me thou, that we could not help those folks that had invested in a 'hard' security solution.
By that I mean that their check printer has a removeable memory module that contains the signature images. To get them out on to the page the printer is passed the appropriate escape sequences in the document and low and behold the signatures appear as long as a the memory 'stick' is there.
The key to supporting this 'hard' solution is that these printers use the PCL file format for printing - as many of you know, we dont natively support PCL, just PDF and PS, that is until now! We are working feverishly on our own PCL output (at last) and we are not far away from completing it. Once we have it we then have complete control over the PCL generation that is sent to the printer. Yeah, so what?
Well this means that we can allow you to embed you signature escape sequences into your RTF templates that will be preserved all the way through to the printer and that means you can wrap conditional code around them too and that means we will have a complete 'hard' signature solution for check printing. A dream come true ... OK, maybe not a dream but a nightmare I and a some customers I have been working with, can wake up from soon.
So, its coming but I need some help. Ideally we need a check printer that we can test with - its a long shot but if anyone in the Bay Area can let us borrow their check printer and a couple of hundred pages of fresh check stock, along with their routing and account numbers well be in touch soon ... from Tahiti :0) Seriously thou, if we can get a printer that would be fabulous.
Failing that, some details around what the escape sequences are that you need to pass to your printers would help. Without a check printer to test with, we are working along the lines that if we can put an escape sequence in a template that contains say 'Hello World' and have it come out at the printer. Then we can extrapolate that you'll be able to embed your escape sequences into your RTF and have your signatures come out the other end - a safe assumption I think but we need more information. If you have the info and would may be like to become a Publisher Guinea Pig testing the solution and helping us out, drop me a mail.
Ok, so I said it was a quick one today, I lied, those that know me know, that when a 'yes' or 'no' answer will do I cant just say yes or no. Im the opposite of a bolshy teenager who manages to answer the most open question, inviting a diatribe of verbose verbiage, with a one word answer. See there I go again ... Im shutting up now, mail me!