Not to hark on about the session yesterday and upset those of you not here in Crazytown, USA but ... I weaved some time in for a few of the Oracle Partners that have been working feverishly to integrate with Publisher to get some 'talk time' with the folks in the room. As I mentioned in the session, historically reporting in EBS has been crappy to say the least. There was a yawning gap that was filled with many vendors - then Publisher came along and started to fill the void. Suddenly you as a customer did not need the third party - the writing was on the wall, a nice niche was closing up - time to 'adapt or die'. It was not meant as a marketing pitch and a few folks left the room which was a shame - these guys have embraced Publisher, invested time and money, adapted their own products and have moved with the times. They all have something to offer you that we do not yet cover. There was a strict 2 minute time slot - after that a big hook came out and dragged them off the stage a la Bong Show ... Im kidding, Im kidding. The solutions these folks have come up with really do tightly integrate with the publisher engine or its outputs and where Publisher has a gap they are well worth looking at.
Once such 'gap' is hardware secured check printing. I have blogged and white papered 'soft' methods for securing check signatures and MICR fonts but there are even more secure, hardware solutions out there. The images and fonts are held on a memory chip of some description that may plug into the printer or sit between printer and server. As of today - we can not 'talk' to the hardware to get the printer to pull the images/fonts from the memory chip - we're looking into it.
In the mean time you might check out Evergreen's solution - some of you may already have it - its a small box that sits between server and printer and has a removable SIMM card that holds the signatures and MICR font.
The folks at Evergreen now have a solution that will allow you to use Publisher to generate your check print run and then have the printer call the hardware and insert the appropriate signatures. This involves injecting printer escape sequences into a resulting PCL file generated from the Publisher PDF check document.
Its a neat solution that I think could be adapted to work with any SIMM module not just Evergreen's hardware. I have posted a paper Evergreen have written for more information here.