PrintFleet’s New DCA Pulse Provides More Accurate Device Data, Support for Apple Mac

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Maker of print-fleet device monitoring software and solutions PrintFleet has introduced “DCA Pulse,” a completely redesigned data collection agent (DCA).

PrintFleet says that its focus while developing DCA Pulse was threefold; gather still more accurate device data; accelerate the pace at which data is gathered; and enhance the customer experience with DCAs.

To achieve the first goal PrintFleet created a model definition file (MDF) framework, which enables it to target device-specific information and “dramatically decrease the time required to release updated device specifications in the field.” With the MDF framework, it also established Standard Types to address the lack of overall industry standard labels for data points such as consumables’ supply levels and meters. Standard Types are said to be a simple, intuitive hierarchical format that moves from general to specific, to generate an exact description of what a value from a device represents. This is said to ensure that customers will be able to obtain the exact information they require.

Greg MacLellan, director of Software Architecture for PrintFleet explained: “DCA Pulse is a complete re-think in nearly all aspects of our data-collection process, and is based on the extensive experience the PrintFleet team has working with data-collection on hundreds of thousands of different networks and configurations. In addition to addressing some of the long-standing challenges customers had with previous generation DCAs, the new design gives us a platform to handle increasingly complex print environments and provide many new features and capabilities.”

To achieve the second objective, DCA Pulse enables customers to gather data points for supplies, errors, meters, and attributes on customizable scan frequencies. These scans are separate from the discovery process, ensuring that new devices are found quickly without interrupting the current device information being transmitted to PrintFleet Optimizer.

To help address the stale DCA challenge, DCA Pulse will also send a regular “heartbeat” signal to PrintFleet Central, which is said to significantly increase the visibility of potential issues and improving troubleshooting for customers.

PrintFleet also says that it recognized that its traditional DCA may have “stifled our customers’ ability to gather device information in any type of environment,” so Pulse is developed to be cross-platform, as it’s available on Microsoft Windows and Linux, with basic support for Apple Mac OS X, and dedicated specialized form factors such as a Raspberry Pi.

“Pulse reflects PrintFleet’s focus on the value of data and bringing the industry towards standardization which will ultimately lead to more streamlined, automated and industrialized device management,” said PrintFleet CEO Chris McFarlane.

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