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When designing a software product, whether it be a point of sale (POS), online ordering, or reservation system (or more), deciding which printing mechanism technologies to use is very important. Star is happy to help, and offers solutions for both web-based POS and cloud-based POS (WebPRNT and CloudPRNT, respectively). While both technologies enable printing from a server (local or cloud-based), there are many differences between the two, and specific use cases for each.
Below, we explore the basic differences between the two technologies, when to use each, and which Star products feature these technologies. If you have any further questions, please contact us and a member of our team will assist you.
Important Note: All current CloudPRNT-capable printers also support WebPRNT.
All About WebPRNT
To support customers building web-based POS applications, Star developed WebPRNT, which provides a multi-platform solution to print directly from various devices including PCs and tablets via a web browser.
- Supports a wide variety of printers including Bluetooth printers by using WebPRNT Browser
- Once initially coded, WebPRNT can run anywhere with a browser
- Users must know the printer’s IP address
- Need to set up an SSL certificate
CloudPRNT is a technology that enables printing directly from a server, usually in the cloud. This device-agnostic method of printing separates the printing technology from the device triggering the print job, making it perfect for web-based software solutions where there is no device on the same network as the printer (and many other scenarios).
Here’s an example of how CloudPRNT works: By integrating CloudPRNT, a web-based POS solution could generate print jobs seamlessly and without a print dialog from any browser, on any device, running any operating system since the print job is coming straight from the cloud. Online ordering and bring your own device (BYOD) solutions are also a perfect match for CloudPRNT since the device triggering the print job doesn’t have to be on the same network or connected directly to the printer.
Another benefit of CloudPRNT is that it simplifies print job queue management since it allows management to occur centrally on the server instead of on each individual device. This makes for a robust print management solution in environments with multiple printers such as restaurants.
Last but not least, CloudPRNT printers periodically poll the server with its status looking for new print jobs rather than pushing the print job from the cloud to the printer. This means that the user doesn’t have to worry about the IP address of the printer, making for easier hardware management and support. The user also does not need to manage SSL certificates on the printer as is required with WebPRNT when printing from secure sites.
- CloudPRNT protocol is platform- and programming language-agnostic
- The printer and the person initiating printing can be in different physical locations (remote printing)
- REST-based architecture
- No need to set up SSL certificates
- All communication is done through one unified URL
- Requires a reliable internet connection
- Cannot print when network/internet is down
Guillermo Cubero is the Product Integration Specialist at Star Micronics. He is responsible for helping Star’s Software Partners develop the next generation of solutions for the POS industry. Guillermo has been with Star for seven years and supports all of Star’s development tools, SDKs, drivers, and Star Micronics Cloud.