Further to yesterday’s post about HP ePrint & Share, I have now received a response from product manager Iolanda Montserrat (right), so I can shed a little more light on this cloud service’s capabilities.
- Email notifications – As regular readers will know, I like services which can be managed online without (m)any emails – perhaps a single ‘digest’ email each 24 hours covering all notifications. Other people, though, like more frequent email updates, so they may appreciate how ePrint & Share notifies users about each new upload they need to see. For me, the downside is that if someone uploads a succession of files one at a time, I would get multiple email notifications.
- Multiple downloads – Iolanda confirms that users can download multiple files simultaneously from the cloud space, provided the files are part of the same ‘share event’.
- Tagging – Users will be able to search within tagged sets of files that have been issued to them, and HP is working on extending the functionality to allow multiple tags.
- Version control – “Every user has his own library,” Iolanda explains. While access to this library is restricted to each user, when files are distributed, copies are placed in the libraries of the recipients. If a drawing is updated, and a “specific user wants the others to see a revision, he must share these changes…. Otherwise this last version will not be available for them.”
- File formats – “HP ePrint&Share supports all kind of formats. The user will be able to share whatever they need (DWGs, Word and Excel documents, PPTs, ZIPs, JPGs, TIFs, HPGLT… etc). But when somebody wants to print some of this content through a Large Format printer, it will only be possible to print PDFs, HPGLTs, PLTs, JPGs, TIFs, PPTs, Excels. HP ePrint&Share will show the user with an icon which files can be printed and which ones cannot. Other formats will need to be printed by small format printers through the standard workflow.”
HP said ePrint & Share was designed for the small or medium-sized enterprise. After writing recently about practice management software (post) and offshore outsourcing (post), I think there might be a good fit between HP’s service and these types of businesses, particularly at the SME level.
For example, practice management solutions often include print register functionality whereby design practices can closely monitor what gets printed, at what size, how many copies, colour or mono, etc, so that information can be recorded and invoiced to their customers. Again, this is an area where third party software vendors like Union Square might want to effect a simple integration so that users might use their large format printers to share drawings hosted in their Workspace or Archetype drawing registers, while recording what gets printed and when, etc.
And, HP ePrint & Share seems tailor-made for situations where architects or other designers are sharing design work with colleagues in other offices or with an outsourcing company so that design work can become more productive by ‘following the sun’.