Somerset CC Gains Flexible and Dynamic Printing

Somerset CC Gains Flexible and Dynamic Printing

Having introduced a new UNIX server alongside their VME mainframe and Windows server, Somerset County Council turned to IDS for a solution that would enable them to retain their existing printers and at the same time provide better management and distribution of their print jobs.


Somerset County Council operates a print and IT centre at its headquarters in Taunton, Somerset where documents including payroll are sourced from a large number of internal and external departments.


With a remote VME mainframe and local UNIX and Windows servers, Somerset CC wanted to better manage their print jobs and distribute them to their Xerox DocuPrint 4050 and range of local and remote desktop laser printers.


Somerset County Council turned to IDS because of their proven ability to integrate a proven connectivity, output management and distribution system using a single, cost-effective solution.

IDS decided to use two products, developed by their controlling company Funasset, to solve the Somerset CC challenge – A TN8000 Interface for the connectivity and data conversion, and SpoolQ for the output management and distribution. In addition, IDS also decided to integrate Funasset's PageBuilder software (formerly Banner Processing and part of Funasset's TN Interface solution) alongside SpoolQ in order to provide automatic distribution of certain print jobs.

In order for the three hosts to be connected to the authority’s printers, IDS used the TN8000 Interface. Not only did this provide the physical connectivity and necessary data conversion, it also offered a platform for the SpoolQ and PageBuilder software to be installed on. As a result, a seamless and dynamic host to SpoolQ and SpoolQ to printer system was created using just one unit.

"With all products being sourced from Funasset, we knew that each would work well together," comments Mark Dowson, Senior Consultant for IDS. "We simply attached Somerset’s hosts and printers, turned on the pre-configured TN8000 and we had a functional connectivity, output management and distribution system."

Somerset CC after diagram

With the majority of Somerset CC’s print jobs containing unique header and banner pages, IDS saw an opportunity to automatically distribute them to a printer that best suited their content. In order to achieve this, PageBuilder was installed and configured to receive and process the print jobs prior to passing them to SpoolQ.

"PageBuilder simply searched the incoming data for specific strings," states Mark. "If the string criterion was satisfied the associated job was automatically placed in a corresponding SpoolQ queue."

Gary Dickens, Operations Manager for Somerset CC, says: "We now have tremendous flexibility in the way we handle our printing. Print jobs are taken from multiple hosts and are automatically organised into relevant queues ready for output to our printers."


  • Improved Output Management
    Print jobs received by SpoolQ from any host can be output to any printer, viewed on-screen, archived and reprinted at any time.

  • Automatic Distribution
    Print jobs are analysed for content and if necessary automatically passed to a SpoolQ queue that corresponds to where they need to be output.

  • Future-proof
    Host and destination independent solution means that future hardware and software integration is quick, easy and cost-effective.

  • Non-invasive
    No hardware or software changes required on the hosts or printers.

  • Small footprint
    All solutions housed centrally in just one TN8000 Interface.

  • Minimal 'down-time'
    Quick and seamless integration of all solutions.

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Funasset Limited is a UK software development company founded in 1986. It specialises in document and mail solutions that are used globally by businesses and organisations including Xerox, Civica, the NHS and local Government. Read more

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