How to print a document that doesn’t exist yet

At Peecho,we like to achieve the impossible. We have been printing high qualityproducts using cloud technology worldwide for over two years now. Nowthat’s pretty awesome, and a challenge in itself. But recently, thecrafty guys in our development team came up with a new idea tofacilitate order intake for some merchants: a feature to print documentsthat don’t even exist yet. Confused? Read on for more details!

Here’s how it started

Normally, for merchants or publishers to sell prints of a given documentusing the cloud print button, the document must be ready and availablein a public URL. Customers visiting the merchant’s website will only beallowed to place an order when this condition is met. The reason forthis is simple. To save time and costs, we retrieve the document afterthe user has paid. If the document does not exist at that point, we mustrefund the customer, resulting in a bad user experience. So, to avoidthis, we make sure the document is always at hand.However, we are sometimes approached by merchants who offer highlypersonalized products. For example, consider a Facebook app for users toprint magazines with photos of their friends, status updates andcomments. Usually, a predetermined size and design can be made for theirprint products, but the content varies with the Facebook account of eachclient.Creating such custom-made print products from variable content is verytime-consuming, given the complexity of the template and the largeamounts of data that need to be processed. Our merchants don’t like tokeep their customers waiting so they asked: can we allow our customersto go through the entire checkout process while we prepare theirdocument? We thought that was a great idea and implemented what we nowcall the “parallel source document feature.”

And this is how it works

When customers finalize their payment, we send a small notification topre-approved merchants using this feature. This works as a notificationfor them to start creating the document. As soon as the document isready, the merchant lets us know where we can find it by sending us theURL where it resides. Then, the Peecho processing engine downloads thedocument, makes it print ready and sends it off to the printer.This new feature is available for both PDF documents and single imageprinting. The main requirement for merchants is that we need to know thewidth and height of the final document in advance for the orderingprocess to be successful.Are you using this feature to sell prints? Tell us about your experiencein the comments!


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