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Introducing Cloud Print

Use our Cloud Print service in NiceLabel Cloud when you have lots of labels to print but don't want to waste time installing and updating software or maintaining infrastructure. Cloud Print creates a secure connection between your printers and Control Center so you can print your labels quickly from anywhere.

Cloud printing is:

  • Easy: no installation, drivers, special servers, re-configuration, or maintenance required.

  • Secure: authentication with API access.

  • Organized: with Control Center Analytics integration to show you exactly who prints what, when, and where.

  • Accurate: test exactly how Cloud Print works in your system with a non-production sandbox license.

Cloud Print is an add-on service for NiceLabel Cloud subscriptions.

Using Cloud Print

Cloud printers are smart label printers that connect to our NiceLabel Cloud print service and receive print jobs. Cloud printing lets you print from any applications or devices to cloud-connected printers, regardless of printer locations. Cloud printing also eliminates the need for printer drivers. Your Cloud Print service creates and delivers print jobs to your target printers via the cloud.

Use Cloud Print in different ways to:

  • Send print stream data directly to your printers.

  • Print labels you save in document storage in Control Center.

  • Store labels you save in document storage in Control Center on your printer.

Cloud Print works with:

  • NiceLabel products using HTTP request actions (Automatic API authentication).

    Note

    For more information, read the section Configuring Triggers > Using Actions > Data & connectivity > HTTP Request in your Automation user guide.

  • Other products using Cloud Print API (Manual API authentication):

    • SAP

    • Mobile apps

    • Web apps

    • And more

Note

Authentication is required for Cloud Print API.

Use Control Center to connect your existing printer hardware.

Cloud Print works with the following printer models:

  • Zebra printers with Link-OS printer operating system.

    Note

    Some Zebra printers with Link-OS Basic don't support Cloud Print (for example, Zebra ZD230). Check your printer's specification for the printer operating system. See also the list of Zebra DNA printers. Print DNA Basic printers don't support Cloud Print.

  • SATO CLNX printers with firmware 1.10.0 or greater (for firmware upgrades, contact your printer partner or reseller):

    • CL4NX 205 dpi

    • CL4NX 305 dpi

    • CL4NX 609 dpi

    • CL6NX 203 dpi

    • CL6NX 305 dpi

    • CT4-LX 203 dpi

    • CT4-LX 305 dpi

    • FX3-LX 305 dpi

To connect your printers to NiceLabel Cloud and use Cloud Print:

  1. Prepare your connection: register your printer on Control Center.

  2. Connect your printer to NiceLabel Cloud: configure your printer hardware.

Use Cloud Print API from NiceLabel's Developer Portal to interact with your printers.

Note

Your registration procedure depends on your printer manufacturer.

To learn more about connecting Zebra printers, read Connecting Zebra printers to NiceLabel Cloud.

To learn more about connecting SATO printers, read Connecting SATO printers to NiceLabel Cloud.

To interact with your printers connected to Cloud Print, read Using Cloud Print API.

Cloud Print API

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Use Cloud Print API from NiceLabel's Developer Portal to test how API features work in applications you develop and to test how NiceLabel products integrate with your external business applications. With Cloud Print APl, you can:

  • Send print stream data directly to your Cloud Print connected printers.

  • Print labels you save in document storage in Control Center.

  • Store labels you save in document storage in Control Center on your printer.

Note

You can use custom fonts with your cloud printers. Custom fonts are fonts that are not provided with standard Windows installation.

See the dedicated topic with detailed instructions on uploading and using custom fonts.

Cloud Print works with:

  • NiceLabel products using HTTP Request actions (automatic API authentication).

  • Other products using Cloud Print API (manual API authentication):

    • SAP

    • Mobile apps

    • Web apps

    • And more

To use Cloud Print API on Developer Portal, you must:

  • Set up your Developer Portal account.

  • Create your free subscription for our NiceLabel Cloud product.

  • Connect your Developer Portal subscription with Control Center.

Note

Developer Portal includes auto-generated code samples in multiple programming languages.

Getting ready to use Cloud Print API

Setting up your Developer Portal account
In Control Center:
  1. Open Control Center in your browser.

  2. Go to Integrations > Cloud Integrations.

  3. Click +Add. The Add New Integrator Access page opens.

  4. Type the Name of the integrator to add (usually yourself).

  5. Copy the Key.

  6. Click Save.

Control Center lists your new integrator on the Cloud Integrations page with the status: No developer subscribed.

Note

Your Control Center user account must have manage cloud integrations permissions.

On the Developer Portal:
  1. Open the Developer Portal in your browser.

  2. Click Sign up. The Registration page opens.

  3. Enter your information and click Sign up.

  4. Go to your email inbox and open the email the Developer Portal sends you (check your Junk folder).

  5. Click the confirmation link in the email. Your Developer Portal profile page opens.

You are registered on the Developer Portal. To use APIs, subscribe to Cloud Print APIs and connect your subscription to Control Center, read the following sections.

Note

For more information, read Cloud Triggers.

Subscribing to NiceLabel Cloud on NiceLabel Developer Portal

After you set up your account on the Developer Portal, subscribe to specific products to use their APIs, and then connect your subscription to Control Center. Subscriptions to Developer Portal products are free and use primary and secondary keys for authentication. To use NiceLabel Cloud APIs, subscribe to the NiceLabel Cloud product on the Developer Portal:

  1. Sign in to NiceLabel Developer Portal.

  2. Go to Products > NiceLabel Cloud.

  3. Click Add subscription.

  4. Type your subscription name (if you have multiple customers, choose customer-specific names).

  5. Click Confirm.

Your profile page opens with the dialogue: You have successfully subscribed to the NiceLabel Cloud product. Try the APIs in this product now. You are subscribed in the Developer Portal, but you must connect your subscription to Control Center before you can use Cloud Print API.

Note

Subscribing generates two separate keys. Use them for multiple program versions and added security. If your primary key becomes compromised, use your secondary key and regenerate your primary key. For more information, read Cloud Triggers.

Connecting your Developer Portal subscription to NiceLabel Cloud

After you register and create your subscription on Developer Portal, you must connect your subscription to Control Center before you use Cloud Print APIs in your programs.

  1. Go to Control Center > Integrations > Cloud Integrations.

  2. Find the integrator connected to your Developer Portal subscription, and click Copy the key.

  3. In a new tab, Sign in to NiceLabel Developer Portal.

  4. Go to Products > NiceLabel Cloud.

  5. Click Developer Sign Up API v1.

  6. Click Try it.

  7. Type or paste your key from Control Center in the IntegratorKey box.

  8. Under Authorization, select your primary or secondary subscription key (use primary by default). For multiple customers, make sure you select the correct subscription.

  9. Click Send.

Return to Control Center > Integrations > Cloud Integrations and refresh your browser tab. Control Center lists your user status as subscribed. You are connected and ready to use Cloud Print API.

Using Cloud Print API

Printing or recalling labels saved in Document Storage with Cloud Print API

Once you subscribe to Label Cloud API on Developer Portal and connect your subscription, you can test how printing works for labels stored in Document Storage in Control Center using API:

  1. Sign in to NiceLabel Cloud API Developer Portal.

  2. Go to APIs > Cloud Print API and click v1. The Cloud Print API page opens.

  3. Go to Print and click Try it.

  4. Type your printer name (Cloud printers must be connected to Control Center).

  5. Select your content type (JSON or XML, your request body changes).

In your Request body:

  1. Type the file path for your label in Document Storage in Control Center. You can use label files (.nlbl) or solutions (.nsln). For solutions, define your label name:

    Label:

    "FilePath": "/MyFolder/MyLabel.nlbl",

    Solution:

    "FilePath": "/Labels/YourSolution.nsln",

    Label name:

    "LabelName": "YourLabel1",
  2. Optional: define your file version in the FileVersion field.

    Note

    If you skip the FileVersion value, the last version of your label template will print, even if it hasn't been checked in yet. Using an empty value for "FileVersion", you print a current "working copy" of the label that is not checked in yet and has no file version.

  3. Type the quantity of labels to print. To print 3 labels, type:

    "Quantity": 3,
  4. Optional: if your labels have variables, add them here (for simple labels or test prints, delete this section).

  5. Optional: to use specific printer settings, Base64 encode your devmode.

  6. Click Send.

Your printer prints your label.

Storing labels on your printer with Cloud Print API

Test how storing labels in your printer's internal memory works using API:

  1. Sign in to NiceLabel Cloud API Developer Portal.

  2. Go to APIs > Cloud Print API and click v1. The Cloud Print API page opens.

  3. Go to Store and click Try it.

  4. Type your printer name (for Cloud printers connected in Control Center).

  5. Select your content type (JSON or XML, your request body changes).

In your Request body:

  1. Type the file path for your label in Document Storage in Control Center. You can use label files (.nlbl) or solutions (.nsln). For solutions, define your label name:

    Label:

    "FilePath": "/MyFolder/MyLabel.nlbl",

    Solution:

    "FilePath": "/Labels/YourSolution.nsln",

    Label name:

    "LabelName" : "YourLabel1",
  2. Optional: type your file version.

  3. Optional: type your stored label name (used on your printer if you generate your own recall stream).

    Note

    If you recall stored labels with the Print action, delete this setting to store your label with their default label names.

  4. Required: type your printer store variant (your printer memory).

  5. Optional: define Base64 encoding (for simple labels or test prints, delete this section).

  6. Click Send.

Your label is stored on your printer. To recall your stored label, use the Print action (see previous section).

Note

You can generate your own recall steams and send them to your printer using the SendData action. You can also use the Print action to generate recall streams, but your labels must be saved in Document Storage.

Listing Cloud Printers with Cloud Print API

When you develop applications where users print labels with cloud printers, use API to get a list of your registered cloud printers and their statuses (you can see Cloud Printers in Control Center under Printers > Cloud Printers):

  1. Sign in to NiceLabel Cloud API Developer Portal.

  2. Go to APIs > Cloud Print API and click v1. The Cloud Print API page opens.

  3. Go to Printers and click Try it.

  4. Click Send.

In Response content, the Developer Portal displays your registered cloud printers in JSON format.

Sending data to your printers with Cloud Print API

If you use applications that generate print streams, store streams, or recall streams, use the SendData action to send your generated streams to your printers. The SendData action sends generated streams or raw commands in printer-specific language. Base64 encoding ensures your labels print special characters correctly.

Note

Printing with this process may require printer drivers.

  1. Sign in to Developer Portal.

  2. Go to APIs > Cloud Print API and click v1. The Cloud Print API page opens.

  3. Go to SendData and click Try it.

  4. Type your printer name (for Cloud printers registered in Control Center).

In your request body, send Base64 encoded data to your printer:

  1. Generate your stream (in Designer, print your label to file, or use your own external applications to generate .prn files.).

  2. Convert your stream to Base64 (for testing, you can use online conversion tools).

  3. Paste or type your Base64-encoded stream into your request body.

  4. Click Send.

Your request sends. If you encoded a label print stream, your printer prints your label.

Getting Zebra cloud printer information

Note

Some Zebra printers with Link-OS Basic don't support Cloud Print (for example, Zebra ZD230). Check your printer's specification for the printer operating system. See also the list of Zebra DNA printers. Print DNA Basic printers don't support Cloud Print.

To find your model number or serial number on your Zebra printer and authenticate it in Control Center, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your printer and connect it to the internet.

  2. Find your printer's local IP address (Consult your specific printer documentation).

  3. Type your printer's IP address into your browser. Click Enter.

    • Your Printer Home Page opens and lists information about your printer:

      • Manufacturer (ex: Zebra Technologies)

      • Model number (ex: ZTC ZT410-300dpi ZPL)

      • Serial number (ex: 18J173304133)

      • Name (ex: printer1)

      • Status (ex: READY)

Use your Zebra printer information from your Printer Home Page to continue with printer registration and authentication in Control Center.

Connecting Zebra cloud printers

Connect your Zebra printer to Control Center to use Cloud Print API. NiceLabel Developer Portal gives you APIs to:

  • Send print stream data directly to your printers.

  • Print labels you save in document storage in Control Center.

  • Store labels you save in document storage in Control Center on your printer.

To connect your printers to NiceLabel Cloud, complete the following steps (Details below):

  1. Prepare your connection: register your printer on Control Center.

  2. Connect to NiceLabel Cloud: configure your printer hardware.

  3. Complete your connection: complete your printer registration on Control Center.

Preparing your Control Center connection:

  1. In Control Center, go to Printers > Cloud printers and click Add.

  2. Type your printer name (this name identifies your printer in Control Center).

    Note

    Using spaces or special characters (&,%,?,*,...) in your printer names may cause errors. Use alphanumerical characters (A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and "_" in stead of spaces) if possible.

    Remember your printer name to use later in the connection process.

  3. Select your printer model from the list.

  4. Copy your Server URL (under Cloud Printer settings in Control Center).

Preparing your NiceLabel Cloud connection:

Note

You can use any TCP/IP client, but we recommend using PuTTY or Zebra Setup Utilities (ZSU).

If you decide to use PuTTY, you can download only putty.exe, (the SSH and Telnet client).

  1. Turn on your printer and connect it to the internet.

  2. Use the same local network as your printer.

  3. Open your TCP/IP client to register your printer with NiceLabel Cloud's print service.

  4. Configure your TCP/IP client:

    Putty.png
    1. Type your printer's local IP address.

    2. Use default port 9100 (or type the port you set).

    3. (PuTTY only) Select Telnet or Raw for your connection type.

  5. Establish your TCP/IP connection to your Zebra printer (on PuTTY, click Open).

Once you establish your TCP/IP connection, you are ready to send SGD commands.

Connecting to NiceLabel Cloud with SGD commands:

Note

Each command starts with: ! U1.

Note

If you don't use PuTTY, end your commands with <CR><LF> to be accepted by your printer.

  1. Set your server URL. In your command terminal, send the following (Replace "Your Server URL" with the Server URL you copy from Control Center):

    ! U1 setvar "weblink.ip.conn1.location" "Your Server URL"
  2. Check that your printer accepts your Cloud Print Server URL. Your printer must return the address you send. Send:

    ! U1 getvar "weblink.ip.conn1.location"
  3. Reset your printer to apply your settings. Send:

    ! U1 setvar "device.reset" ""
  4. Get your printer's serial number (Required by Control Center):

    ! U1 getvar "device.unique_id"
  5. Copy your printer's serial number to complete your printer registration on Control Center > Cloud Printers

Completing registration on Control Center:

  1. Paste your printer's serial number.

  2. Click Save.

  3. Control Center opens a dialogue. You added your printer on Control Center, but it is not connected yet. Control Center lists your printer in the Cloud printers section with the status: Pending connection.

  4. Click Save.

  5. Wait 1 minute and refresh your page. Control Center lists your printer in the Cloud printers section with the status: Connected.

Your Zebra printer is connected and ready to use.

To interact with your printer connected to Cloud Print, read Using Cloud Print API.

Connecting SATO cloud printers

Connect your SATO printer to NiceLabel Cloud to use Cloud Print API. NiceLabel's Developer Portal gives you APIs to:

  • Send print stream data directly to your printers.

  • Print labels you save in document storage in Control Center.

  • Store labels you save in document storage in Control Center on your printer.

To connect your printers to NiceLabel Cloud with Cloud Print:

  1. Prepare your connection: register your printer on Control Center.

  2. Connect to NiceLabel Cloud: configure your printer hardware.

Prepare to connect your SATO printer to Control Center:

  1. In Control Center, go to Printers > Cloud printers and click Add.

  2. Type your printer name (used to identify your printer in Control Center).

  3. Select your printer model from the list.

  4. Copy your One-time connection key to use later.

  5. Click the link to download NiceLabel Connector for your printer.

  6. Click Save.

    Control Center opens a dialogue. You added your printer on Control Center, but it is not connected yet. Control Center lists your printer in the Cloud printers section with the status: Pending connection.

Connect your SATO printer to Control Center. You need your USB drive and NiceLabel Connector:

On your computer:

  1. Download Connector from Control Center.

  2. Insert your USB drive (maximum USB drive size is 8GB).

  3. Format your USB drive to FAT32.

  4. Copy Connector to your formatted USB drive.

  5. Remove your USB drive.

On your printer:

  1. Insert your USB drive.

  2. Run Connector and press to install.

    Connector installs and your printer restarts automatically.

  3. Remove your USB drive.

  4. Use your printer configuration menu (Menu > 1. Configuration) to type configuration information.

    Tip

    Connect your USB keyboard to your printer to quickly type your information.

  5. Confirm your printer's description.

  6. Type your account name (ex: yourcompany1 is the account name for the Control Center address yourcompany1.onnicelabel.com).

  7. Under password, type your One-time connection key

  8. Use your printer menu navigation to press to put your printer online

    Your printer completes the connection process and displays NiceLabel Connector - AVAILABLE.

Your printer is configured. Control Center lists your printer in the Cloud printers section with the status: Connected. Your SATO printer is connected and ready to use.

To interact with your printer connected to Cloud Print, read Using Cloud Print API.

Cloud printer security

Cloud printer security certificates help you secure your printing system in regulated environments.

Securing your Zebra cloud printers prevents your users from printing on uncertified printers and prevents hackers from spoofing your printer identities to access your print streams. To secure your cloud printers, you create Certificate Authority (CA) files in OpenSSL or other certificate generation tools, certify your individual cloud printers with your CAs, upload your CA certificate files to Control Center, and enable self-signed printer certificates. If your uploaded CAs signed your printer certificates, you can connect and print on your secured cloud printers.

Important

Printer certificates work with Zebra Link-OS printers (5.2 and newer). For complete instructions for securing your printers, consult Zebra's PrintSecure Administration Files page, which includes applicable printer models, and downloadable administration files. Follow the PrintSecure Printer Administration Guide instructions on how to create and use CAs and printer client certificates. Cloud printer security options for other printer manufacturers will be available in future releases.

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Enable self-signed printer certificates in Control Center > Administration > Cloud Printers Security.

Secure your cloud printers with self-signed certificates
  1. Create your Certificate Authority (CA) to create and validate multiple individual printer certificates. You create your CA only once in open SSL or other tools.

    CAs you create include a CA certificate file with your CA information and a corresponding private signing key.

    Note

    You can choose how long your certificates are valid.

  2. Use your CA to create printer certificates for printers you want to use. All your printers need unique printer certificates and their own corresponding private keys to prove their certification is valid. Use your CA to create the individual printer certificates you upload on your printers.

    Note

    Each certificate you create includes 3 types of files:

    • .csr - certificate request you use to create your certificates.

    • .crt or .cer - your certificate file with a public key.

    • .key - certificate private key.

  3. Upload your certificates to your printers. Upload the certificates and corresponding private keys to your printers and restart your printers.

  4. Upload your CA certificate file to your list of trusted certificate authorities in Control Center. Use the certificate file from your CA that signed your printer client certificates for all your printers, not certificate files from individual printers. Your uploaded trusted CA file verifies the certificates you upload on your individual printers and allows your printers to connect and print.

    Because you use your CA to create your printer certificates and your CA signed all your unique printer certificates, you can connect and print. If you add or update your printers with the same CA, you don’t need to make any updates in Control Center.

    add_new_CA.jpg
    1. Go to Control Center > Administration > Cloud Printers Security > Trusted Certificate Authorities and click Add. The Add New Trusted Certificate Authority window opens.

    2. Click Select file and browse to Upload your CA certificate file.

    3. Name your CA. This name appears on your list of trusted certificate authorities.

    4. Click Save. Your CA uploads and appears on your list of trusted certificate authorities in Control Center.

  5. Enable certificates in Control Center. With your CA uploaded, go to Control Center > Administration > Cloud Printers Security and toggle Enable self-signed printer certificates to restrict your system to only connect and print on certified printers.

    When you enable using self-signed printer certificates in NiceLabel, printers without valid certificates cannot connect and print.

    Caution

    To avoid potential production downtime, make sure you upload your CA certificate file to Control Center and upload your certificates to printers before you toggle Enable self-signed printer certificates.

    Changes you make to this page may take up to two minutes to appear in your system.

    Once enabled, you can only print on certified printers from NiceLabel Cloud.

    enable_cloud_printer_security.jpg
  6. Optional: To view or update your uploaded CA information, click a CA name from your list to open your CA page:

    CA_uploaded.jpg
  7. Optional: to remove CAs from your list in Control Center > Administration > Cloud Printers Security > Trusted Certificate Authorities, select your CA and click Delete. Any connected cloud printers certified with CAs you delete can no longer be certified and can no longer connect and print when you toggle Enable self-signed printer certificates.

    delete_CA.jpg

Your certified self-signed printers are secured and ready to use.