Plug-ins > Change Printer

Change Printer Plug-in and Run Time Solutions

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Hi Melinda,
I was speaking to Sandy from your office with a number of questions regarding the Change Printer Plug-In and she suggested I post my questions to the Forum.
I am a psychologist and have developed a run time solution for running a private practice, the Private Practice Manager, which I sell to allied health professionals through my company Custom Solutions for the Professional.
I recently purchased the Change Printer Plug-In and integrated it into my solution. It is integrated into the Start up file which automatically registers the plug-in to the computer it is installed on. A number of practical questions remain unanswered:
  1. What if my customer gets a new computer?
  2. What if my customer moves the solution from one machine to another?
  3. What if the customer returns the solution to me for some customization? I assume I would not be able to use the plug-in as it is registered on my customer's machine.
  4. What if I test a new solution before shipping, would that not register the plug-in on my machine, using up the license?
  5. What if a customer takes their laptop to a location without internet access, would that prevent printing?
  6. One of my customers has installed the solution on a remote server, which he accesses from a number of locations, would the plug-in work?
Most of my users are relatively unsophisticated and I want the use of my solution to be as seamless as possible.

Thanks for any input you can give.

Melinda DePalma:
Thank you for your patience and please allow me to explain the plug-in registration process.

The plug-in is licensed per machine. The FIRST time each user of a machine calls the PCCP_Register function, the plug-in installs a registration certificate on the local machine. This certificate never expires. If the certificate is ever modified, moved or deleted, then the client will be required to register again. On a Mac this certificate is in the form of a "plist" file and on Windows this certificate is in the form of a "PCI” file. The first time you register an internet connection is required in order to generate this certificate. The next time the PCCP_Register function is called or a plug-in function is used, if you have a valid certificate then you can simply continue using the plug-in and do not need to “call home” to Productive Computing to gain a valid certificate.

On Windows the PCI registration file is located here on XP C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\Local Settings\Application Data\PCINC\CHANGEPRINTER\3.0\CHANGEPRINTER.3.0.pci or here on Vista/Windows 7 C:\Users\"user name"\App Data\Local\PCINC\CHANGEPRINTER\3.0\CHANGEPRINTER.3.0.pci.

On a Mac the Plist registration file can be found here: User/Library/Preferences/PCCP.Prefs.plist

Since the plug-in is registered per machine (and not per simultaneous use per machine), if your customer gets a new machine, re-installs the OS, moves the solution to a different machine, then you would need to ensure that the plug-in is properly registered on that "new" machine. I recommend creating what I call a "Plug-in checker" script in your solution to ensure that the plug-in is always registered before using any of the plug-in functions. Please see this video: to gain some ideas for how to create a "Plug-in checker" script. This script will alleviate user frustration, ensure that the plug-in is registered before using the plug-in functions and register the plug-in behind the scenes if the plug-in is not registered.

You will need to ensure that you have enough licenses to register. Since you are including the plug-in in your own solution, I would look into obtaining an Unlimited Distribution License, so you can have an unlimited number of licenses. The Unlimited Distribution license basically unlocks the keys to the kingdom and gives you unlimited use and access to the plug-in in your solution. Please contact for pricing of an Unlimited Distribution License.

That should answer questions 1 - 4.

Question 5: If you do not have an Unlimited Distribution License, then your customer must have an internet connection the FIRST time you register the plug-in to generate the registration file. If your customer has already successfully registered the plug-in, then your customer does not need an internet connection.

Question 6: The plug-in will need to be licensed on each machine or each terminal server user.

Hopefully this answers your questions. I will be back in the office tomorrow (Friday) at 8:00am PST and please feel free to contact me directly at or (760) 510-1200 xt. 115 if you have any additional questions.

Doug L:
This an old topic but Melinda's response kinda relates to my question so here goes:

First off, I'm not asking about runtime solutions.  I'm inquiring about how the registration process is handled on a Windows domain that has multiple PCs, multiple users, and possibly multiple people using the same PC but at different times of the day. I'm asking about regular FM Pro, not runtime versions, just to be clear.

--- Quote from: Melinda DePalma on January 14, 2010, 10:42:35 AM ---On Windows the PCI registration file is located here on XP C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\Local Settings\Application Data\PCINC\CHANGEPRINTER\3.0\CHANGEPRINTER.3.0.pci or here on Vista/Windows 7 C:\Users\"user name"\App Data\Local\PCINC\CHANGEPRINTER\3.0\CHANGEPRINTER.3.0.pci.

--- End quote ---

In an earlier post Melinda notes that the plug-in is licensed "per machine".  However in the paragraph above you can see that the the PCI file (registration key) is located within the user's profile.  This means that the key is not accessible to other users of that same PC as they likely log in using their own credentials and have their own user profile.  For those of you not familiar with Windows, users are generally prevented from seeing and altering anything in another user's profile.  My testing today confirms this notion.  This morning I purchased ten licenses and installed one of them on my PC.  Then I went to our receiving desk, logged in as myself, and installed another plugin on that PC.  Then I logged out and had the receiving clerk log in using her credentials.  I was expecting to see the plugin already registered but it wasn't.

So right now that PC has two PCI keys (files).  Did I consume two licenses or is the registration system smart enough to realize that it is only one machine but has two users?

Doug L:
Hello, anybody home?  Anybody....?

Kevin Clemons:
Since the registration certificate is installed on the local users application data folder, you are right as you must register one time per user per machine. But it will not consume an additional license. You can register as many users on a single machine while using onlya single license ID except for Terminal Server environments.


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