About Anthony Dowling

Founder Sjones Limited, focusing on developing ID and Security Card Solutions. Long time Delphi Developer. @AntDowling

Terian has a new blog home

After years of posting Terian related posts to my personal blog (antdowling.wordpress.com) I have decided to move them all to this separate blog (terian.blog).

This blog will also be directly linked from the Terian website.

Hopefully this will make it easier to find relevant Terian material, and also remove potentially distracting content from my personal blog.

Terian ID Creator v1.90 Released

After a few months in testing, Terian ID Creator v1.90 has been released. You can download it from the official website here

In addition to bug fixes, this release includes Indesign 2021 (v16.0.1) support, QR Code generation support, Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) support, and improvements to capture functionality.

We have also removed support for older versions of Indesign as the Card Printing Application (CPA).

Terian IDC v1.90 Changelog

QR Code generation support:

Terian IDC now supports generating either a ‘Plain Text’ or ‘Web Hyperlink’ QR Code within Indesign. QR Code settings are configured as part of the GeneralText fields which allows data to be linked from other fields, global fields, global lookup lists or manually inserted.

General Text Field QR Code Configuration

Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) support:

A new UUID is generated every every time a card is printed and can be linked in a GeneralText field for use in QR Codes.

The UUID’s generated are version 4, variant 1 UUIDs, more information can be found here

Capture functionality improvements:

Focus and zoom sliders are now available from the main capture form (previously these were accessible via the camera control form).

Capture form with Focus and Zoom sliders

The image adjustment and camera control forms have also been updated to be more compatible with touch screen devices by increasing the space and size of UI elements.

Capture Camera Control form
Capture Image Adjustment form

Indesign versions supported:

This release removes support for older versions of Indesign (CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CC). Currently only the following versions of Indesign are supported:

  • Indesign CC 2017 (v12)
  • Indesign CC 2018 (v13)
  • Indesign CC 2019 (v14)
  • Indesign CC 2020 (v15)
  • Indesign CC 2021 (v16)

Additional bug fixes and quality of life improvements:

As highlighted in the changelog, there has also been additional bug fixes and a couple quality of life improvements.

An example of a fix/quality of life improvement is the improvement to the responsiveness of the form frame list when changing CPA form configuration settings.

Using Fast Reports as a Card Printing Application (CPA) Delayed:

In the previous blog here it was mentioned that we are working on supporting using Fast Reports as a CPA. This feature has been delayed and we hope to bring it in a future release.

Terian ID Creator v1.80 Released

Ooops, apologies, but it looks like we forgot to publish a blog post for this release.

Anyways, Terian ID Creator v1.80 was released in late July. You can download it from the official website here

This release brings support for the latest (at time of release) versions of both Indesign (15.1.0), and Bartender (11.1) along with improvements to image support and additional bug fixes.

Terian IDC v1.80 Changelog

Bartender 11.1 and Indesign 15.1.0 support:

The headline of this release is the added support for the most recent releases of Bartender and Indesign. This is especially important with support for Bartender v11.1 (also referred to as the 2019 Edition) as compared to the previous edition of Bartender, v11.1 is a significant enhancement in feature set.

You can find out more about the different editions of Bartender here

Improved data folder support:

To help provide more flexibility for data folder configuration, we now allow for the top level client data folder to be specified within the configuration. This is useful when creating card types as Terian will now browse from this top level folder and offer a suggestion for the naming of data folders for card types.

Improved image support:

Terian now supports PNG files in addition to JPG files for any of the images used for printing cards, this can be set individually on each photo field associated with a card type. The addition of PNG support helps provide card design flexibility, especially when it would be helpful to have a transparent image.

We also now provide support for an alternative image folder for each image, a copy of the photo will be saved to this alternative folder in addition to the primary photo folder. This alternative folder may be helpful for other processes that you may need to run on the photos used by the system while maintaining the integrity of the primary storage location.

Also included in this version is support for capturing the secondary and tertiary images (Photo 2, and Photo 3). Previously only Photo 1 supported obtaining an image via the capture process, image capture support is now available for all three photo fields.

Terian IDC Card Type Configuration Photo1 Field

Quality of life improvement:

A very small quality of life improvement has been provided with the addition of a card type configuration button on both the Create Card, and Card Maintenance forms. Previously this functionality existed in the popup menu, however now with a visible button it may be more apparent to users.

Terian IDC Create Card form highlighting CardType Configuration button

Additional bug fixes:

As highlighted in the changelog, there has also been additional bug fixes applied to this release.

Coming soon:

One advantage of forgetting to publish this post, is that we can now comment on what is currently in development for future versions of Terian ID Creator.

We are currently working on providing support for the built in Fast Reports engine to be used as a Card Printing Application (CPA) in the same way you can currently use either Indesign or Bartender. This will allow for cards to be printed using the internal engine, and will not require a third party printing application like Indesign or Bartender. Currently this feature is in its early development stages, but we hope upon its release it will greatly improve the flexibility of Terian ID Creator.

Terian ID Creator v1.71 Released

Terian ID Creator v1.71 has just been released. You can download it from the official website here

This is a minor update to correct an issue with the CPA Class library when dealing with some versions of Adobe Indesign.

Terian IDC v1.71 Changelog

Windows 8.1, no longer supported:

One update that was not mentioned in the previous blog post, was the dropping of support for Windows 8.1 (Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 8.1 on January 9th, 2018).

While Terian ID Creator may continue to work on Windows 8.1, we will no longer test or support it on that platform and recommend where possible users upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 or later recommended:

The documentation has also been updated to recommend Microsoft SQL Server 2016 or later. Similarly to the note regarding older operating systems, Terian ID Creator may continue to work with SQL Server 2014 however we no longer test or support it on that platform.

Terian ID Creator v1.70 Released

Terian ID Creator v1.70 has just been released. You can download it from the official website here.

You may notice there has been a couple of interim releases since our last blog post, however these primarily contained bug fixes and backend changes so did not warrant a dedicated blog post.

Terian IDC v1.70 Changelog

Cropping Support:

The biggest feature of this release is support for cropping images to a 4:3 aspect ratio. With HDMI and 1080p (1920×1080) resolution output from cameras now being the norm, this 16:9 aspect ratio provides a lot of extra detail that may not be required for capturing identification photos.

Short of rotating the camera and capturing in a portrait mode (currently not supported by Terian IDC) it is difficult to zoom in on a person to frame a good identification image using 16:9 aspect ratio resolutions. This is where 4:3 cropping comes to the rescue, so you can go from something like this 1920×1080 (16:9) image…

Terian IDC Capture Grid at 1920x1080

To something like this 1440×1080 (4:3) image

Terian IDC Capture Grid at 1920x1080 Cropped to 1440x1080

You can see in the first image above, the blue cropping square which helps illustrate what part of the original image will remain in the cropped image.

To maximize the cropped image size you should match the vertical size to the original size (in this case 1080 pixels), and the horizontal size will be reduced to retain the 4:3 aspect ratio, however it is also possible to select a smaller cropping size if desired.

Terian IDC Capture Configuration

Renamed previous Image Crop Functionality:

Due to the introduction of proper cropping functionality the previous ‘Image Crop’ functionality has been renamed to ‘Image Border’ as this better represents what that function does.

TerianIDC Capture Configuration Image Border

The ‘Image Border’ function simply replaces the pixels on the edges of an image with white pixels, with each side being able to be set independently.

This feature was useful for analog video capture devices that would often include a couple lines of additional noise along the edges of the input image.

Indesign CC 2020 (v15.0.2) Support

This update also provides support for Indesign CC v15.0.2 (or Indesign CC 2020 as the shortcuts may refer to).

Adobe Indesign CC 2020 Splash Screen

Next Up:

We are still evaluating the need to upgrade to a 64Bit executable, at this stage this is still lower on the priority list compared to other feature requests, however it is still being considered.

During development we had started to implement support for rotating the captured image (i.e. if you wanted to rotate your camera device and capture in portrait mode), however the capture framework we utilise did not correctly support this feature. We had worked with the vendor and an update was provided last week, however this still had some issues stopping us from implementing this feature. We continue to work with the vendor and hopefully we can implement this feature in a future version.

Terian ID Creator v1.55 Released

Terian ID Creator v1.55 has just been released. You can download it from the official website here

Terian IDC v1.55 Changelog

Usability Issues:

This release has been in testing for a past few weeks, and primarily focuses on a few usability issues. One of those usability issues revolved around the Bartender integration (specifically the issue where Bartender would be hidden in the background), so now the system should be less frustrating to use with Bartender.

BarTender 2016 R?:

I have also corrected the naming convention used for BarTender. BarTender provides updates in the form of releases i.e. BarTender 2016 R7, BarTender 2016 R8. Technically these release updates are part of the same version family (i.e. Bartender 11.0).

However instead of including the release number in the name for the CPA Selection, it will now simply display the main version number as displayed in the about dialog.

Next Up:

We are in the process of migrating from Delphi RAD Studio 10.2 Tokyo to RAD Studio 10.3 Rio. As part of this migration we are also ensuring all the components used within Terian ID Creator are also updated to the latest revisions, so there will be additional testing required to ensure no breaking changes are made. But from our initial testing, there doesn’t appear to be any major issues to overcome.

We are also in the process of evaluating the need to upgrade to a 64Bit executable, however this is only at the very early evaluation stages and we are hoping to get more feedback before committing additional resources.

Terian ID Creator v1.52 Released

Terian ID Creator v1.52 has just been released. You can download it from the official website here

Terian ID Creator About Dialog v1.52

Custom preferred capture video size overrides:

We now support selecting either 320×240 or 640×480 as custom capture resolution overrides in the event these specific 4:3 scale resolutions are not exposed by the device capture driver.

Terian IDC Capture Configuration Dialog Box

These lower resolutions while common in ID image processing are not always available with capture devices aimed more towards analog TV video capture. All the native resolutions exposed by the device driver are also still made available.

Indesign CC 2019 (v14.0.1) Support

With the recent release of Indesign CC v14.0.1 (or Indesign CC 2019 as the shortcuts may refer to), we can also confirm that v14.0.1 is supported since Terian ID Creator v1.51 (mentioned here).

The version numbers and release labeling have been slightly confusing from Adobe, with them alternating between using numerical version numbers and year based version numbers. For example v14.0 was released in October 2018, but was labelled Indesign CC 2018 (October Update), this labeling changed with the release of v14.0.1 in November 2018 to Indesign CC 2019.

So we just want to confirm Indesign CC 2019 is indeed also supported since Terian ID Creator v1.51.

Terian ID Creator v1.51 Released

Terian ID Creator v1.51 has just been released. You can download it from the official website here

Terian ID Creator About Dialog v1.51

Bartender Support:

We now support Bartender 2016 R7 as an alternative Card Printing Application (CPA) to Adobe Indesign. Terian ID Creator will still use its own database backend, with Bartender purely being used as a printing system.

Indesign CC v14.0 Support

This update also provides support for the October 2018 (v14.0) of Adobe Indesign CC.

Terian ID Creator v1.50 Released

Much later than hoped, I have released Terian ID Creator v1.50. You can download it from the official website here

Terian IDC v1.50 Changelog

Significant Update:

As can be seen from the about dialog, this is a significant update. The significance of the changes meant a jump in version to v1.50 was justified rather than a bump to v1.35 as discussed in the previous blog entry. While there are no additional major changes from those previously discussed, there have been numerous updates that combine to make for a more user friendly experience.

Additional Image Support:

The system now supports three placeholders for images associated with card designs. An example where this might be beneficial is if you require a photo of the card holder, a signature image, and some other image such as a custom QR Code image.

This change required significant alterations to the forms, however we retained the same level of flexibility with three images as we previously had with two. In fact with the minor updates to functions like the photo picker, it is now even easier to maintain cards and designs with multiple images.

Mifare Encoding:

We now support Mifare Encoding by integrating with specialised SDKs provided by security vendors. This will require a customized SDK from your security vendor that is compatible with Terian ID Creator. This feature is client specific and may not be available to all users, however if you wish to get in touch we can talk with your security vendor to see if they can provide a compatible SDK.

UI Updates:

To help usability with high resolution and DPI screens we have increased the default font size 20% and also changed from ‘Tahoma’ to ‘Segoe UI’ as the primary font set. This has required many of the forms to be enlarged and adjusted to ensure everything fits correctly. The good news is that these changes translate well to high DPI screens and allow for a more comfortable UI experience, especially when using a touch interface.

Windows 7, no longer supported:

Unfortunately as this version (v1.50) we no longer support Terian ID Creator running on Windows 7. With Microsoft having ended mainstream support for Windows 7 service pack 1 on 13th January 2015, we feel our limited support and testing resources are better directed to more current platforms. While Terian ID Creator may continue to work on Windows 7, we do not test or support it on that platform and recommend where possible users upgrade to Windows 10.

Going Forward:

This version brings some fantastic usability tweaks which we will continue to monitor feedback for, and provide updates accordingly. However we are currently investigating integrating support for additional Card Printing Applications (CPAs). Hopefully we’ll have some exciting news in the near future that might allow for an alternative printing system to using Adobe InDesign.

So fingers crossed you’ll hear from us soon.

Terian ID Creator v1.35 in Testing

Following on from the point release 1.31 of Terian ID Creator we have been working closely with one of our clients and have been testing the next version of Terian ID Creator (v1.35).

Terian ID Creator About Box

Additional Image Support:

The major change of the upcoming version is support for an additional image linked to a card, with the new system allowing for 3 images to be linked. This allows a card to potentially support a photo image, a signature image and a QR Code image (or other image). This change has required a significant alteration to the forms and sizes of images displayed on the data input forms.

UI Changes:

In addition to the changes required to support an additional image we have also made some tweaks to the UI and increased the size of many form elements. We have increased the default size of form fonts from size 10 to size 12, and also changed from ‘Tahoma’ to ‘Segoe UI’ as the primary font set. The font size increase has required many forms to be enlarged to ensure everything fits correctly. The good news is that these changes translate well to high DPI screens allowing for a more comfortable UI experience.

Logon Dialog with ‘Tahoma’ size 10 font:

Terian ID Creator logon dialog previous font

Logon Dialog with ‘Segoe UI’ size 12 font:

Terian ID Creator logon dialog with larger fonts

Mifare Encoding:

We now support Mifare Encoding by integrating with specialised SDKs provided by security vendors. This will require a customized SDK from your security vendor that is compatible with Terian ID Creator. This feature is client specific and may not be available to all users, however if you wish to get in touch we can talk with your security vendor to see if they can provide a compatible SDK.

Release Date:

The UI changes are quite significant, and coupled with the introduction of support for an additional image there is quite a bit of work to do before release. At this stage a rough estimate is that we are looking early in the new year before the official release.