Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Commentary & Analysis

Dear ODJ: More comments and perspective on JDF

Dear Editor,

By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: July 19, 2005

Dear Editor, JDF is not the end of the automation process; it is only a language of communication to achieve real computer integrated manufacturing in all aspects of printed communication. A number of articles have appeared raising the same concern as Bob Raus' letters, that JDF is questionable because it levels the playing field between competitors and does not offer a sustainable competitive advantage. This reminds me of the old debates about PostScript and proprietary interfaces to typesetting machines. The same concerns were expressed about desktop publishing and the development of PDF. JDF is another case where companies who implement it will gain significant advantage and those that don't will eventually fade away. This will be true both of users and system suppliers. The consumers of information and communication are demanding ever faster and more efficient suppliers. JDF is a means to meet that demand. It is also a means to help maintain the competitive positioning of print, traditional and digital, against other forms of communication. Every step towards process automation tends to level the playing field among those who adopt it. But JDF is not the end of the automation process; it is only a language of communication to achieve real computer integrated manufacturing in all aspects of printed communication. It is the next step in a long road that should not inspire a Luddite fear of change. How many printers are surviving with their proprietary systems that give them competitive advantage like hot metal type and letterpress? David Watson President and CEO Ultimate Technographics Inc. Montreal, Quebec Canada H2X 4B3 Bob Raus replies: Hello David, and thank you for your letter. You (also) make several good points that I agree with including the fact that JDF is a means to achieving process automation and when (if ever) it is fully embraced, accepted and becomes a required component of software applications—I expect it'll deliver major advantages over today's largely manual systems integration processes. Will there ever be a plug-and-play JDF installation wizard available for Windows, Linux, mainframe and Mac OS? This level of simplicity is what I believe is required to deliver real business benefits. Your comparison to PDF is intriguing as well. I fully agree that PDF is the de facto standard for sharing files today, but to reinforce my point, Postscript was only used by Apple and Adobe initially and took several years for the industry to adopt (way) back in the late 80's. PDF is a follow-on to Postscript and has taken an additional decade—give or take a few years—to become mainstreamed in major applications such as Microsoft Office. In addition, while PDF is a vehicle to share contained, single documents, JDF is a means of sharing data. While JDF is highly structured XML, sharing data is never as easy as a single file. In addition, Postscript wasn't adopted on a wide scale until Microsoft and Apple included free print drivers for a myriad of devices as a basic feature of their OS. Will there ever be a plug-and-play JDF installation wizard available for Windows, Linux, mainframe and Mac OS? This level of simplicity is what I believe is required to deliver real business benefits. I personally buy into the future of JDF and can tell you we at Océ are dedicating significant R&D resources to extend compatibility our of PRISMA family of products beyond the Océ, IBM, Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Sharp and HP devices currently supported to insure JDF compatibility. While I see the value and buy into the vision, I also believe that it will take years for JDF to become a viable means of simple connectivity between devices and believe today's business owners can't put all their eggs in this one basket while waiting for it to happen. Bob Raus Director, Software and Professional Services Marketing Océ North America, Inc. (561) 912-1404

 

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2016 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved