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Commentary & Analysis

Free: The JDF On Demand

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By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: March 3, 2004

There's a lot to see at On Demand Expo next week! True, drupa 2004 isn't scheduled until May, however it seems that drupa coverage started in January and has continued since with back-to-back media events around the world. Don't let that distract you.

This year's On Demand Expo is being held in conjunction with the AIIM Expo  THE Enterprise Content and Document Management Event  and the Digital Marketing Symposium: two days of educational sessions focused on digital marketing strategies for driving revenue and growing your customer base. What a chance for those of us in the graphic arts industry to expand our view into the enterprise and gain a greater understanding of the power of digital marketing!

This is definitely the JDF On Demand!

For those who want to see JDF workflow in action, catch the JDF Workflow Tours, produced by Linda Burman, of L. A. Burman Associates, developer of JDF Tours and Seminars. Now it is time to go from talk the talk to walk the walk, and Creo, EFI, HP, Printable, WAM!NET, Objective Advantage, and WAVE Corp. are participating tour vendors who will demonstrate JDF interoperability across vendors and within product suites.

The JDF Tour includes six stops and describes the process of creating printed materials for a fictitious team of companies: the Kimono Bank of Japan, Edgy Communications, Excellent Digital Printing, Creotivity Communications and Print, and 2XL Printing.

At the beginning of the process, Stop 1, is Printable Technology's PrintOne Customer Center where a print buyer at the New York Branch of the Kimono Bank places an order for catalog items. The Printable system creates and collects press-ready files and JDF job tickets that inform the EFI OneFlow and HP Production Flow to process, print, and fulfill the jobs.

Stop 2 is at Edgy Communications, where a designer is preparing a new print project using WAVE Corporation's MediaBank digital asset management system that ensures the latest versions of all the assets are being used to design the job. The artist converts the native design files into a PDF, creates a JDF Job Ticket, and transmits the content and the JDF file.

Edgy Communications prepress operator, at Stop 3, retrieves the PDFs and uses Objective Advantage's JDF Job Manager to review the job instructions and adjusts any incomplete or conflicting instructions, if required. The operator uses the JDF Job Manager to package the JDF, the PDFs, and the JMF message together and passes them to Creotivity Communications and Print.

Stop 4 brings in a job from a print buyer in the San Francisco office of Kimono Bank, who has submitted it across the Internet with EFI Exchange. This job moves into a workflow process that directs it to a digital print production facility where EFI's OneFlow automatically preflights, corrects, and imposes the job as directed by the JDF. Time and materials data is exchanged with EFI's Hagen OA, and the job is sent to production on a Fiery-driven Xerox DocuColor engine.

At Stop 5, Creotivity Communications and Print's prepress operator uses Creo's Prinergy prepress system to receive the JDF Job Ticket from Edgy Communications and prepares the job for output to the Creo Spire Color Server which then passes along the JDF intent message to Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager to control the digital print settings.

2XL Printing, at Stop 6, accepts the press-ready files and JDF job tickets from the Printable PrintOne Customer Center through HP Production Flow, which allows the company to track, run and manage the job, and notify Kimono Bank when their job has been completed.

By taking this tour you can see various workflows and output to the EFI Fiery and Xerox DocuColor, Creo's Spire Server and Xerox FreeFlow, and an HP Indigo. Now that looks like across vendors and end-to-end production workflows to me!

Sneak Preview

Here's a preview of selected print production workflow and management products and services from some of the companies exhibiting at On Demand. Remember, this is a selection of companies; not every company exhibiting is included. We urge you to check WhatTheyThink.com often for the latest breaking news and new product announcements. And check the exhibitor list to locate the companies you want to visit.

Companies highlighted in today's preview:

•  Avanti Systems ( www.avantisystems.com )

•  Creo ( www.creo.com )

•  EFI ( www.efi.com )

•  P3 Software (www.p3software.com)

•  Pace Systems Group ( www.pace2020.com )

•  Printable Technologies ( www.printable.com )

Avanti Systems - Booth #3425  Print Shop Management Software Solutions

Avanti will be demonstrating its Print Shop Management Software Solutions this year, including modules for estimating, order entry, job costing and tracking, reporting, scheduling, shop floor, fulfillment, inventory, purchasing, shipping, invoicing, chargebacks, internet services and more.

As a Xerox partner offering fully integrated workflow solutions Xerox equipment including the IGen3, DocuTech, and DocuPrint systems, the Demand/Digital Print Management Solution features print estimating and order entry modules that address the unique needs of a digital printer including:

•  Price list pricing with separate calculations for cost

•  Standard costing, marked up pricing, a quote letter and a customizable job ticket/jacket

Avanti's Internet/Intranet Solutions mean that a print service provider can give its clients 24/7, real-time accessibility, including:

•  Full order entry and job query capabilities

•  Full integration to the back-end production system  eliminating re-entry of information

•  Online proofing and file attachments

•  Online inventory query and fulfillment

•  New business card/stationery template module functionality

Also to be demonstrated are two scheduling solutions. Printers may choose between a general scheduling application, Milestone Scheduling, or a system based on Microsoft Project that provides for complex, dynamic scheduling.

Creo - Booth #2647  Hybrid Workflow, Darwin and Spire

Hybrid Workflow

Creo will demonstrate a new hybrid prepress workflow that integrates the Prinergy workflow management system for offset printing with Xerox DocuColor digital color presses. Printers will be able to launch the Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager directly from Prinergy and submit offset jobs for digital printing to the Spire color servers driving the Xerox digital presses.

Print jobs can be changed from one press to another with minimal time - and cost - for changeover. Initial work on a print job can be completed without a prior commitment to the particular method of print, then, at the click of a mouse, operators can direct work to either a digital or an offset press.

Darwin 6.0

Creo will be demonstrating Darwin 6.0, a variable information authoring tool for one-to-one marketing that now comes in two configurations: DarwinPro with an advanced feature set for complex jobs that involve large databases, multiple variables, and dynamic text and image placement. Darwin DeskTop works with QuarkExpress to design, author and mange production of personalized document, including text, graphics, layout and backgrounds.

Spire CXP 6000

Creo will be previewing the new Spire CXP 6000 color server. Spire color servers, with the Creo Variable Print Specification (VPS) file format, provide precise control of variable information criteria and output. Features include:

•  A new graphical user interface (GUI) more closely resembling other Creo products, replicating the Creo user-experience and reducing training time.

•  A new, robust security option for production of high security print jobs.

EFI - Booth #3119  EFI's JDF Solutions

EFI will showcase JDF connectivity across its product line from submission and prepress to print MIS products, demonstrating streamlined operations with fully integrated end-to-end workflows. JDF solutions include EFI OneFlow, EFI Balance, EFI Proofing Solutions with Best technology, and EFI Hagen OA.

PrintSmith

EFI PrintSmith 7.0 is shipping now with new features and a major redesign of the user interface. PrintSmith, a comprehensive, flexible and feature-rich print management system, now has an enhanced costing system, allows multiple invoices and estimates to be opened simultaneously, and runs on Macintosh OSX in addition to Windows.

Proofing Solutions

EFI Proofing Solutions with Best Technology are now available for Epson Stylus Pro 4000 inkjet printer and HP Color LaserJet 9500. This includes new versions of EFI Colorproof, EFI Screenproof and EFI PhotoXposure. Additionally, new versions of EFI Photo Edition and EFI Designer Edition are available for the Epson 4000.

Digital StoreFront

EFI Digital StoreFront is a web site and transaction server where print buyers can submit files and view PDF proofs online. StoreFront integrates the flow of data from submission to production to streamline print production.

EFI MicroPress delivers powerful digital prepress and production workflow management to optimize productivity of color and black & white printers. The new MicroPress 6.3 offers expanded engine support and greater workflow efficiency with automated archiving, advanced document editing and imposition, and intuitive color management for more accurate, high quality output.

Servers and Device Management

Fiery S300, S500 and Q4500 servers with Command WorkStation for job management and manipulation and ; ColorWise for flexible color output control. These Fierys are EFI Balance compatible boosting productivity for commercial and production environments.

EFI Balance managing multiple devices as a group and automatically distributes large jobs across up to 16 devices, with color and monotone pages routed to most appropriate printers. Features include unified job ticketing, complex document composition, and Xerox DigiPath integration.

Variable Data Solutions

EFI's open architecture enables users to choose any authoring tool to create static and variable elements. EFI offers several VDP languages, such as Fiery FreeForm and industry standard PPML. Additional productivity-enhancing tools maximize throughput and streamline VDP workflow.

P3Software  Booth #3062  Expediting Print Buying

P3Software will be demonstrating the P3Expeditor, a software system for print buyers that automates the process of buying print. P3Software processes more than 400 jobs a month, and in January handled more than $1.5 million in transactions. P3Software customers have sent quote requests to over 1100 printers and do regular business with more than 450 shops.

A new partnership between P3Software and PrintBuyersOnline.com means that members of the Print Buyers Online.com e-community for professional buyers of printed materials will gain a new benefit: a free basic subscription to the P3Expeditor print buying system.

P3Expeditor allows a print buyer to:

•  Build job specs

•  Select suppliers and send RFQs

•  Receive job price quotes

•  Award job and/or decline bids

•  Submit a work order

•  Track production, monitor deadlines, and production details

Pace Systems Group - Booth # 3706  ePace Version 14.0

ePace Version 14.0 will be featured by the Pace Systems Group. ePace is a browser-based business management and e-commerce solution, operating behind the firewall on the printer's local network but provides remote access to customers via the Internet.

The integrated system includes a complete suite of modules for estimating, planning, production, accounting and e-commerce with a web browser interface. New features include enhanced web ordering capabilities and new user interface enhancements.

The Customer eService module provides real time information directly out of the printer's management system. Functionality includes standard order processing with variable text replacement, online PDF proofing, job shipments tracking, inventory management, current job status and more. Direct integration with the ePace management system eliminates duplicate entry and improves operational efficiency.

ePace is JDF-compliant and uses an XML file structure for integration with other systems and applications. Advanced features allow for easy import and export of information and many custom reporting options for analyzing system data.

Printable Technologies - Booth # 3129  The First Stop in the JDF Tour

Kicking off the JDF Tour with the post position of Stop 1, Printable Technologies will be highlighting the PrintOne Customer Center. PrintOne Customer Center enables print suppliers and print management companies to manage online ordering, tracking, and output of variable data, on-demand, and inventory print items.

Printable offers a complete workflow solution sending and receiving order origination and status reports via JDF Job Tickets and metadata with order details and press-ready files to and from RIPs, digital presses, shop-floor management solution, procurement systems, and more.

See Printable's JDF-enabled products, including the PrintOne Customer Center in the JDF Workflow Tour and at Booth # 3374, in partnership with HP.

Interesting Snippets from AIIM Expo and the Digital Marketing Symposium

US Postal Service

The US Postal Service has teamed with AuthentiDate, Inc. to develop and distribute an Electronic PostMark (EPM) to provide tamper protection against fraud and the ability to verify document authenticity with a click of the USPS EPM signature block. Evidence of document authenticity is stored in the USPS EPM repository for seven years to ensure trusted validation of the content.

A USPS EPM Extension for Microsoft provides the means to electronically sign word documents and seal then with the USPS Electronic Postmark. And for your security, federal law supports the USPS EPM as data protection against fraud and tampering.

You can see this all in action at Booth # 2361 on the AIIM Expo floor.

Digital Marketing Symposium

As part of the Digital Marketing Symposium, a DMS Vendor Pavilion has been established near the middle of the On Demand Expo exhibit floor. The Pavilion is the focal point of technologies, tools, products, and services to support multi-channel digital marketing and the vendors are: Adobe, callas software, Elixir, Pageflex, Qmags, Wam!net, Who's Calling, and XMPie.

Lisa Z. Wellman and Terry Wellman, principals and founders of Digital Marketing Corporation, and organizers of the Digital Marketing Symposium, filled me in on their goals for this first Symposium, and their plans for the future. Here's what Lisa and Terry had to say:

We brought the Digital Marketing Symposium to the On Demand and AIIM expos to add Digital Marketing as the third leg to the IT and production orientations already expressed. We want to drill down on what marketers need to know today, where the possibilities are, and, even more important, how to build the back end infrastructure to be able to customize, personalize, and create relevant communication.

We see the Networked Society as changing the behavior of markets, customers, and even sales cycles. We're not talking just about the Internet, but the connections to information, including the digital devices that allow us to communicate anywhere, anytime, anyplace These are causing profound changes in our society that must be understood to reach the market place successfully.

Let's Talk!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Javitts Center! Stop me and say hello if you see me in the aisles  I'd like to know What You Think. It'll be a great event!

 

 

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