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Bitstream Announces the Next Generation Pageflex Offering: One Application for All Things Variable

Friday, May 19, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

PHILADELPHIA--May 16, 2006-- Bitstream today unveiled the company's next generation Pageflex software for variable data, Web-to-print, and cross-media publishing. The new product is named simply Pageflex and will be marketed with the slogan "One Application -- All Things Variable." This offering brings all existing Pageflex capabilities together into a single, modular application, and adds robust scalability for server clusters; multi-platform interactive online editing, including Java applet, Adobe Flash, and AJAX interfaces; print production automation features; powerful document manipulation capabilities for advanced users; and enhancements to make the product easier to use. The company is demonstrating portions of the new Pageflex application this week in booth #2262 at the On Demand Conference & Expo, running May 16-18 in Philadelphia. "The Pageflex release is truly a powerful next generation application that raises the bar for all variable data server applications on the market. Companies with high-volume, Web-to-print implementations will benefit from enterprise-level, mission-critical features and centralized administration," comments Costas Kitsos, Vice President of Engineering at Bitstream. "While customers interested in giving their users the ability to interactively edit text, images, and layout elements from within their Web browser will have the flexibility to deploy their editing interface using Java applets, Adobe Flash, or AJAX." This announcement also marks a shift in how Bitstream will present its Pageflex business. Bitstream turns 25 years old this year and is a global leader in fonts, font technologies, browsing and publishing software. Given the importance of the Pageflex product line to Bitstream's overall business and growth strategy as a public software company, Bitstream will begin promoting the Pageflex product line as an integral part of the Bitstream family of software products. "People who know Bitstream often are surprised that we are a worldwide leader in the booming variable data segment," explains Anna Chagnon, Bitstream President and CEO. "By naming our newest product 'Pageflex' and using 'Pageflex by Bitstream' in our marketing efforts we expect to capitalize on the name recognition of both Pageflex and Bitstream." Previously the company has sold separate server-based products for data-driven document customization, cross-media publishing, interactive online editing of documents, and Web-to-print document customization portals. Some customers owned one application, while others owned multiple applications to accomplish a broad array of variable publishing projects. The new Pageflex application brings all of these capabilities into one application. "Our customers now will be able to install a single application and turn on or off features based on their changing requirements," says Chagnon. "As their business grows, one application now will scale to meet their low-to-high variable data needs for personalization, template design, customization, cross-media publishing, online editing, and Web-to-print." The Pageflex application includes: -- All existing functionality that currently is available from Pageflex for data merge, Web form driven document production, and interactive online editing of variable documents. -- Extensive enhancements to support companies with high volume, multiple server requirements. New capabilities include built-in load balancing and failover across multiple systems; support for multiple job queues enabling concurrent job processing, batching, and priority processing; and centralized server administration with logging and reporting improvements. -- Multi-platform interactive online editing tool that supports Adobe Flash and AJAX based interfaces, in addition to the Java applet interface currently available, in both Windows and Macintosh Web browsers. -- A number of features supporting streamlined print production workflows. These include the ability to batch jobs with many variable records into a series of smaller jobs; the ability to assign paper trays on a press to individual document pages so that multiple stocks or pre-printed sheets can be co-mingled within a document; and step-and-repeat and cut-and-stack imposition options enabling one record or multiple records to be automatically imposed on a press sheet. -- The ability to manipulate the look, feel, and content of a variable document through scripting beyond what can be accomplished by using variables. This very powerful set of capabilities is called "Document Actions." By enabling users to write scripts that can be run before or after variable data is merged with the template design, the Pageflex application enables every aspect of the document to be manipulated on a record by record basis. Document Actions can query and modify variable values, content, attributes, pages, shapes, and text. -- The ability to copyfit multiple text containers in relation to one another. When variable text is copyfit the same format setting can be used on all specified text boxes. This ensures a consistent look across the entire document. -- Graphic design enhancements for both the desktop Pageflex Studio application, which is used to design templates, and the interactive online editing interface. These enhancements include the ability to have static or variable text on a path, a hand tool for panning the page, and snap-to-grid editing; as well as the addition of guides and grids to the interactive online editing interface. -- Improvements in response times when using the online interactive editing interface. Users will see speed increases when a template initially appears in the interface, and when interactively modifying shapes and text. -- Companies using the interactive online editing module will now have support for all Pageflex long document features and the ability to ingest subsets of variables. -- Support for the Adobe(R) PDF Library 7, direct PDF export from the Pageflex Studio design tool, and the ability to embed hypertext links in PDF output. -- Optimized PostScript and Optimized PDF drivers, which are specifically intended to benefit jobs involving single-file output with multiple records and recurring images. Results will vary depending upon individual projects, but most users should see a measurable to significant reduction in times for output generation, as well as file sizes. These drivers join the list of existing Pageflex output drivers: PostScript, PDF, EPS, HTML, GIF, JPEG, PPML, JLYT, VPS, VDX, and VIPP. "Pageflex users will be able to take advantage of our patented 'flex' technology, unique online interactive document layout and editing abilities, on-the-fly document resizing, online store creation and management features, variable-length document and automatic table of contents creation capabilities, and powerful cross-media features that can drive coordinated variable print, email and microsite campaigns, all from a single scalable and modular software application," comments Chagnon.




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