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WoodWing releases new version of Smart Catalog

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Zaandam, The Netherlands - WoodWing Software has released new versions of its Smart Catalog productivity plugins for Adobe InDesign and InCopy, extending the functionality with powerful formatting rules, and integrating Smart Catalog with WoodWing's Enterprise publishing system.

Smart Catalog is WoodWing's solution to speed up production of catalogs, price lists, TV guides and other publications that rely on external data. By connecting an InDesign layout to a structured data source such as a database, the correct information can be easily published - and updated - without manual copy-and-paste work. At the same time, Smart Catalog allows clever filtering to extract only the desired information, while taking care of complex formatting on-the-fly.

"We wanted our customers to be able to completely automate the tedious production of data-rich documents," said Erik Schut, President of WoodWing Software. "Producing this kind of publication is usually very time-consuming and error-prone. When automating this process, precise control over filtering and formatting of the published data is crucial. This is where Smart Catalog and its new formatting rules come into play."

Featuring new Formatting Rules

A formatting rule allows the designer to create a filter to make a precise selection of the data coming in from either a plain text file (csv), XML or ODBC source, or WoodWing's Enterprise publishing system. The rule also defines exactly how to present and format this data, using InDesign features such as character styles. As more rules can be combined into a rule set, control over the final output is incredibly precise. The same set of options are available when placing images.

"This precise control is also of major importance to customers that use Smart Catalog in conjunction with Enterprise, our publishing system," Schut added. "Imagine the amount of structured data that will be published when creating a TV guide. Programs, different channels, days of the week, sections and special characters - such as for ratings - have their own formatting and colors. This can all be poured into the design automatically now, once the formatting rules are in place. That changes the creation process profoundly."

Three versions address various needs

Customers can select from three versions of Smart Catalog, depending on the data sources used and other requirements. The standard Smart Catalog plugin supports comma-separated files (.cvs) and offers extensive formatting rules. Smart Catalog Pro includes the Smart Styles and Smart Layout plugins for additional task automation, and adds supports for ODBC and XML, as well as scripting. Finally, the Enterprise version offers all the above, as well as an integration with WoodWing's Enterprise publishing system, offering advanced database publishing capabilities to larger environments.




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