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RoboCatalog Suite Now Shipping

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Press release from the issuing company

TORONTO, March 31, 2004  -  RoboCatalog Inc., the catalog automation software company powered by publishing industry experts Michael Kieran and Chuck Weger, has announced the shipment of RoboCatalog Suite 1.0. At a fraction of the price of existing catalog publishing packages - and offering installation and integration in days or weeks, rather than months or years - RoboCatalog Suite automates the production of graphically complex catalog pages by integrating a database of product content and images directly within Adobe(r) InDesign(r) CS. "Catalog publishers have struggled for years to create visually compelling pages out of chaotic content - ever-changing images, product descriptions, and editions for different languages or pricing zones," says Michael Kieran, president of RoboCatalog. "The struggle is over. RoboCatalog Suite streamlines page creation and approval, allowing our customers to save time, increase sales, and get to market faster." "Life's too short to waste time recreating the same kinds of catalog pages, over and over again", says Mr. Kieran. "Even if most of your content changes from one catalog to the next, RoboCatalog can help leverage your page and data designs to make subsequent catalog cycles easier." To streamline real-world catalog page production, software should ideally overlap many domains, including relational databases, digital asset management, color management, page assembly, document review and approval. Until now, catalog publishers wanting to adopt this kind of data-driven system have had to either build one themselves (very difficult) or spend upwards of $500,000 on one of the existing high-end packages (very expensive). Most data-driven catalog packages are focused on long parts catalogs, such as those used in the automotive, electrical, and electronics industries. In contrast, business-to-business and business-to-consumer catalogs today require a much higher level of visual appeal. Compelling design is essential for attracting today's sophisticated consumer. RoboCatalog Suite streamlines production with its powerful database, preconfigured for catalog publishing and easily adaptable to any production workflow.  An innovative alternative to name-brand databases costing tens of thousands of dollars, RoboCatalog includes the robust open-source mySQL database, at no extra cost. RoboCatalog Suite consists of three modules: – RoboCatalog Manager lets users create new catalogs; define page size and page count; add or edit product information; assign products to pages or spreads; and preview the way a spread appears when different templates are assigned. – RoboCatalog Builder seamlessly integrates into Adobe InDesign CS, automatically assembling catalog spreads using the database, layout templates, and visual assets. – RoboCatalog Server is invisible to end users, accessible only to the system administrator for maintaining the database and automatically filing visual assets. Page layouts are generated in InDesign CS, providing users complete access to its innovative typography, powerful production capabilities and cross-media support. RoboCatalog's unique "round-trip editing" feature lets users modify pages in either Manager or Builder, with instant updating in both modules every time a spread is saved. RoboCatalog president Michael Kieran is a leading expert in digital color, having designed and built color production systems for some of North America's leading newspapers, magazines, and catalog publishers. From 1985 through 2000, Mr. Kieran was president of DPA Communications Inc. of Toronto, where he delivered seminars on digital color production to more than 50,000 people worldwide. He is also the author of four books on digital color, most recently Photoshop Color Correction (Peachpit Press, 2003). Chuck Weger, RoboCatalog's chief technology officer, has been programming computers for over thirty years, and is widely known for inventing the preflight concept, now used throughout the graphics production industry. He has built publishing automation systems for some of North America's leading companies. With RoboCatalog Suite, Chuck and his team have engineered an exceptionally powerful, easy-to-use tool that can be mastered in a few days. RoboCatalog Suite is available immediately, and is already creating catalog pages for one of North America's largest giftware manufacturers. It will be on display at the Annual Catalog Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago May 3rd through 5th, 2004. For further information, please visit www.robocatalog.com, or contact Michael Kieran at 905.893.2274 or michael@robocatalog.com.




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