Lexigraph Manages High-Volume PDF Collections

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today's IT departments have created a new source of both opportunity and misery for print providers and print engine manufacturers – high-volume collections of small, individual PDF files. These collections, which together represent a transactional print "job", typically contain tens or hundreds of thousands of small, individual "statement" PDF files reflecting everything from cell phone bills to account or premium notices to bank and brokerage statements to other personalized documents. These PDF files are typically generated in an IT context to ensure that customers see exactly the same document whether they receive a printed copy or view their account online. Unfortunately IT-generate PDF files are typically not print ready, can't utilize technologies such as PPML for RIP performance improvement, aren't structured for finishing workflows and do not "play well" with traditional prepress tools. Lexigraph's new Carbon PDF Services (CPDFS) is the first commercial application to effectively address issues associated with the generation, management, and production printing of high-volume PDF collections.

"Over the last several years Lexigraph's customers have seen an exponential increase in the number of print jobs requiring the management and combination of component PDF files," said Todd R. Kueny, Sr., president of Lexigraph, Inc. "Today's desktop PDF tools are simply not effective for managing, preparing, combining and printing large collections of PDF files as a single print "job". We created the Carbon PDF Services for exactly this purpose" said Kueny.

"CPDFS addresses many common customer needs within the context of high volume PDF collection management including color management, error detection, padding page counts to booklet sizes, managing fonts, imposition, addition of timing marks, script driven control and automation, interpretation of PPML, job aggregation, reprints, and remote production monitoring. CPDFS distributes these tasks across multiple processors to gain a high degree of performance. Our customers must be able to create print-ready files in minutes in order to meet month- and year-end print volume requirements and contractual obligations; our customers are unwilling to wait hours or days to prepare a print job that will print in fifty minutes or less on a high-speed ink jet system. In a typical application CPDFS can prepare, validate and combine fifty thousand PDF files into a single print-ready file in less than nine minutes – far less time than it takes to RIP the job."

"CPDFS utilizes several advanced Lexigraph technologies to meet the requirements of its customers. First, CPDFS is based on the patented multi-processor-capable Lexigraph Ravenna Core. Ravenna Core is a Lexigraph PDF Library that allows PDF files to be split and manipulated across multiple processors simultaneously. Ravenna accomplishes this by pre-compiling the PDF file into a format that, while still completely compatible with the PDF standard, allows the Ravenna Library to randomly access the PDF content efficiently in a multi-processor context. In addition, Ravenna optimizes PDF files to improve RIP time. Lexigraph's pdfExpressXM is based on Ravenna Core.

"Second, CPDFS utilizes Lexigraph's Krypton Service for load balancing Ravenna-based PDF applications across multiple processors and servers. Krypton Service provides a fine level of control and monitoring over the distribution of work in a cluster of processors dedicated to CPDFS. This control allows a CPDFS workflow to scale linearly with the number of processors available. PDF files are split into efficient units of work based on the number of processors and the amount of memory available. Krypton allows remote clients to monitor and control the processing across a network or enterprise."

"Third and finally, CPDFS combines the Lexigraph Amaranth PDF Library with Krypton Service's conditional processing capabilities to deliver PDF workflows with full decision-making capabilities that can operate based on any aspect of a PDF file – page count, page size, content, bookmark, all the way down to specific PDF operators. Amaranth allows CPDFS to make these decisions while sorting more than one hundred PDF files per second."

"CPDFS eliminates the need for human intervention with source PDFs or their specific details" said Kueny, "this is crucial for making money with output services. With CPDFS you have a workflow you can rely on for your daily production needs – the workflow weeds out the problem files and job automatically, prepares the job for print, all without human intervention. CPDFS can accept input in the form of PDF, PDF with PPML, PDF with JDML, JLYT and other common digital print formats."

Lexigraph has been in the business of building efficient print workflow solutions since 1998. With customers in Europe, Japan, the US and Canada, Lexigraph's workflow solutions touch hundreds of millions on a daily basis through cell phone billing and advertising, home improvement, newspaper advertising, direct mail, elections, ID cards, and healthcare. Other Lexigraph products include pdfExpress for variable data PDF solutions, Argon for off-line PPML/PDF proofing, JayLight for converting Indigo RIP files to PDF, Krypton for managing and controlling jobs, RFM for managing RIPed digital assets, PPML conversion tools and Web-to-Print offerings.