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PrintTalk Releases Version 1.0 of the PrintTalk Specification

Press release from the issuing company

July 10,2001 - PrintTalk, a consortium of companies providing Business Management and eCommerce Solutions (BMS & eCS) for the Graphic Arts industry, announced the release of Version 1.0 of the PrintTalk specification. Version 1.0 complements the recently released JDF (Job Definition Format) Specification Release 1.0. When PrintTalk released its first draft “implementation” at Graph Expo 2000, the JDF Specification was still under development and the new release now complies with all of the requirements of JDF 1.0 which makes implementation of the PrintTalk requirements easy for JDF developers to incorporate in their software. “PrintTalk has established itself as an important contributor to the development of JDF”, said William K. “Kip” Smythe, President of PrintTalk. “The writers of JDF needed input on how printers and print buyers define jobs and PrintTalk had the market expertise to provide the definitions and the technical expertise in cXML to define the appropriate coding”, he added. Through a cooperative relationship with CIP4, the group responsible for developing the JDF specification, PrintTalk has made extensive contributions to the JDF document as well. The Business Object Model and Chapter 7 of JDF that defines “Intent Resources”, as well as the specifications for a print job from a print buyer, were contributed by PrintTalk. Intent Resources is a language for describing what is to be produced, without having any knowledge of the production facility. It supports either generic descriptions or specific descriptions (3-hole drill vs. hole#1: specific size and shape placed at specific X:Y coordinates). It also supports data ranges, such as a customer furnished specification for text stock with a basis weight of 50 to 60#. In a related item, CIP4’s eCommerce Committee elected Mark Huckabone (PrintTalk’s technical chair) as its new chairperson of CIP4’s E-commerce Working Group. The two groups intend to continue to collaborate on related projects, but remain independent. According to Mark, “Several months into the process of creating PrintTalk, the link between our goals and those of CIP4's JDF team became obvious. Meetings ensued, and PrintTalk began working with CIP4 to incorporate our buyer specifications into the JDF framework”. While the recently released JDF standard is still in an early adoption phase in the industry, the PrintTalk group expects to become the first widely accepted implementation of JDF. "The PrintTalk standard demonstrates JDF's versatility and flexibility by defining rules for collaboration in an eCommerce environment while closing the gap between production workflow and the print buyer. PrintTalk validates JDF as a flexible and extensible base for streamlining and accelerating print production processes", said Dr. Rainer Prosi, Chief Technical Officer of the CIP4 consortium and software architect with Heidelberg. Like JDF and cXML, the PrintTalk standard is distributed free of any license fees or royalties. By doing this, the group hopes to gain wide spread use of the standard. "CIP4 and the PrintTalk consortium jointly encourage wide adoption and active support of these complementary industry standards" according to Jim Mekis, Vice President of PrintTalk. "True interoperability in the graphic arts industry requires the support of common and open standards by all suppliers to the industry, and JDF plus PrintTalk address this need. The introduction of products providing this interoperability will deliver a brighter and more efficient future for the industry as a whole." The PrintTalk consortium plans to continue to work closely with CIP4 on further JDF enhancements and will continue to develop the PrintTalk Business Objects independently. The initial release of PrintTalk contains support for Request for Quote, Quote, Change Order, and Purchase Order. Follow up versions are planned to provide specification for Order Confirmation, Order Status Request, Order Status, and Invoice. "NexPress actively participates in PrintTalk to help promote standards that enable the print industry to grow -- defining a common and open communications interface between Business Management and e-commerce solutions for the Graphic Arts industry", said Venkat Purushotham, president and chief executive officer of NexPress Solutions LLC. "NexPress supports PrintTalk's mission to adopt the broadly published Job Definition Format (JDF) and Commercial eXtensible Markup Language (cXML), and to have its work recognized as an important implementation of the proposed JDF standard". Specifications and examples released in Version 1.0 are available for download by any interested party at www.PrintTalk.org. Membership in PrintTalk is open to any company which develops software for graphic arts applications and which supports implementation of the JDF standard and an open communications interface between products. For full information about PrintTalk, membership criteria and application forms, visit the web site at www.PrintTalk.org. NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies serves as secretariat to PrintTalk, with NPES Vice President William K. Smythe as administrator. The Association is located at 1899 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4367, Telephone 703/264-7200, fax 703/620-0994, www.npes.org. NPES is a U.S. trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in manufacturing and importing for sale or distribution of machinery, equipment, systems, software and supplies used in every printing, publishing and converting process from desktop design and image generation and processing to multiple output options and targeted dissemination systems. Information about NPES, its programs and its member companies is available on the Association web site at www.npes.org. The Association serves as secretariat to the following standards activities: The American National Standards Institute accredited B65Committee, charged with the development of safety standards for printing and finishing equipment; the ANSI accredited Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) to support and foster graphic arts standards activities and the develop technical standards where no applicable developer is available; the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee 130, Graphic Technology, responsible for coordinating the U.S. position and participation in the international standards activities of the ISO’s TC 130.