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ScenicSoft Endorses JDF/CIP4 and Targets Print Manufacturing Integration

Press release from the issuing company

August 29, 2001 Lynnwood, Washington — ScenicSoft announced in early August that upcoming releases of two of its software products, Preps and UpFront, support the CIP4 Job Definition Format (JDF). The JDF specification is controlled by the CIP4 organization, of which ScenicSoft and many other industry-leading organizations are members. ScenicSoft, a committee member since 1997, endorses the common, XML-based job management approach that JDF represents. Solutions that build on the new standard offer the printing and publishing industries the potential for real cost savings. "ScenicSoft acknowledges that JDF is a valuable conduit for facilitating and standardizing data exchange among its own applications as well as between the ScenicSoft product suite and solutions from other vendors," says Bert Van Hoof, ScenicSoft vice president of engineering. "ScenicSoft considers the rollout of JDF-compatible product releases a starting point in moving the standard forward. Although there are still some gaps in the JDF specification that need to be addressed, there is no better way to expose missing elements than by targeting concrete goals and deliverables." Preps 4.1, scheduled for release in November, includes JDF output as well as CIP3 (PPF) data output for POLAR™ cutters. ScenicSoft opted to implement CIP3 PPF files for communicating cutting data because the company continues to focus on achieving the goals of customers in need of real-world solutions. An October upgrade to the company’s production planning tool, UpFront 1.5, also includes JDF import as well as CIP3 cutting data output. UpFront’s JDF import data is expected to come from print management and estimating systems. Capturing upstream estimation records through JDF eliminates manual re-entry of data in UpFront and permits users to immediately jump to the task at hand: planning the job. Smart reuse of metadata streamlines the workflow and removes possible sources of errors. This type of integration and connectivity substantially increases the overall value of both communicating solutions. Even print organizations that work with homegrown or non-industry-specific ERP and CRM systems can now consider UpFront connectivity through an open XML-based standard. Both Preps 4.1 and UpFront 1.5 will be demonstrated at Print™ 01 in Chicago. ScenicSoft’s JDF implementation has room to grow, and connectivity with third-party solutions provides the necessary feedback to guide further development. In the meantime, users are taking advantage of the significant steps ScenicSoft already has taken in providing an automated solution. With the added JDF and PPF support and the already existing connectivity between UpFront, Preps, and other ScenicSoft applications, users are installing and building solutions today that connect the entire range of activities from the CSR all the way into the bindery. Providing enabling technology to assist ScenicSoft’s most advanced and forward-looking customers in such efforts remains a key focus for the company. Throughout its history, ScenicSoft has successfully built bridges with third-party organizations. The company’s record should increase people’s confidence that JDF is more than a bullet on the marketing sheet. The work with third-party vendors has given users better options to achieve goals that were deemed unrealistic and unachievable just a few years ago.

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