Cambridge, United Kingdom (July 27, 2005) - The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress (CIP4) today announced public availability of a new Interoperability Conformance Specification (ICS) entitled "Layout Creation to Imposition."
This ICS defines the interface between a layout creation tool and any system that consumes and makes use of resulting output and layout metadata that the layout tool produces. The layout creation tool may be entirely manually driven, or it may be controlled using the JDF Stripping or "LayoutPreparation" processes. Examples of consuming systems include any software tool that produces an imposed content file, or a prepress software or workflow system that performs a RIPing process and impositioning. When the consuming system is a prepress workflow system, it will be configured in such a way that the JDF file supplied by the imposition design tool is not merged with JDF from
"One interesting aspect of this ICS is that it's the first that can be used in a workflow with no MIS," said CIP4 CEO Martin Bailey of Global Graphics Software. "It provides a framework that will make installation of the simplest common JDF workflows, where an imposition design program feeds directly into a RIP that can perform the JDF Imposition process, very easy indeed."
Typically, ICS documents look at the interface between the manager of a job, (i.e., a workflow system, Print MIS, pressroom management system, and so on), and the worker (e.g., the system or software that will perform the desired process). In addition to a base ICS document that applies to all JDF-enabled devices, the first batch of ICS documents published in January of 2005 cover a variety of interfaces, including:
* MIS to Prepress
* Prepress to Conventional Printing
* MIS to Conventional Printing - Sheetfed
* Integrated Digital Printing
These ICS documents define the roles of the "manager" and "worker," including their ability to read and write JDF and minimum support for Job Messaging Format options as well as additional data typing, defining how jobs files are to be exchanged or identified, and required support for particular JDF processes and resources. It's important to note that ICS documents do not add to the JDF specification, but rather, they provide additional constrains and a subset of JDF specific to the interface that they define. (ICS documents are available to the public as PDF files for download. Please see http://www.cip4.org/document_archive/ics.php.)
More ICS documents are in development and the Layout Creation to Imposition ICS is the first to address workflows in which there is no "manager" system. ICS documents will be used as the basis for certification testing and CIP4 has contracted with PIA/GATF as the first certification testing facility. In 2007 the industry will start seeing products labeled as "JDF Certified" and each certification test will be to a specific ICS document."
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