A New Hope for JDF?
Standards association issues new specs for better communication.
Standards development association the International Cooperation for the Integration of the Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) this week released new print e-commerce and automation specifications to allow for better communication among “JDF-enabled” devices.
The new specifications—PrintTalk 1.3 and a set of Interoperability Conformance Specifications (ICS)—are based on the 1.3 version of JDF, a production standard designed to automate production workflow. According to Brandon Iskey, computational research scientist at graphic arts trade association PIA/GATF, the specifications are meant to set tighter standards between different areas of the production workflow. Iskey is working with CIP4 to carry out certification of JDF-enabled devices using ICS standards.
“Before, JDF was mainly for production purposes only (printing the job),” Iskey wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. “Now, with PrintTalk, JDF has moved more upstream to the content creation stages. In the near future, people will be able to submit files/jobs via Web to print interfaces and can receive an estimate from your MIS system. Proofs will become digital and can be edited/approved via email.”
Iskey says the affects of these standards will not be immediate but will be when purchasing or leasing a new device. “Those which are certified will save time and money by guaranteeing a level of interoperability,” he writes.
Only 5 percent of respondents to FOLIO:’s Digital Production Trends survey, published in September 2007, said they work with files in JDF. At the time, Guy Gleysteen, senior vice president of production at Time Inc., said, “The issue is not the standard, it’s the fact that most publishers have not taken steps to truly automate their system-to-system processes, so we haven’t seen any significant implementation. The practical issue lies in the fact that JDF is a format; actual implementation requires investment and development.”
In February, FOLIO: reported that Reed Business Information was transitioning to an all-JDF workflow to automate every step from creation of ads and editorial to layout, production and delivery as well as management of deadlines, circulation, budgeting and inventory information.