For Immediate Release June 23, 1999
Grande Vitesse Systems Web Site: www.gvsweb.com
Metropolis Server Workflow : Databases Server--OPI & Output Manager
San Francisco, C.A., June 23rd, 1999 – Workflow is a topic being discussed
more and more often at industry conferences. The word "work" "flow"
might suggest its own solution--rearranging or optimizing the flow of work (data)
through the production process. It's obvious that we wouldn't be discussing
it so much if merely current Macs and applications automatically led to the
levels of production we require. Vendors aim to improve workflow by automating
the "print pipeline"--the automatic passing of PostScript files through
OPI, trapping and impositioning. Allowing faster access to central image bank
for rework and designee.
In addition you will need to take the approach in looking at all of the data
management time wasted in the cracks between the tasks. Examples include searching
folders for files, dealing with "disk full" on each machine and server
on an ad hoc basis "between jobs" and costly manually ordering files
and backing up jobs. Yet these are exactly the kinds of things (and more) that
a production database can do with increase in storage and nerline backup. It
can do these tasks in a more predictable, organized way. It can allow searches
nearly instantly that provide you information about a job or job element status.
In short, it will help you get more organized to make better decisions as the
jobs and job elements pass from stage to stage during production and after archiving.
And it doesn't stop there. As you capture the data files and organize them in
the database, you have positioned yourself to offer new services to your customers.
At the very least, you can offer on-line management and quick customer response
for distributing low resolution versions of scans as well as remote browsing
capabilities that will help tie your customers more closely to your business.
Because the database acts as a necessary central repository for all of your
accumulated on-line, nearline and off-line content, it can be used in the future
for repurposing (or multipurposing in the new lingo).
There is quite a story in how the lingo changed this summer from "repurposing"
to "multipurposing." Repurposing has now come to mean taking information
intended for one medium (e.g. QuarkXPress documents intended for print) and
reusing them in another medium (e.g. the Web). Without a database, you have
to extract the content and re-tag in say, HTML. No matter how you automate the
process, one is a derivative of the other with no live links between them. Change
one and then you have to re-edit the other. What we all want is to have two
renditions of the same centrally managed content. And, better yet, to have them
published as automatically as possible to different media.
Multipurposing, not repurposing, offers the only hope of content reuse with
a profit. And a central database Server is the key to both. So start today using
a database to improve workflow and it will not only pay for itself by allowing
you to offer data management services, it will also put you squarely on the
road to multipurposing.
MediaBank is a prepress database that allows you to track, browse, archive and
purge any prepress job element including images, text, fonts, illustrations
and documents. MediaBank is comprised of a client application that runs on Mac
and Windows and back-end database processes that run on UNIX.
MediaBank is a collection of databases that gather and maintain extra information
about the files on your network. Using "hot" drop folders as one method
of entry into a MediaBank database, it efficiently associates with each file
dropped onto the server a rich set of up to 20 user-definable keywords, five
hierarchical user-definable keywords, five flat user-definable keywords and
an unlimited comments field. MediaBank keeps track of the physical location
of any job or element so that you can easily find, move, purge or copy it to
some other media. In addition, it automatically extracts and records important
information during the prepress workflow such as the size of a job, how long
the job took to merge, which images were used in the job, how many times an
image was printed and to which devices it was printed. It tracks the relationship,
usage and availability of each element and allows you to assign status to elements
so that, at a glance, you can see how efficiently your production is running.
There are three ways to catalog files to the MediaBank databases. First, you
may choose a folder or set of folders and catalog everything pertaining to a
specific set of keywords. Second, you may drag and drop specific files into
any number of "hot" drop folders that have a particular set of keywords
associated with them. Or, you can select single or multiple files from the Macintosh
or Windows browser and have them indexed to MediaBank. In all three cases, the
files may be cataloged to one or more databases, and the files may be assigned
to one or more job categories.
Multiple Databases, Security
You can create and maintain any number of independent databases in one MediaBank
installation. By providing each database with particular security and access
authority, you can protect job and/or customer information from accidental changes
or mix-ups for same-named elements. Users log on to MediaBank with password
authentication. Different permission levels can be assigned to individual users.
Search and Browse
MediaBank allows you to quickly locate job elements and check their status during
the publishing and prepress process. Any element or job can be found by searches
based on any attribute of the element including file type, date, comments, keywords,
job id, status, etc. You can search by a single attribute or define a search
based on complex combinations of attributes. Common searches can be saved for
efficient reuse. Searches can be performed on any number of databases simultaneously.
Once located, a single click can assign an image to a Quark XPress or PageMaker
page. Also, selected elements can be dragged and dropped into job windows.
Archive and Restore
Unlike point applications, MediaBank supports both a distributed computing model
for quick workstation browsing and uses a client\server architecture for executing
heavy-duty prepress functions such as archive, restore, copy, move and purge.
These more substantial operations are initiated, with the proper authority,
from the browser and are performed in the background on the server.
OPI Server Overview
OPI Server is the industry's most advanced OPI/DCS image print server. It offers
the dramatic acceleration of OPI processing, freeing up MacOS and Windows workstations
Drop folders are used for performing high resolution to low resolution ViewFile
conversions. For easy access, low resolution ViewFiles can automatically be
placed in separate folders from high resolution files. This feature allows image
editing to be performed concurrently with page layout functions. High resolution
images are kept in image libraries. Drop folder nesting is unlimited.
Images are located anywhere on one or more servers.
Folder-to-Folder: Input PostScript jobs are continuously read from an input
folder, merged with high resolution files and the file is output to a folder.
Folder-to-Queue: Input PostScript jobs are continuously read from an input folder,
merged with high resolution files and then added to an output printer's queue.
Queue-to-Folder: PostScript jobs from an OS queue are removed from the queue,
the OPI merge is performed and the fully resolved PostScript is written to a
file in an output folder.
Queue-to-Queue: Images are merged on-the-fly as PostScript is streamed to the
imagesetter. Supports both OMIT & INCLUDE images providing full flexibility
in the use of both OPI and non-OPI images.
Special Color Proofing: OPI provides a color merging option which blends DCS
separations back into one CMYK print job for high quality color proofs.
Special Color Separations: OPI provides optimal separation of single file CMYK
EPS by separating the CMYK EPS into its components on each layer of a print
Nested OPI Output: Provides support for image call outs within images. For example,
a page may call out an ad which in turn calls out an image.
OPI can be configured to generate EPS or TIFF ViewFiles for TIFF or Scitex CT
originals, and it can generate EPS low resolution files for EPS or DCS originals.
The resolution of the ViewFile can be specified as a property of the drop folder
as well as whether the ViewFile should be printable without the use of an OPI
server. These EPS ViewFiles can be renamed, intentionally or accidentally, and
OPI will still be able to find the high resolution originals.
OPI Server is compatible with OPI-aware desktop publishing applications such
as QuarkXpress, PageMaker, Archetype Designer and Multi-Ad Creator. It is compatible
with Island Trapper and Adobe TrapWise, as well as Farrukh Imposition Publisher,
ScenicSoft PREPS, Ultimate ImpoStrip and Adobe PressWise. Client applications
can color separate, rotate, position, scale, resize as well as rectangularly
or irregularly crop ViewFiles on the page. Colorized lineart and grayscale images
are also supported.
An easy-to-use Macintosh client application is provided to install and administer
OPI processing on the server. Requirements:
Output Manager Overview
Output Manager is a desktop print queue manager focused on the effective coordination
of PostScript output. It displays queues, output devices and print status information
on your Mac or Windows client workstation in an easy to learn graphical display.
* Drag & drop jobs from queue to queue
* Move, copy, add to queues by drag & drop
* View history of processed jobs
* Drag-connect queues to printers
* Full support for polling RIPs * OPI pre-flight check for image availability
* OPI merge status information display
* Aged queues for simultaneous proof/final output
* Error queue that holds jobs for manual override
* Hold queues
* Local or remote administration: Mac or Windows
* Perform queue balancing between output devices to maximize throughput
* Print Queue display: shows the jobs and their status as they go through the
* Re-order Jobs: Use drag & drop to re-order jobs within a queue.
* Print History: Shows log of job and job status.
* Reconfiguration: Drag lines from queues to printers to make connections. Double
click to edit the properties of each; take printers on- and off-line, hold,
set start time and date, etc.
Output Manager is compatible with OPI-aware desktop publishing applications
such as QuarkXPress, PageMaker, Archetype Designer
The user interface is the same on the Mac and Windows workstation independent
of server platform.