CIP4 Standard--Digital Integration
"The printing and publishing industry needs a robust and widely implemented standard supporting e-commerce, automation, computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) and the ability for products from a variety of vendors to work together," stated Martin Bailey, senior technical consultant at Harlequin and acting chair of the CIP4 interim advisory board, during the time of the July 14th announcement.
"JDF is a long way ahead of any alternatives at this point, and we are delighted to see it moving to an open standards body where everybody can contribute to its further development," he added.
What's in an Acronym?
What is JDF? The most significant capabilities of JDF can be divided into three principal categories: JDF's ability to complete every part of a job, from start to finish; its ability to link MIS with production; and its ability to perform both of the first two tasks, no matter what tools are used.
JDF provides a mechanism to control all of the processes in print production. Unlike other job ticket formats, JDF allows the description of all the processes needed to complete a printed product, from job submission through prepress, press and postpress.
Sound familiar? It certainly did to the CIP3 consortium. JDF also provides a mechanism to allow production automation systems, or MIS, to control and track jobs. Essentially, JDF supplies a messenger service to run between MIS and production. As each process in a job executes, the results are recorded into the job to facilitate tracking each aspect.
In addition, JDF defines a messaging architecture, which includes message formats, semantics and message protocols. JDF devices use this architecture to communicate with systems that control print production facilities. System vendors, therefore, are given a great deal of flexibility in terms of how they choose to use the messaging architecture, and whether they provide both notification and control facilities.