The Next Wave - Digital Directions
"PROSE and PJTF both can be used by customers to send a set of job instructions to their prepress house or printer. PJTF, designed to be embedded within the actual content files, contains a set of instructions for operations to be performed on the images being sent, as well as the image placement within the final printed product.
"PROSE is sent as a separate file. While it does contain placement information for all images in the job, it does not have prepress operations. PROSE files have far more detailed manufacturing instructions and support versioning, which PJTF does not."
Scott Seebass, president at Xinet, on mainstreaming digital asset management (DAM) and the direct-to-plate push for dynamic DFEs.
"In 1999, providing asset management to customers will move from the early adopters to the mainstream. Vendors that are realistic about what DAM can actually deliver—and promise their customers only what they can deliver—will finish the year with a competitive advantage. Service providers that have developed or invested in systems with high, ongoing costs will have a hard time competing against those using off-the-shelf products that succeed in lowering overall costs.
"The emerging trend of DAM vendors failing or exiting the industry should continue and, by the end of 1999, there will be far fewer players in the market serving far more customers.
"As for DFE directions, customers of graphic arts service providers are demanding quicker turnarounds and higher quality, but they don't want to pay more for it. In order to compete in this market, companies need a fully digital workflow that can handle all jobs quickly and reliably. The main force driving customers to digital front ends is direct-to-plate, which promises both lower costs and higher quality.
"Direct-to-plate demands an all-digital workflow; digital front ends are necessary to provide the same proofing integrity that was available in traditional prepress. Service providers that have not made the transition to all-digital by the end of 1999 will be prime targets for the industry consolidators."