JDF: Connecting Systems, Automating Setup
THE GRAPHIC arts market saw the need for industry standards and understood the growing XML (Extensible Markup Language) development when it supported the decision to create CIP4 (www.cip4.org). This association includes major equipment and software vendors in prepress, digital printing, offset and finishing.
CIP4 created the Job Definition Format (JDF) as a standard way to exchange and understand job information. This process can begin to empower creative and production staffs to support an efficient manufacturing process. Tremendous efficiency can result from understanding the interdependence of each department.
We largely still depend on paper-based processes that are isolated and disconnected with our current way of doing business. These original processes were set up before we had the ability to think of connecting systems with intelligent information and automation. As the creative options expand, so does the need for simplifying and standardizing the critical information elements each process requires.
The ultimate goal is the seamless and transparent connection of all elements in the print process. The job information can automate the data collection process.
The JDF XML standard was designed to act as the conduit for linking the disparate points of the print process. With JDF transparently embedded into each print process, creators of content can move closer to being assured that what they have created is what will be fulfilled.
In addition, managers of the content and print process can begin to experience the benefits of a greatly reduced need for proofing and validation along with an increase in efficiency of the entire process.
The JDF file format provides the job information that has been written and communicated in many different ways into an automated process. This infrastructure begins to allow an entire digital workflow process to create a true manufacturing process with real time information.
JDF In Action