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CIP4 Announces Availability of XJDF

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The CIP4 Organization, a not-for-profit standards association fostering the adoption of process automation in the printing industry, is pleased to announce the availability of XJDF, an iteration of the JDF standard designed to simplify workflow automation by making it both easier to implement and far easier to validate using standard XML tools. CIP4 developed XJDF to build on learnings with the JDF standard over the past nearly two decades. The new standard will coexist with JDF 1.6, which is being released simultaneously. The parallel development of both versions offers options to industry stakeholders wishing to incorporate JDF, XJDF or both into their product offerings and/or production environments.

“The original versions of the Job Description Format (JDF) specification were based on the idea of a complete electronic job ticket,” explains Rainer Prosi, Technical Officer for CIP4. “But in many cases, this provides too much information for devices such as printing presses, platesetters or finishing devices that do not require that much data to execute their activities and return status information. XJDF allows transmission of only the required and/or available data with no need to specify values for data that does not exist or is not needed by the receiving device. In effect, it is a lighter version of JDF, as evidenced by its 440-page specification, as opposed to the 1,000-page JDF specification. XJDF offers an ideal means of facilitating communication among web-to-print, MIS, production and other systems to simplify workflow automation.”

Prosi points out that XJDF co-exists with JDF, with one format not excluding the other, and both will continue to be developed In addition, a full intellectual property (IP) review has been conducted, and XJDF is free of known IP issues. “We are looking forward to working with industry stakeholders as they begin to implement this new standard,” Prosi added. “Resources include our white paper, XJDF: The Evolution of JDF, available at https://confluence.cip4.org/display/PUB/XJDF+-+The+evolution+of+JDF that provides background information and as well as information helpful for implementation. In addition, www.cip4.org hosts the XJDF specification, XJDF and JDF side-by-side comparisons, and much more (https://confluence.cip4.org/). And for those interested in more detail in an in-person environment, CIP4 will be hosting a public session at the upcoming InterOp in Bologna, Italy, 5 to 9 March 2018.”

CIP4 Announces Availability of XJDF

For more information about the Bologna InterOp, visit https://confluence.cip4.org/display/PUB/InterOp. This is InterOp #34 hosted by CIP4; InterOps are designed as learning opportunities where failure is an option and the goal is to improve products. A book about XJDF has also been published and is available at (https://ricebean.net/xjdf). For more information about CIP4, XJDF and JDF standards, visit www.cip4.org.

CIP4 brings together vendors, consultants, and end-users in the print communications, graphic arts industry, and associated sectors, covering a variety of equipment, software, peripherals, and processes. Members participate in focused working groups to define the Job Definition Format (JDF), Exchange Job Definition Format (XJDF), PrintTalk, and other standards relevant to process automation; to study user requirements; to test product interoperability; and to develop a range of JDF software development tools as well as educational resources. Information on CIP4, including membership details, is available from the organization’s website: www.cip4.org.

The Job Definition Format (JDF) and Exchange Job Definition Format (XJDF) are the industry specifications designed to facilitate process automation and the integration of different applications and systems in and around the graphic arts industry. Widely adopted and recognized worldwide as key industry standards, JDF and XJDF also enable the integration of business management and job planning applications into the production workflow. JDF and XJDF are based on the W3C’s Extensible Markup Language (XML), ensuring maximum interoperability between different platforms and ready interaction with Internet systems. More information is available at www.cip4.org. For additional questions about the XJDF and JDF 1.6 specifications and schema availability and technical details, please contact CIP4’s Technical Officer, Rainer Prosi of Heidelberg, at technical_officer@cip4.org.

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