The Alphabet of Automation
The onslaught of technical acronyms leaves many creative professionals, print buyers, and printers feeling as though they're simmering in a pot of alphabet soup. But once they're understood, Adobe's XMP and PDF, and the JDF work together to streamline and simplify workflows from beginning to end.
Adobe XMP and PDF, and the JDF start the capture of key information for the creative professionals, and automate tasks throughout the workflow. Although PDF is well known, JDF and XMP are relative newcomers.
Perhaps less understood is how they fit together to save time, improve, productivity and, ultimately, reduce costly errors. Think of Adobe PDF as the 'universal communication channel', XMP as 'the describer', and JDF as 'the process controller'.
Print buyers can reduce costs and eliminate problems associated with submitting jobs to printers by using the PDF as the delivery channel. The printer creates the PDF according to the his specifications, capturing the object, images, and fonts associated with a file.
An Adobe PDF packages image files, eliminates font problems by encapsulating them, and can be created at specific resolutions. Without the PDF, creatives manually bundle up source files, graphics, and fonts, and submit them to their printer, which can lead to time-consuming and costly errors.
For example, images might not be of the right color space or resolution. Graphics links might be wrong. Fonts might be missing fonts. Because Adobe PDF can capture all print related assets in a single file, it is the perfect file format for an automated workflow.
Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform, or XMP, embeds information about assets (data about data, or 'metadata') into the file itself. For example, digital cameras automatically record information about a photograph, such as date and time, camera type, exposure and lens setting, and add this to the image file.
This is metadata. Additional metadata can be manually added, such as where the photo was taken, the photographer's name, an article slug, etc., to enable searches for this asset associated with a job.