The American National Standards Institute, an accredited Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS), defined an open, variable data exchange standard, making it easier for designers to create and proof variable data jobs, and for commercial printers to produce them. CGATS.20 Graphic technology, a variable printing data exchange using PPML and PDF (PPML/VDX), defines a standardized implementation of the PPML specification using PDF-based workflows for exchanging variable printing data.
"As PrintShop Mail has played a significant role in variable data printing since 1992, we embrace the PPML/VDX standard as the next step to naturally serve the Print Production Industry. PPML/VDX will allow the industry to extend the predictability of their print jobs worldwide," explains Harry Raaphorst, president, Atlas Software.
PPML/VDX builds upon the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and PODi's Personalized Print Mark-up Language (PPML) to create an open standard for variable data exchange. This enables documents that will combine both database information and variable content to be created through a "save as' command in new software products to create variable data print jobs. PPML/VDX creates a well-defined verifiable data format that allows designers and printers to exchange final form, variable documents electronically.
"The PPML/VDX standard opens the door for designers and IT professionals to collaborate on variable data applications for both print and e-commerce using familiar, open standards such as PDF, XML and PPML.," explains Todd R. Kueny, president, Think121. "We expect this standard to drive strong growth and open exciting new market opportunities in content delivery services related to graphic arts, e-commerce and the Internet."
A PPML/VDX compliant job includes creative content from current design applications and variable information from common database applications. The standard combines PPML's capabilities for encoding the layout of variable data with the PDF format's openness, reliability and soft-proofing benefits. The use of PPML/VDX will reduce the need for extensive communication between designers and printers.