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  • #16
    FusionPro VDP Creator (MAC/Windows) is a good VDP application to start with. It can process up to 350 records per minute, but can be less depending on the number of rules, variable elements etc in the VDP document. If speed is a prerequisite, then the next level up is FusionPro Producer. It's a windows only server based solution, which includes up to 5 FusionPro Designer client licences (MAC/Windows). They can only output 1 record locally, but are designed to be used with the FusionPro server version. This means that the local computer isn't locked up processing hundreds/thousands of records and allows you to work on the next document or something else. If you're looking to have more than two FusionPro licences, then FusionPro Producer becomes an interesting option in terms of price.

    Just note that the FusionPro VDP Creator plugin works mainly in Acrobat Professional to build your rules and elements. It's only used in InDesign to mark elements in the design, which you want to be variable. Then you export the layout/design from InDesign via the FusionPro plugin out to Acrobat where you start building the VDP document. From my own experience with customers, they don't always have access to the original InDesign file, just the PDF. So, that for me is an advantage.

    You can link it to Fusionpro Expressions, which is a cost add on, where you can design personalised pictures (there are prebuilt designs within Expressions and prebuilt templates that you can buy) ie. have someone's name in the sand or on a bottle of wine etc.

    The FusionPro forum is excellent in my experience. If you have a question, you can normally find someone else who has asked a similar question. If not, create an account and post your question. There are a couple of FusionPro developers on there and hundreds more who have been using FusionPro for years.

    FYI. My company sells FusionPro in Europe. The other VDP application that we sell, is PrintShop Mail, which is a dedicated VDP application (not a plugin). The main differences are that you can use XML directly as data input and you have an option to create variable email. It's more expensive, but then you don't have to own/buy Adobe Acrobat/InDesign. It can be upgraded with Power Packs to handle more data for performance and you have the option to upgrade to PlanetPress, which is a workflow solution ie. create variable output to web, email, print and automate processes ie. the web output has a link, which uses PlanetPress to initiate an action, like personalised invoice, invitation etc. It's a swiss army knife, but usually requires consultancy to build a workflow.

    Hope that helps!

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    • #17
      We have been using FusionPro Desktop (now VDP Creator) for over 12 years. Using it for easy addressing to doing full personalization of brochures with multiple switching layers of graphics. I like how easy it is with Javascript programming to change data, the methods to assign different stocks to different pages which works with our NexPress when outputting VDX, etc. For some jobs we so now and then use the datamerge in Adobe Indesign to create a new document with the data merged. We can then manually go in to adjust word breaks where needed on really long titles, etc.

      For all Fusion pro users. I did get the tip about 4 years ago from Printable/Marcom to run it on Apple as it actually renders more quickly than on a PC. This has to do with Acrobat plugins on the PC not being able to access all processor cores or something like that. On the Mac it can access them. We did a speed test and saw quite a difference (don't remember how much exactly but it was significant for us to decide to run it on Mac only). Not sure if this still is true for the latest and greatest version on Fusion Pro as we are still using a slightly older version. Will see if I can find my test results still.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by methogod View Post
        Fusion Pro --- output PPML most production fierys will rip and print fast... best solutions out there for small to mid volume. Also can do just about anything in FP if you can <CODE> a bit of JS.
        We love PPML, but it sometimes has problems with transparencies and complex art. We have had more reliable, but slower output with PDF/VT

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JorisJ View Post
          We have been using FusionPro Desktop (now VDP Creator) for over 12 years. Using it for easy addressing to doing full personalization of brochures with multiple switching layers of graphics. I like how easy it is with Javascript programming to change data, the methods to assign different stocks to different pages which works with our NexPress when outputting VDX, etc. For some jobs we so now and then use the datamerge in Adobe Indesign to create a new document with the data merged. We can then manually go in to adjust word breaks where needed on really long titles, etc.

          For all Fusion pro users. I did get the tip about 4 years ago from Printable/Marcom to run it on Apple as it actually renders more quickly than on a PC. This has to do with Acrobat plugins on the PC not being able to access all processor cores or something like that. On the Mac it can access them. We did a speed test and saw quite a difference (don't remember how much exactly but it was significant for us to decide to run it on Mac only). Not sure if this still is true for the latest and greatest version on Fusion Pro as we are still using a slightly older version. Will see if I can find my test results still.
          You are correct. It composes documents a lot quicker when running FusionPro VDP Creator on a MAC, than on a Windows computer. The nice thing is that the same licence can be used to install FusionPro on Windows or MAC. You don't need to have a different licence to install on a MAC. So, you can move the licence form Windows to MAC if you wanted to or vice versa.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by PricelineNegotiator View Post

            What is the general price range for FusionPro?
            I find that frustrating getting prices for some of this software. Tried to look at pricing and the only thing I see under pricing is $1500 a month and I know that is certainly not for a VDP program for a small print shop. Not sure why these companies get all secretive about their pricing, I know it turns me off even researching it as I do not always want to talk to a rep as they can be annoying. When I am serious and ready I will talk to one. When it comes to software though in most cases I can do my own research, find peoples thoughts and reviews and then buy without ever needing to talk to anyone from the company. The whole hide the price and let someone get in touch with you feels so antiquated.

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            • #21
              I would encourage you to have a look at EngageIT VDP by Konica Minolta. This is a pure plug-in based VDP tool that works directly with Adobe InDesign. This means you can take advantage of any feature that InDesign offers, many of which cannot be supported in standalone applications like PrintShop Maiil and Fusio Pro. It is really easy to use, but incredibly powerful. There is a great set of videos on their website at www.EngageITVDP.com/videos. They have a version that produces PDF and PDF/VT output with all the bells and whistles (rules/conditional logic, automatic copy fitting, multi-up support, etc.) for around $900. This is based on DesignMerge software, which is another great choice (www.DesignMerge.com).

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Meadows View Post
                I would encourage you to have a look at EngageIT VDP by Konica Minolta. This is a pure plug-in based VDP tool that works directly with Adobe InDesign. This means you can take advantage of any feature that InDesign offers, many of which cannot be supported in standalone applications like PrintShop Maiil and Fusio Pro. It is really easy to use, but incredibly powerful. There is a great set of videos on their website at www.EngageITVDP.com/videos. They have a version that produces PDF and PDF/VT output with all the bells and whistles (rules/conditional logic, automatic copy fitting, multi-up support, etc.) for around $900. This is based on DesignMerge software, which is another great choice (www.DesignMerge.com).
                How open is EngageIT VDP? With every new Indesign release will you need a new paid upgrade?

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                • #23
                  You would have to speak with Konica about EngageIT VDP, but my understanding that as long as you maintain support on the product all of the upgrades to support new versions of InDesign are completely free. Plus you get free access to all of the training materials, including access to their online video training library. The first year purchase includes all of the upgrades for the year as well as access to the training materials, etc.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Meadows View Post
                    You would have to speak with Konica about EngageIT VDP, but my understanding that as long as you maintain support on the product all of the upgrades to support new versions of InDesign are completely free. Plus you get free access to all of the training materials, including access to their online video training library. The first year purchase includes all of the upgrades for the year as well as access to the training materials, etc.
                    Sounds like another subscription model for software.

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                    • #25
                      Actually, that's a rather hasty generalization...

                      In fact you can use the software as long as you would like. Do you know how many of our own customers are still using CS6? If you want upgrades to keep up with InDesign versions, and access to top notch technical support, then you just pay your small annual support fee. And if you don't need support, and don't plan on updating InDesign, then feel free to pay nothing and continue to use the software all you want! I can't think of too many VDP software options out there now that don't have some support component to them.

                      In the end, if VDP is a core part of your business, do you think that having the best possible product for the job is worth a few hundred dollars? We feel that if a software product provides great features, with killer support, it's well worth the arguably trivial investment, and hundreds of our own satisfied DesignMerge customers seem to agree. Feel free to check out a few accolades at (http://www.meadowsps.com/site/detail...stimonials.htm).

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                      • #26
                        One last thing... since you seem to be into free software... and who isn't????

                        We give away some very powerful free software on our web site called the "Meadows Productivity Suite". The current version provides a great tool for automating the creation of multi-up layouts directly inside an Adobe InDesign document. It's really cool, and yes, it is totally free. Actually, there is an annual support fee for it - but that's free too!

                        Seriously, it's free. Feel free to check it out at ( http://www.meadowsps.com/site/detail...te_details.htm )

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by wonderings View Post

                          I find that frustrating getting prices for some of this software. Tried to look at pricing and the only thing I see under pricing is $1500 a month and I know that is certainly not for a VDP program for a small print shop. Not sure why these companies get all secretive about their pricing, I know it turns me off even researching it as I do not always want to talk to a rep as they can be annoying. When I am serious and ready I will talk to one. When it comes to software though in most cases I can do my own research, find peoples thoughts and reviews and then buy without ever needing to talk to anyone from the company. The whole hide the price and let someone get in touch with you feels so antiquated.
                          Did you know SpaceX publishes the prices of their rocket launches on their website? If you want them to send something of yours to space, you can figure out what it'd cost from their website (https://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities). And yet, many software vendors hide their prices so you're forced to contact a sales rep who will eventually quote you something after your 30-minute "get to know your company" call and your hour demo. Maddening. If your product is good enough, you don't have to hide the price tag =)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by OffsetStorefront View Post

                            Did you know SpaceX publishes the prices of their rocket launches on their website? If you want them to send something of yours to space, you can figure out what it'd cost from their website (https://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities). And yet, many software vendors hide their prices so you're forced to contact a sales rep who will eventually quote you something after your 30-minute "get to know your company" call and your hour demo. Maddening. If your product is good enough, you don't have to hide the price tag =)
                            It is the "old" way of doing things. A salesman comes in, gives you all the info they have while trying to sell you on how great it is. The "new" world lets us research and find so much information we sometimes know more about the product then they do. I know with some digital sales reps for some of the big digital print companies I was aware of issues or functions that they were not aware of because I can communicate with the world and find people who use them in real world situations.

                            Drives me even more nuts when you cannot even download a demo without filling out a contact form and have to wait for them to contact you to get a demo. It all seems so shady like they are hiding something or they really think I am an idiot unable to look at their software without the guiding hand of a salesperson. Unless they are flexible on their prices and each customer gets a different price there is no way it should not be listed. Are they scared people will be shocked by the price? This is pro software, not home consumer stuff where it needs to be $20. I expect software that works for helps me make money will have a higher price tag (within reason).

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