Best Solution for building Automation

longlimb

Well-known member
This is probably going to be very subjective but do you all have a favorite workflow solution? I recently started at a new shop and they are using Esko AE to build workflows and use Webcenter for proofing and job tracking... although a lot of the connections between the MIS and Esko are broken.

I came from a Kodak shop, used Prinergy with Insite and RBA to create workflows. But my old shop really didn't have a lot of online traffic so jobs came into prepress via Insite from clients.

New job has hundreds of portals and need to automate from e-commerce sites, to job creation software, then to webcenter and out to the devices.

So far it seems Esko AE is way overboard for our shop. We don't do packaging (digital, offset and WF). Building the workflows appears very similar to Prinergy RBA. But the way Insite and Prinergy work together and use RBA seems smoother to me than Esko AE and Webcenter.

Anyone else feel this way? Or do you prefer using Esko if you have it? Thoughts?
 

Puch

Well-known member
Please try to elaborate more about the possible scenarios, then we can come up with some suggestions. Eg.:

Service selected on a Web portal --> Files submitted into a Cart --> Files+Metadata sent to backoffice --> Preflight needed --> Revision handling --> Imposition --> Printing --> Parcel Service ordered via API --> Billing
 

longlimb

Well-known member
Please try to elaborate more about the possible scenarios, then we can come up with some suggestions. Eg.:

Service selected on a Web portal --> Files submitted into a Cart --> Files+Metadata sent to backoffice --> Preflight needed --> Revision handling --> Imposition --> Printing --> Parcel Service ordered via API --> Billing
Well, yes to your description Puch :)

web portal to MIS to some kind of automation engine to prefight through to device then once job shipped triggered for billing.
 

Puch

Well-known member
The question is what level of automation you need, and what experience you have wiring things together.

Most of the task mentioned can be implemented by a talented web programmer. The crucial part is the preflight, which can be done with your existing CTP RIP, but getting the result out of it (in a human-readable, usable form) might be a challenge. On the other hand, there is Callas pdfToolbox Server, which is a heavyweight swiss army knife, at a reasonable price. It can do a lot for you, but again: there is a steep learning curve to make it really useful.

If you don't want (or can't) do it the hard way, the 'medium' option is to use Enfocus Switch with Pitstop Server. This has a nice GUI, you can literally wire things together and it just works. There are a ton of software which work together with Switch, and there is the Enfocus Appstore, where you can buy/lease little software gems to expand the functionality of a basic system. But beware: to exploit the full potential of such a system, you still have to learn a bit of coding, mostly Javascript.

If you need a totally 'no-code' solution, quickly, then I would suggest something from Aleyant, eg. tFLOW. This is a complex system (with Callas pdfToolbox working in the background) which can perform most of the things you mentioned. There are many other such systems out there which I don't know, so choosing the right one can be a project itself.
 

longlimb

Well-known member
The question is what level of automation you need, and what experience you have wiring things together.

Most of the task mentioned can be implemented by a talented web programmer. The crucial part is the preflight, which can be done with your existing CTP RIP, but getting the result out of it (in a human-readable, usable form) might be a challenge. On the other hand, there is Callas pdfToolbox Server, which is a heavyweight swiss army knife, at a reasonable price. It can do a lot for you, but again: there is a steep learning curve to make it really useful.

If you don't want (or can't) do it the hard way, the 'medium' option is to use Enfocus Switch with Pitstop Server. This has a nice GUI, you can literally wire things together and it just works. There are a ton of software which work together with Switch, and there is the Enfocus Appstore, where you can buy/lease little software gems to expand the functionality of a basic system. But beware: to exploit the full potential of such a system, you still have to learn a bit of coding, mostly Javascript.

If you need a totally 'no-code' solution, quickly, then I would suggest something from Aleyant, eg. tFLOW. This is a complex system (with Callas pdfToolbox working in the background) which can perform most of the things you mentioned. There are many other such systems out there which I don't know, so choosing the right one can be a project itself.
Thank you for your input Puch. A programmer would be ideal. I hope I can build the majority of the workflows that utilize prepress but the tie-in to the MIS is why I fear I need someone with script experience.
 

WiseGuy

Well-known member
You may want to check out our solution too... Good2Go (Good2GoSoftware.com) has a REST API with cloud services for PDF Preflight, Job submission, File uploading, Revision uploading, Review and Approval, notifications and more.... Paired with an MIS or a solution like Switch, it can give you the best of both worlds — cloud based solutions to collaborating with clients easily, and behind the scenes workflow for print job quoting, management and production. Good2Go gives you all this starting at $50 per-month. :)
 

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