How to choose variable data printing software?


In order to improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, we need to choose some variable data printing software or customer communication management software.
First, We need choose three of variable data printing software products to test functions and to do a comparative analysis, for the follow-up project to make decisions and alternatives. Finally we screened three major variable data printing software products: Mail GMC, inspire PrintShop and SmartVizor.

Software images are as follows:

Some analysis as following:

1st: method of operation, all three are simple to operate: drag and drop variable data or document, right-click, double-click, many at a glance the shortcut keys, operation and similar to office, very convenient.
2nd: functional aspects: such as variable text and variable bar code, printshop mail / SmartVizor and GMC Inspire all perform excellent, powerful, color bar, digital security, special text layout, and so on.
3rd: through the dynamic table design, you can automatically increase the number of pages, automatically increase or decrease the number of rows based on the number of data.
4th: Variable images: automatically bound any variable photos or images.
5th: Detailed print log.
6th: Price: GMC and Mail Printshop is relatively expensive, SmartVizor cost advantage is obvious.
7th: Product function customization: GMC Inspire and PrintShop Mail are less flexible , SmartVizor is much more flexible customization, and small features free of charge, the cost of a reasonable for more functions.

Main functions of three all are very powerful. And SmartVizor is much cheaper. The cost is the king, saving the cost equals to increase profits. Buying products is also like buying clothes, fitting is the most important, and different people may be suitable for different.
So we finally put all these three included in the scope of our qualified suppliers, and prepare for the selection of later spare according to the customer's budget and project situation.


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Well-known member
I do like fusionpro simply becases it can only be installed on one computer, if I wanna do some work at home that is a big problem, deactivate, reactivate, huge pain, doen't like other software when I log into my account I can force to log out of software on ther computer, try something else


Well-known member
You seem to have the how to choose parameters figured out . . . but only you can determine what works for your situation . . . for us is an old copy of FusionPro . . . will upgrade when the computer it lives on dies . . .


Active member
You may be looking at more than one solution. If 95% of your jobs are simple presort and name and address on a post card, One or two copies of fusion pro can handle it. Then look for the other 5% solution. If 60% of your jobs are complex and unique figure out whats easiest for you.


Well-known member
I think Fusion Pro is $3-4k while XMPie is $10-50k - it has been a while so I might be off base.


Well-known member
I think Fusion Pro is $3-4k while XMPie is $10-50k - it has been a while so I might be off base.

Those sound like the server version prices.
We got the basic XMPie desktop version a while ago and it was in the $5K ballpark.
Fusion Pro desktop goes for less than $1K (but IMHO, you get what you pay for - Never been a big fan of FusionPro)


Active member
FusionPro desktop is quite powerful for the price. Their user forum is really great, lots of real world advice and solutions.


PrintShop Mail is a standalone application and is a good choice if you need to be able to handle variable data from XML files. Also, if you want to be able to send variable email, it is also a good option. It can only be run on a windows platform. There are additional Powerpacks to be able to process more records per minute.

FusionPro VDP Creator (MAC or Windows) is a plugin to InDesign and Acrobat, but all the template buidling with rules and variable data is done via Acrobat. You only use FusionPro in Indesign to mark the variable elements for exporting the design to a FusionPro PDF. But you can just start with a PDF. It depends on how much you want to process, but you can typically get up to about 350 records per minute, but that can be lower depending on how many rules, variable frames etc are used. If you need more power, there is FusionPro Producer, which can process up to 10 times more records per minute. It is installed on a powerful Windows only computer. With Producer, you get several FusionPro VDP clients up to 5, I believe. The only difference between these clients and VDP Creator is that you can't create the output print document with the variable data. You send it instead to FusionPro Producer. Producer is in my part of the World, much cheaper than PrintShop Mail. So even if you don't need the extra Power, if you plan to buy 3 or more FusionPro VDP Creator licences, go for Producer. The other advantage is that sending the job to Producer to merge the data with your design, frees up the client computer to do other work or to design the next variable job.

Both of the above have good forums to learn as you go, using JavaScript or the simple built in rules.

GMC and PlanetPress are definitely overkill for creating just variable print and will likely require you to pay for a Consultant to build your set workflow. But if you want to do lots of variable jobs and introduce decisions on whether a record should be printed, emailed or connect into other services to SMS and much more, then they will give you those possibilities. They add workflow to your variable work. For example, if you want to do white space management, intricate campaigns that can be output to web site, to print or to email. Another example is when an email arrives, it can extract the attachment and based on key words, route it to customer services or finance department or alert an authority via email. I see these solutions as engines that can do the most common tasks, but can easily be integrated into external solutions in the cloud or locally to add further services. I call these solutions Swiss army knives.
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Another option is DesignMerge, which is a plug-in for InDesign. We use this quite often for doing mail merges and find that it works very well.

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