PIA/GATF to certify MIS systems and prepress applications
The International Cooperation for the Integration of the Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) organization has partnered with the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) to launch the JDF (Job Definition Format) Product Certification Program.
The JDF Product Certification Program will provide testing of JDF-enabled software. Products that successfully complete testing will be issued a "JDF Certified' logo, which can be used on product packaging and promotional materials to convey to buyers that products have been certified to meet established guidelines for interoperability.
The certification program is based on the Interoperability Conformance Specification (ICS) documents, which have been created by CIP4 technical working groups over the past 3 years. Each ICS document focuses on a specific interface between two types of graphic-arts systems.
'The CIP4 staff is continually asked, 'How do I know if a product really supports JDF?'' says Dr. Rainer Prosi of Heidelberg and CIP4. 'For many printers, JDF seems quite complicated, and they are looking for simplification. With JDF Product Certification, printers don't need to conduct exhaustive evaluations of JDF-enabled products; they'll know that these certified products will support JDF standards."
But certification doesn't necessarily mean 'plug-n-play," Prosi notes. "When two JDF-enabled devices are integrated, they still need to be set up appropriately. Certification means that the products are interoperable."
Manufacturing companies interested in having their products certified can register their product on the CIP4 website. PIA/GATF will run, write, and read tests on registered products depending on if the tested product supports input and output of JDF.
'Many vendors have expressed a desire to attain JDF certification, so we expect this program to expand quickly," says Mark Bohan, PIA/GATF's director of research and integrated technology. "JDF Product Certification for the MIS to Conventional Sheetfed Printing and the MIS to Prepress ICS documents will be introduced in the near future, and several other ICS documents are in development. Within the next year or two, JDF Product Certification will be a critical buying criterion for printers and prepress services in North America and around the world.'