Universal Language of Print
As Print Professional’s June issue goes to press, drupa—the world’s largest printing trade show—will be in full swing at Messe, Düsseldorf, Germany. Approximately 400,000 visitors from 122 countries are expected to pass through the exhibit halls between May 29 and June 11, delighting in the latest technology and workflow tools from several hundred vendors. The new workflow solutions being introduced at drupa will subsequently join those already existing, further underscoring the need for industry standards designed to simplify information exchange between different applications and systems in and around the graphic arts industry.
Part of the solution is Job Definition Format (JDF), an industry specification created to facilitate process automation and integration. Then, there is Pittsburgh-based Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) in partnership with the Integration of Process in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4), aiding the cause with a two-part strategy: JDF certification and the formation of a JDF User Group.
Brandon Iskey, computational research scientist, JDF certification program administrator for PIA/GATF, explained the organization was selected by CIP4 to conduct the certifications. “PIA/GATF is a unique organization. We’re an independent, third-party research, training, education and advocacy facility that identifies problems and comes up with answers to help out the printing industry in general,” he said. “JDF isn’t going away; it is definitely here to stay.”
He explained PIA/GATF’s certification program deals with companies seeking to get their products certified within the realm of the JDF 1.3 or 1.2 specifications. “This is the ‘nerd work’, looking at code and at attributes and making sure everything passes and is manipulated correctly,” Iskey good naturedly, yet proudly, joked. “We started our certification program approximately two years ago, and [have] issued 25 certifications. To complement this, with the JDF user group, we can demonstrate the potential of JDF and the advantages of the workflow.”