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The Following is Archived and Preserved from QuarkVSInDesign.com, 2003–2009.

Adobe InDesign Server CS2 Debuts Today

New server version of InDesign enables automation of high-end editorial workflows, collateral creation, data-driven publishing, and template-based web publishing.

Adobe InDesign Server CS2

This morning Adobe Systems Incorporated will introduce InDesign Server CS2 at the IfraExpo, which begins today in Germany. Adobe InDesign Server CS2, which is built on the same code base as the Adobe InDesign CS2 desktop application, enables system integrators and third party developers to build automated, design-driven publishing solutions. InDesign Server brings high-end composition and graphics support to a server platform, allowing Adobe partners to introduce new levels of automation and design quality to editorial workflows, collateral creation, data-driven publishing and template-based Web publishing solutions.

“Publishers are under constant pressure to produce personalized content in more places with fewer resources,” said Mark Hilton, senior director of Creative Professional Products at Adobe. “What customers have had to compromise is typographical and design quality. Now, with Adobe InDesign Server CS2, system integrators and developers can build automated publishing solutions that help customers save time, money, and resources without sacrificing visual quality.”

Headless InDesign

All of InDesign”™s features””including advanced layout and typography features and all import and export formats””are present in the new server version. Anything InDesign CS2 can do on the desktop, InDesign Server CS2 can do via scripted direction.

InDesign Server is a “headless” version of InDesign””it has no user interface””adapted for server usage. Instead, the InDesign Server communicates through SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), and is controlled via extensive support for C++ and standard scripting languages JavaScript, AppleScript, and Microsoft Visual Basic. This provides a range of interfaces (from scripting to plug-ins to Web Services) for third parties to integrate InDesign Server CS2 into larger solutions that support a broad base of usage across newspapers, magazines, catalog, and book publishing as well as on-demand and variable data marketing, advertising, and direct mail pieces.

Web-Based Print Publishing

As a result, graphically rich documents can be created in a Web browser and output to InDesign INDD documents, PDF, or even JPEG. Several solutions that do just that are readying for a 4Q2005 launch, including the newest version of Sansui Software”™s PublishNow!, which services newspaper display and classified advertising, catalog publishing, self-service commercial printing, and in-store “Design-and-Print” applications.

End users create their own jobs in a standard web browser using PublishNow!, which includes a library of Adobe InDesign page templates, tools to add text and image content, and PDF proofing. The benefits are around-the-clock control over content and much shorter lead times for delivery of artwork when compared with conventional workflows.

PublishNow! resides on a web server and manages access and data delivery between InDesign templates stored on the server and users”™ browsers. Composition of jobs is handled by a shared version of InDesign that also resides on the web server. Several years ago Sansui developed plug-ins for InDesign that facilitated this server-based InDesign composition. These plug-ins are now being replaced by Adobe InDesign Server CS2 software. The new PublishNow! environment, based on Adobe InDesign Server, is undergoing live pilot-testing Valpak. Valpak, an affiliate of Cox Enterprises, Inc., has been delivering localized direct-mail coupons throughout the United States for 35 years, and maintains the world”™s largest print-on-demand coupon Website, ValPak.com. ValPack.com is currently running InDesign Server-based PublishNow!, which allows ValPak franchisees to create advertisements, coupons, and flyers from within their Web browsers.

“InDesign Server offers numerous benefits. It can operate with multiple instances, delivering greatly improved performance at transaction-intensive PublishNow! installations such as Valpak, where workloads can reach more than six jobs per minute,” says Ravi Dugal, President of Sansui Software.” The “˜headless”™ design of Adobe InDesign Server also increases performance tremendously because processing time is fully dedicated to handling composition and communications.”

Sansui customer, David Windhausen, Chief Technology Officer and Partner of Trabon Solutions LLC, whose chain of Sonic drive-in restaurants uses PublishNow! to create localized menus: “As a developer and provider of technology solutions for the restaurant industry, the self-service publishing application within our BizNetManagerâ„¢ software suite is used by more than 4,000 independent restaurant operators. PublishNow! and the new Adobe InDesign Server software give our application greater speed, accuracy and performance that delivers immediate and measurable results to our customers.”

Even more extensive Web-interface InDesign Server implementations are nearing completion.

Denmark”™s Cacidi Systems, which prides itself on developing plug-ins that automate 99% of all Adobe InDesign CS and InDesign CS2 functionality, building and updating InDesign documents based on plain text and/or XML input, will be releasing Cacidi Extreme Enterprise Server 2, a complete web-to-print solution powered using Adobe InDesign Server CS2. To deliver a complete web-based publishing solution, Cacidi Systems has developed a full web interface with easy text and image input and uploading, four different production methods, and advanced end-user and administrator features. The Extreme Server 2 solution is targeted at graphics professionals, especially those in corporate web-to-print production and business-to-business services.

According to Jesper Longaa, Director of Sales and Marketing at Cacidi Systems: “Together, Cacidi and Adobe will provide a total solution for automating repetitive publishing tasks such as typesetting and formatting, image and text placement, scaling, and updating. Cacidi Extreme Server 2 leverages the power of Adobe InDesign Server software to save creative and publishing professionals 50% to 90% of their production time and costs. [In Cacidi Extreme Server 2] publishers will have an automated publishing solution that can be deployed immediately without requiring customization; one that pays for itself in a matter of months or even weeks.”

Award-winning K4 Publishing System, SoftCare Software-Service GmbHӪs flagship editorial solution based on InDesign and InCopy, is also moving to InDesign Server CS2. More than 90 customers worldwide already use K4 in their professional production workflows, including Cond̩ Nast and Metro Newspapers in the U.S.; GermanyӪs Hubert Burda Media and Gruner + Jahr Wirtschaftspresse, which publishes the German edition of Playboy Magazine; and Zehnder Group in Switzerland.

Andreas Schrader, Managing Director at SoftCare, is excited: “With InDesign Server, Adobe has given us a tool for our K4 Publishing System that will help publishers boost productivity by taking automation to a new level. This is a huge step forward for publishing workflows based on Adobe InDesign software.”

The K4 Publishing System enables efficient and secure publishing workflows built around Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy software, and will now incorporate Adobe InDesign Server CS2 to increase performance through background automation of common, processor-intensive tasks. With its multilevel security controls and robust customization options, K4 supports a transparent and fast production workflow for individual workgroups or entire publishing enterprises. The K4 magazine publishing system based on Adobe InDesign offers consistent support for multi-component articles, remote locations, and multi-language publications throughout the system. One of the hallmarks of K4 is its advanced connectivity, enabling other systems such as asset management or automated prepress to be linked to it. K4 has been successfully implemented at magazine, newspaper, and book publishing sites ranging in size from 10 to more than 250 users.

Simultaneous to Adobe”™s presentation of InDesign Server CS2 at IfraExpo today, Softcare will preview its forthcoming K4 Publishing System version 5.6 with Adobe InDesign Server CS2 compatibility. As part of the new system, Adobe InDesign Server CS2 will be utilized to transfer standard processes from individual workstations to the server to accelerate overall publishing workflows, and will provide the basis for the new K4 Web-Editor, which enables users to write copy to fit directly in a standard Web browser.

Versatility and Standardization

The headless nature of InDesign Server means it”™s ready for deployment in all languages right now. Because InDesign Server is the Unicode-enabled InDesign CS2 code base and there is no user interface to translate, the product is already fully capable for all languages. “InDesign can handle content in any language, therefore so can InDesign Server CS2,” said Kiyomasa Toma, Product Manager InDesign Server CS2. “It”™s up to the developers and [System Integrators] to handle user interface localization.” The software development kit (SDK), however, is available only in English.

InDesign Server CS2 delivers output capabilities, built-in language support, scripting DOM (document object model), and a rich SDK as Adobe InDesign CS2 software. It can run multiple concurrent instances on one-, two-, and four-processor machines, although job queuing is left to developers. It features error capturing, and is certified to run on server operating systems Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003 Server, and Mac OS X Server 10.3.x (“Panther”) and 10.4.x (“Tiger”). Adobe has no plans at this time to port InDesign Server to Unix operating systems.

Solutions based on Adobe InDesign Server CS2 will be available through third parties as a component of automated publishing solutions designed and built by system integrators and developers. Currently, as part of a pilot program for InDesign Server CS2 launched in Spring 2005, Cacidi, the Peter Schmidt Group, Managing Editor Inc. (MEI), Sansui Software, SoftCare Software-Service GmbH, XMPie Inc., Wave2 Media Solutions Limited, and WoodWing Software are building and deploying solutions. In addition, more than 120 partners have been evaluating InDesign Server CS2 for potential deployment of solutions in 2006-2007.

Adobe InDesign Server CS2 is available to qualified Adobe developer partners.

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9 Responses

  1. So, it runs on a mac server, good… but not a linux server? That’s just silly… does it work natively with XML, as the application entails? Why would they not support linux, when they’re probably hosting this on an Apache base anyway in the Mac system! I have the feeling this is great, but the web based area is built on outdated technology then, I’d be interested to see what real structure they have under there. It sounds promising, but could also be trash.

  2. It does natively work with XML–import and export–so it can be fed content from a database, or output content to any XML-compliant source.

    InDesign Server itself doesn’t run on Apache, no. It’s the InDesign desktop application without a UI, and with script control. It’s not a Web server; the SI’s are creating Web-based technologies primarily in so far as building browser-based UIs to InD Server.

    Porting that to Linux would be a major issue. Not only would they have to recompile the application, but they’d need Linux versions of other applications (e.g. InCopy) and services. It was disappointing to hear that InD Server wouldn’t run on Linux, but it’s understandable.

  3. Ah, thank you, that makes much more sense, and understandable why there isn’t a linux variant, then. Is there a reason why it’s not a mounted web based application? The technology is there to support it on an internal system — it seems like a server driven application that could have been built as a web based application.

  4. Hi, Brady.

    Well the idea is that InDesign Server is a backend application, which allows an infinite variety of web-based applications to be built atop it.

  5. Paul Russ says:

    hi, i have seen the InDesign Server Application iBrams from Peter Schmidt Group it is impressing what you can do with the indesign server. it woul be grate to have it on linux but it is already VERY fast. we have tried automatic gereation of documents from komplex templates. ist a grat thing .

  6. ian millar says:

    Does anyone have any idea how much this product costs? either CS2 or CS3 servers?

  7. Adobe’s web page seems to say that your cost depends on how you deploy it; either you’ll come up with your own solution or get a solution from a third-party provider. The only pricing information they seem to have is a phone number for sales. So it looks like you have to talk to someone at Adobe.

    Even the solution providers (such as Woodwing) want you contact them for pricing on enterprise level purchasing.

  8. casie says:

    So does anyone know how this compares to the quark server?
    Does the server allow full document creation is is it still just for editing still?

  9. steve says:

    I’ve searched for hours trying to find how IDS CS2 is licenses. Your article mentions that the server is scalable through multiple cpu and instance configurations.
    I have found that IDS CS3 is licensed by CPU though it is still unclear.

    Can anyone break this down for me.

    1 license = 1 instance (unlimited cpu)
    1 license = 1 cpu (unlimited instance)
    1 license = 1 instance, 1 cpu

    I would be very greatful

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