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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 â€œheadless” 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 GmbH’s 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 Condé Nast and Metro Newspapers in the U.S.; Germany’s 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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