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|Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe)|
The I3A's Initiative was announced in June 2002. This I3A initiative provides for increased photofinishing choices for consumers seeking photographic quality prints from digital images. The Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) project "is led by top imaging companies within the I3A, including Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm and Hewlett-Packard. Based on a Web Services framework, CPXe will enable the transmission and printing of digital images between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers -- regardless of the type of digital camera, PC or operating system they use... CPXe uses existing Web Services standards such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML, which makes it easy and less costly for camera manufacturers to build connections to CPXe compliant service providers."
[February 13, 2004] CPXe Version 2.0 to Support Dynamic Business-To-Business Transactions. I3A's CPXe Version 2 Working Group has outlined its technical goals for development of the next version of Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) specification. I3A (International Imaging Industry Association) formed the CPXe Initiative to create web services standards that "enable the transmission and printing of digital images between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers -- regardless of the type of digital camera, device, PC brand, operating system, or photofinishing equipment used by service providers. By incorporating CPXe, photographic device and software vendors give their customers easy connection to a range of digital photography services. The CPXe Version 1.0 specification combines open standards for the exchange of digital images via the Internet, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI)." Projected for delivery in 2004Q4, the CPXe Version 2.0 specification "will build on the foundation of Version 1.0 to incorporate important new features such as access to storage services, support for composite products such as albums, greeting cards and calendars, and transaction logging to enable dynamic business-to-business transactions."
[May 23, 2003] Systinet to Provide UDDI Solution for PSN Global Directory of Digital Photography Services. The XML-based CPXe interoperability specifications released by the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) in February 2003 are moving forward with the support of Systinet, recently selected to provide the UDDI registry for PSN's Directory Service, part of the Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) system architecture. The I3A's Picture Services Network helps photographic device and software vendors give their customers easy access to a range of digital photography services through a UDDI-based online registry of photo service providers. The Version 1.0 suite of CPXe materials contains a CPXe Core Implementation API Specification, a CPXe Fulfillment Access Service API Specification, a CPXe Service Locator Service API Specification, a CPXe Web Browser Interaction Service API Specification, and a CPXe Defined tModels and Profiles Specification. Scheduled to launch its Directory Service in June 2003, "PSN will work in concert with the Common Picture eXchange Environment specifications, enabling participating businesses to quickly, easily and dynamically find and transact business with any photo Web service that supports the CPXe interoperability specifications."
[March 06, 2003] I3A Announces CPXe Interoperability Specifications and UDDI-Based Picture Services Network. The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) has announced the availability of a suite of CPXe interoperability specifications and the creation of the Picture Services Network (PSN). Working in concert, the Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) specifications and the PSN Directory Service will simplify for consumers and businesses the process of finding, accessing and using Internet-connected and retail photo services. CPXe is providing the industry with an extensible and open technology platform on which any imaging device can seamlessly exchange digital images and order and commerce information with any networked imaging application or service, regardless of manufacturer, service provider or geography. A private UDDI-based directory of photo services, the PSN Directory Service is the heart of the CPXe system architecture. As a subsidiary of I3A, the new not-for-profit membership corporation will autonomously manage and operate the Picture Services Network." The CPXe Initiative Group (Phase 2) was formed in July 2002 and is supported by Agfa-Gevaert N.V., Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Company, Konica Corporation, Noritsu Koki Co. Ltd., Phogenix Imaging, Olympus America, Inc., Pixology Limited, Shutterfly, Inc., Silverwire, Inc. (formerly FotoWire), and Telepix Imaging.
From the announcement of 2002-06-17: "The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) today announced a major initiative to provide increased photofinishing choices for consumers to get photographic quality prints from digital images. The initiative, known as the Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe), is designed to make printing digital images as convenient as using film. With a broad and rapidly expanding base of support, CPXe will allow photofinishing service providers to connect to consumers via the Web and to each other in ways that are currently not possible. CPXe is led by top imaging companies within the I3A, including Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm and Hewlett-Packard. Based on a Web Services framework, CPXe will enable the transmission and printing of digital images between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers -- regardless of the type of digital camera, PC or operating system they use. CPXe will allow consumers to upload, download and order prints of digital pictures at any retail location with any type of photofinishing equipment used by the retailer. The CPXe network architecture and a directory of services will be managed and supported by I3A. The directory, which is open to any company to join, will provide a robust listing of service providers. Using this directory, consumers will be able to quickly locate compatible services using familiar search criteria, such as a zip code or type of service. For example, a consumer could request a list of vendors that offer in-store pick up, one hour service and are located in the consumers' area. CPXe uses existing Web Services standards such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML, which makes it easy and less costly for camera manufacturers to build connections to CPXe compliant service providers. CPXe is an example of Web services providing real benefits to consumers..." ["Leading I3A Imaging Companies Develop Industry Initiative To Expand Digital Photofinishing Services for Consumers. Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm and HP Give Consumers More Ways to Print Digital Images and Create New Business Opportunities for Retailers."]
From the technical perspective white paper:
CPXe takes advantage of the existing computer industry trend called 'Web Services' in its utilization of core technologies, standards, and tools. these include http, XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI.
Although these specifications provide a broad platform for interoperability, they do not provide sufficient support for CPXe, specifically in the areas of security, versioning, and business transactions. It is anticipated that the Web Services efforts will address these issues in time, as they are now being discussed, but CPXe may have to select a particular direction on each of these topics prior to the solutions becoming publicly available through these efforts.
Primarily, CPXe interfaces are based on three primary exchanges:
- CPXe Service Interfaces:  CPXe Service Interfaces are described in WSDL (Web Services Definition Language  SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) to exchange requests and responses between service requestors and service providers. Although WSDL provides for multiple bindings, CPXe APIs minimally require a SOAP binding. Others may be also be supported by CPXe Service Providers.  HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) to transport the requests/response.
- Image Transport: CPXe uses http to move images between reque?ors and provider. It is expected that images will be transferred over a non-secure transport (e.g., HTTP, not HTTPS).
- Consumer User Interface Redirection: CPXe applications are found in internet capable device, desktops, or web environments. As one application wants to redirect a consumer to another application, it's more likely that the consumer will be redirected through a browser to an on-line web application. This will be done through HTTP. The CPXe Directory will leverage the existing work being done on the UDDI Server (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration), lead by uddi.org. This interface defines the mechanisms to both publish, and find directory entries.
About I3A and CPXe: "I3A is the leading global imaging industry association, driving growth of, and setting standards for the photographic and information imaging markets. As the industry focal point, I3A offers a framework and environment where members can quickly find resources to solve critical issues and develop market solu-tions. Members of I3A work together to find common ground for advancing the industry and to enable better products and services for their customers. With almost 60 years of combined imaging industry leadership, I3A is the product of the merger of the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) and the Photographic and Imaging Manufacturers Association (PIMA). The CPXe Initiative Group was formed in January 2002 and consists [June 2002] of the following member companies: AGFA-GEVAERT, Canon USA, Digimarc Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., FotoWire, Fuji PhotoFilm-Hewlett Packard Corp., LifePics Inc., Olympus America, OpenGraphics Corp., and Pixology Ltd. Support provided by Gaiatec Services."
[October 06, 2003] "CPXe: Web Services for Internet Imaging." By Timothy Thompson, Rick Weil, and Mark D. Wood (Kodak). In IEEE Computer Volume 36, Number 10 (October 2003), pages 54-62 (with 10 references). ['The Common Picture eXchange environment leverages the Web services paradigm to serve the electronic photographic services market, combining open standards for exchanging digital images, orders, and other information with an online directory of service providers.'] "The Common Picture eXchange environment is a highly interoperable service delivery framework that leverages the Web services paradigm to give providers access to an expanded market and offer consumers a broad range of digital imaging services. Multiple providers can register their services in a central directory and precisely characterize their offerings using an extensible catalog and order model as well as a C examples presents an intellectual challenge that could foster a range of new creative applications. Thus, the authors sought to apply machine-learning methods to the problem of musical style modeling. Their work has produced examples of musical generation and applications to a computer-aided composition system. Using statistical and information-theoretic tools that analyze musical pieces, they seek to capture some of the regularity apparent in the composition process. The resulting models can be used for inference and prediction, and to generate new works that imitate the great masters' styles. CPXe relies on the universal description, discovery, and integration specification for directory functionality. UDDI is a Web service that lets businesses discover one another and describe how they interact. It provides simple object access protocol interfaces for publishing entries and querying the UDDI registry, and it uses document literal encoding to pass XML-formatted data in SOAP messages. UDDI relies on tModels to represent metadata. A tModel is defined by a name, a description, and an overview; how it is used is up to the definer. In CPXe, providers use tModels to classify their services and specify their supported interfaces. UDDI provides a relatively flexible mechanism for searching the directory to find services that categorize themselves using a particular tModel. Because UDDI is not designed to provide the fine level of detail about service offerings that consumers want, each provider also operates a catalog service that describes its own services and products. Service locators The CPXe system also implements the service locators concept. Functioning much as a travel agent or sales broker, a service locator consults the UDDI directory to determine available services and queries those services for catalog information. Applications seeking specific kinds of services and products can interact directly with a selected service locator service to identify an appropriate service provider. service locators who may charge for their service and are not tied to a particular vendor. Although applications can interact directly with UDDI, most will interact with a specific service locator service. Portal and end-user application providers typically will implement the service locator service that their application uses. Vendors can enter into business agreements with specific service locator providers to be listed by that provider... CPXe uses the Web Services Description Language to describe the interfaces to all its services... Although the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 was not completed before development of CPXe, the system's designers were guided by early decisions made by the WS-I Basic Profile Working Group. CPXe adheres to most Basic Profile 1.0 requirements, including use of the document literal message format and SOAP binding in WSDL..."
[July 22, 2003] "Web Services Enable More Success for Digital Photography Printing Services. Lack of Interoperability Is Making It Difficult for Consumers to Use Digital Photo Services." - "The I3A has launched the Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe), which utilizes new Web services-based system architecture and interoperability specifications, and a new online directory of photo services -- Picture Services Network (PSN). The CPXe Initiative Group includes Eastman Kodak Company, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Olympus, Silverwire as well as other companies. Gartner analysts said this could lead to one of the most ambitious applications of Web services. 'The I3A's CPXe initiative can create an open environment in which imaging devices can exchange digital images or information, regardless of manufacturer, service provider or geography,' Smith said. 'This would allow consumers to get quality digital prints from their favorite retailer as conveniently as they can with film, but with the preview advantage of digital.' However, for CPXe to be successful, it must provide clear value and wide availability to the user. It also needs to get other large players that are not involved, such as Sony and Nikon, to participate, and get large retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart and CVS to commit to the program. CPXe is taking advantage of existing standards, including Web services, for service directory, description, transport and environment. One of the standards includes Universal, Description, Discovery, Integration (UDDI). The use of UDDI is one of the first actual uses of the technology, and it essentially makes a private UDDI accessible to the public for read-only access. 'Web services, such as UDDI, enable businesses to reduce the cost of integration,' Smith said. 'Companies can benefit from implementing service-oriented architectures to provide a platform for innovation and lessen their need to focus on mundane IT tasks. Companies should begin to evaluate the role UDDI may play in their businesses and should consider becoming active in relevant standards activities, which can help further business goals'..." See also the news story "Systinet to Provide UDDI Solution for PSN Global Directory of Digital Photography Services."
[February 27, 2003] "I3A Announces Release of CPXe Specification Suite and New Online Directory Service. Picture Services Network and v1.0 Interoperability Specifications Put CPXe Into Motion." - "The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) today announced the availability of a suite of CPXe interoperability specifications and the creation of the Picture Services Network (PSN). Working in concert, CPXe specifications and the PSN Directory Service will simplify for consumers and businesses the process of finding, accessing and using Internet-connected and retail photo services. 'The introduction of the PSN Directory Service and the CPXe specifications gives life to the imaging industry's vision for making it as convenient to get prints and other photo services from digital pictures as it is today with film,' said Lisa Walker, president, International Imaging Industry Association. 'Today's announcement signals the beginning of new levels of convenience and flexibility for consumers and incredible possibilities for retailers'... I3A along with Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd and Hewlett-Packard Company announced today the availability of a suite of CPXe specifications. The first in a planned series of concurrent specification releases by I3A enables the business-to-consumer components of the CPXe system architecture. It is planned that future specifications will be developed to address the business-to-business elements of the CPXe architecture. Copies of the v1.0 CPXe specifications may be downloaded from the I3A website. CPXe is providing the industry with an extensible and open technology platform on which any imaging device can seamlessly exchange digital images and order and commerce information with any networked imaging application or service, regardless of manufacturer, service provider or geography. The combined impact of CPXe specifications and the PSN Directory Service will simplify for consumers the process of finding and using Internet-connected and retail photo services... CPXe is an International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) initiative group of companies working together to provide more opportunities for consumers to enjoy their digital pictures. Technology companies, software makers, camera and equipment manufacturers, imaging companies, and online photo services providers are working within I3A to develop a series of specifications to enable the transmission of digital pictures and order information between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers via the Picture Services Network (PSN)..."
[October 21, 2002] "Digital Photo Print Standard Progresses." By David Becker. In CNET News.com (October 21, 2002). "Major camera makers and other digital photography companies are pushing forward with a program to help consumers get prints from their neighborhood drugstore. The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) -- a nonprofit trade group supported by Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Fujifilm and others -- announced plans for the Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe) earlier this year. CPXe will consist of an online directory maintained by I3A that will help consumers quickly find photofinishers in their neighborhood that process digital photos, plus software standards to enable cameras and photo applications to access the directory and transfer images. HP and Kodak representatives attending last week's Digital Imaging '02 forum here said work on CPXe is moving along quickly. The software standard should be ready by December, said Mark Cook, vice president of strategic initiatives for Kodak. That launch date should allow camera makers and others to build CPXe support into their products starting next year..."
[June 27, 2002] "CPXe as a Web Services Business Framework for Printing Digital Photographs. Choreographing E-Business Environments for Distributed Photofinishing." By Geoffrey E. Bock. Reprinted from Patricia Seybold Group's Strategic Research Service, June 27, 2002. 5 pages. "... CPXe relies on SOAP and XML for describing the exchange of digitized image content, and registers its service-access descriptions in a UDDI directory. The I3A initiative is designed to make it easy for camera manufacturers to build connections to CPXe-compliant service providers and for customers to connect to photofinishers who will produce high- resolution, photographic-quality prints of their digital pictures. The industry consortium will support and manage the directory of service providers... What counts are the relationships among the several parties and the methods of communicating essential information for doing business. A Web Services business framework such as CPXe is not simply a defined set of software protocols -- although the framework certainly needs to specify the syntax and semantics of any automated information interchange. Rather, the framework also identifies and choreographs specific business processes -- how independent firms can structure their relationships, interactions, and information exchanges over the network and deliver value to their customers. A Web Services business framework defines the key components of the underlying value chain that support the digital connections. As a viable business proposition, a Web Services business framework describes what we need to do when we want to find various service providers on the Web as well as what one (or more) network-enabled businesses do when they want to offer us their services. When successful, these frameworks describe end-to-end business processes that satisfy our needs..."
[June 19, 2002] "Imaging Group Clicks on Net Photos ." By David Becker. In CNET News.com (June 17, 2002). "A coalition supported by some of the biggest companies in digital imaging announced Monday an open standard and network intended to simplify ordering photo prints. The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) -- a nonprofit trade group supported by Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Fujifilm and others -- is developing the Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe), a new standard for distributing photos over the Internet. The I3A will maintain a directory of retail photofinishers that support the standard and will supervise the network that will allow online photo services, retail photofinishers and other services supporting CPXe standard to exchange images with each other. In one of the most common scenarios, consumers would send images from their PC to an online storage service, order prints and pick them up at a neighborhood photofinishing shop. This process is more similar to the film-based system that consumers are familiar with than that of current digital alternatives such as ordering photos online and waiting for them to arrive in the mail, or using a print kiosk at a photo store, said Lisa Walker, executive director of the I3A... Mark Cook, director of product management for Kodak's digital imaging division, said that while the initial focus will be on connecting consumer PCs with photofinishers, new applications are likely to emerge as support for CPXe proliferates... Ramon Garrido, director of digital imaging programs for Hewlett-Packard, said he expects CPXe to generate widespread support in the imaging industry... CPXe will be based on established Web services standards such as XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), making it one of the first major efforts of the much-hyped Web services push aimed at consumers..."
[June 04, 2002] CPXe: A Consumer Digital Photography Industry Initiative A Technical Perspective White Paper. From International Imaging Industry Association (I3A). June 04, 2002. 26 pages. "The Common Picture eXchange environment (CPXe) is a digital photography industry initiative to grow the consumer digital photo services category. It will enable participating companies to offer significant new value propositions to consumers. Stated simply, it will allow consumers to get prints and other digital services using: (1) any digital camera, (2) from any location, (3) with any online photo site, and (4) with any retail printing service or local printer. Foremore, this translates to the ability to get prints from digital cameras with ease and convenience. Ultimately, CPXe is about giving consumers the same convenience and choices as the current film based system, while adding all the advantages of digital. ?is is made possible through the two core elements of the initiative: (1) creating a Master Service Directory (similar to the 'Yellow Pages') to allow those services to be dynamically discovered and used, and (2) creating standards for application and service interoperation on both a technical and commercial level..." [source]
The Future Image Report. Special Issue, Volume 10, Issue 1 (June 2002). "Provides a Detailed Look at CPXe." Pages 2-7: "Interview: Kodak's Mark Cook" - Provides a discussion of the implications and intricacies behind CPXe; Pages 8-9: "Interview: I3A's Lisa Walker" - The Executive Director details the intercompany cooperation necessary to launch CPXe; Pages 10-11: "Interview: Steve Sutherland" - The president of OpenGraphics explains how CPXe started. Available for download.
"Common Picture eXchange Environment - (CPXe). Growing the Digital Photography Services Market." By Tom Giantsopoulos. 21 slides. April, 2002. "CPXe is an industry initiative to implement 'An open, Common Picture eXchange environment whereby imaging devices can seamlessly exchange digital images, order and commerce information among any networked imaging applications and services, regardless of manufacturer, service provider or geography.' The industry consortium is to provide: (1) A Network Architecture; (2) A Central Directory; (3) Standard APIs; (4) Operational Support. Member companies are to provide: services that plug-in [retail printing services] and applications that use the services on the network... Manufacturers benefit for several reasons. An open, standards-based system promotes creation and growth of the digital print services category. This growth creates new demand in all categories of imaging products & services (equipment, materials, cameras, wholesale printing, online services, storage, software, technology)." The presentation is available for download.
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