CIP4 (International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress) has announced the version 1.0 release of its XML-based Job Definition Format (JDF) Specification. The 463-page specification defines the Job Definition Format (JDF) and its counterpart, the Job Messaging Format (JMF). JDF is an open, extensible, XML-based format "built upon the existing technologies of CIP3's Print Production Format (PPF) and Adobe's Portable Job Ticket Format (PJTF). JDF has the ability to unify the pre-press, press, and post-press aspects of any printing job. It also provides the means to bridge the communication gap between production services and Management Information Systems (MIS). JDF is also able to carry out both of these functions no matter what system architecture is already in place, and no matter what tools are being used to complete the job. JDF works in tandem with a counterpart format known as the Job Messaging Format, or JMF. JMF provides the means for production components of a JDF workflow to communicate with system controllers and administrative components. JMF will provide the complete job tracking functionality that is defined by the IFRAtrack messaging standard."
Specification Appendix A.1 on "XML Schema Data Types" describes the JDF data types used in this specification; they comply with the lexical representation of (primitive) data types defined by W3C XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes. Appendix B references the XML Schema: "XMLSchema for JDF (and JMF) will be published on http://www.CIP4.org. [The XMLSchema in the current version is not sufficient to completely validate a JDF job.] Appendix K "lists a number of commonly used JDF data types and structures and their XML encoding. Data types are simple data entities such as strings, numbers and dates. They have a very straightforward string representation and are used as XML attribute values. Data structures, on the other hand, describe more complex structures that are built from the defined data types, such as colors."
From the announcement 2001-04-10:
The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) today announced the release of version 1.0 of the Job Definition Format (JDF) specification. JDF, an emerging standard for the graphic arts market, administered by CIP4, is an XML-based print workflow specification. As an open standard, JDF will benefit print buyers and print service providers by simplifying the job specification process, by ensuring cross-vendor system communication, and by automating many of today's manual production processes with a flexible, universal Job Ticket (JDF). The specification is available immediately at http://www.cip4.org.
Collaborative support for JDF by technology vendors, hardware manufacturers, eCommerce vendors, print production companies, and others involved in printed communication is expected to enable efficient end-to-end print supply chain workflow. JDF promises to integrate authoring, production, management, manufacturing, delivery and MIS control. This will allowing system and software developers to extend existing high performance systems, to develop new, highly-configurable systems and to create a new level of process integration in the industry. eCommerce companies will be able to directly integrate this production workflow into print management systems, accessible via online web sites. End users can look forward to more cost-effective workflow automation.
"This collaborative effort on JDF brings together key players in the printing industry and validates the role of open, robust workflow standards towards realizing new supply chain efficiencies," said George Cacioppo, Vice President of Internet Printing, Adobe Systems Incorporated.
- CIP4 web site
- Announcement: "JDF Specification, Version 1.0 Officially Released by CIP4 and Immediately Available on the CIP4 Web Site. JDF Defines New Paradigm for Increased Automation and Integrated Supply Chain Workflow."
- Announcement source in HTML and PDF format
- JDF Specification Release 1.0, [cache]
- "Job Definition Format (JDF)" - Main reference page.