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CIP4 Releases XML Schema and Software Development Kit for Job Definition Format (JDF).

The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) has announced the release of a draft XML Schema and a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Job Definition Format (JDF) and related Job Messaging Format (JMF). According to Jim Mekis, Vice President of the PrintTalk Consortium, the preparation of an XML Schema "represents a major milestone in the development of JDF as the open standard of interoperability in the printing industry; the XML Schema will allow developers to test the JDF they produce using standard XML tools. 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 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 p lace, 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 (JMF). Also available for download is the SDK, based on the Apache Xerces XML parser. It contains high level JDF and JMF manipulation classes as well as typesafe access to JDF attributes and elements. The initial implementation is designed to be platform independent. It is written in C++ in a Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 environment, and comes with HTML documentation and a host of sample applications, including a complete JDF and JMF validator."

From the XML Schema documentation: "This XML schema provides a formal definition of the XML syntax specified in the JDF Specification Version 1.0. It includes both JDF and JMF syntax, and defines the XML namespace It is not possible to express in an XML schema all of the syntactic constraints found in the specification. Nor is it possible to express the semantics associated with the syntactic constructs. In case of inconsistencies or incompleteness, the specification should be considered normative. This schema can be used with schema validating XML parsers to enforce the validity of JDF and JMF documents. Additional code must be written for complete validation, since the schema does not express all of the syntactic constraints in the JDF Specification. The schema is being used to generate the base classes in the CIP4 JDF SDK. The SDK enforces additional syntactic constraints, beyond what is represented in the XML schema. It is possible to extend the JDF schema in other namespaces, defining new resources, messages, elements, and attributes, as described in the JDF Specification..."

From the announcement:

"Release of schema is a major milestone in the development of JDF as the open standard of interoperability in the printing industry. The human-readable JDF specification has been available for some time. The schema provides a computer-readable representation of the JDF specification, and defines both the required structure of the data and the terms that will be used to describe each element of that data. CIP4's release of JDF schema, along with a validation tool, allows the developers at the many companies who are currently building JDF-based workflow solutions to provide interoperability between those solutions." said Jim Mekis, Vice President of the PrintTalk consortium and a CIP4 member.

JDF is an upcoming industry standard designed to simplify information exchange between different applications and systems in and around the Graphic Arts industry. To that end JDF builds on and extends beyond pre-existing partial solutions, such as CIP3's Print Production Format (PPF) and Adobe Systems' Portable Job Ticket Format (PJTF). It also enables the integration of commercial and planning applications into the technical workflow. JDF joins the growing number of standards based on XML, ensuring maximum possible portability between different platforms and ready interaction with Internet-based systems.

CIP4 brings together vendors, consultants and end-users in the print communications, Graphic Arts industry and associated sectors, covering a variety of equipment, software, peripherals, and processes. Members participate in focused working groups to define future versions of JDF, to study user requirements, and to design the JDF SDK.

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