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.
The suite of CPXe Materials released 2003-02 contains:
- CPXe Core Implementation API Specification v1.0. International Imaging Industry Association. February 28, 2003. 50 pages. Provides descriptions of the core elements necessary for establishing the framework of the CPXe Network enviroment (standard common API, common CPXe components and their interactions [Requestors and Providers], the instruments used for interaction and network management).
- CPXe Fulfillment Access Service API Specification v1.0. International Imaging Industry Association. February 28, 2003. 35 pages. Describes the APIs for a CPXe Fulfillment Access Service. The APIs are intended to be flexible and extensible such that more complex web services can be built on top of these base APIs for value-added functionality.
- CPXe Service Locator Service API Specification v1.0. International Imaging Industry Association. February 28, 2003. 26 pages. Describes the generic programmatic interface for a CPXe Service Locator Service. The Service Locator provides CPXe Requestors with a way to find and select a specific Fulfillment Access Service (and other services post Release 1).
- CPXe Web Browser Interaction Service API Specification v1.0. International Imaging Industry Association. February 28, 2003. 61 pages. The CPXe Web Browser Interaction Service (WBIS) API is an interface to CPXe service providers that supports interaction using commonly available web browsers and established protocols and browser-specific capabilities.
- CPXe Defined tModels and Profiles Specification v1.0. International Imaging Industry Association. February 28, 2003. 29 pages. Identifies the specific tModels that are defined by CPXe to be used in a UDDI based directory service. It describes CPXe defined profiles or different feature sets that describe the minimum methods and behaviors that a particular CPXe service needs to have to ensure interoperability with other services conforming to the same profile.
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.
"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."
With commercial service availability planned for June 2003, the PSN Directory Service will open the gateway for CPXe adopters, through their compliant applications and services, to allow consumers to quickly locate services and providers using familiar search criteria such as a zip code or desired product type.
Participation in the PSN is open to any company, large or small. Companies that will benefit from the directory service include photo-enabled device manufacturers; photo-enabled Web sites and portals; independent software vendors; traditional and non-traditional photo retailers; online photofinishers; and photofinishing system integrators. PSN participants will now be able to effectively expand their market reach and deliver innovative products and services to any digital camera owner - regardless of the camera's brand or where it was purchased.
PSN members also have access to a range of benefits, including the privilege to register an unlimited number of applications and services for no additional fee. PSN membership dues will cover ongoing operating costs and are scaled based on the member's market capitalization. Current PSN members include Agfa-Gevaert AG, Eastman Kodak Company, Hewlett-Packard Company and Silverwire, Inc.
CPXe and PSN Overview
Based on a Web Services framework, CPXe will enable the global transmission of digital pictures, order and commerce information between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers -- regardless of the type of digital camera, device, PC or operating system or photofinishing equipment used by service providers.
The CPXe Initiative is making it as convenient to get great prints from digital pictures as it is today with film. CPXe will allow consumers to purchase digital products and services from their favorite local retailer from home or from wherever they happen to be. Future CPXe specifications will also allow consumers to clear the memory of their digital camera at retail kiosks or from vacation spots, or transfer photos between cell phones and PDAs.
CPXe enables numerous business-to-business integration scenarios, touching all the significant parts of the industry, from consumer devices to kiosks and mini-labs. CPXe specifications are open, so any company regardless of its size can take advantage of them.
I3A, along with several CPXe member companies has formed a new, notfor- profit corporation to operate the Picture Services Network (PSN). The heart of the CPXe architecture, PSN will operate a private UDDI-based Directory Service that will allow any compliant application to present to consumers a list of participating service providers. Through CPXe specifications and PSN, digital photography is heading toward increased levels of convenience, accessibility and growth. Ultimately, CPXe and PSN together combine the ease and convenience of the film-based photo system with all the advantages of digital photography. [from the Backgrounder]
CPXe and PSN Distinctives
CPXe and PSN are initiatives driven by the needs of the consumer digital photography industry at-large. They are open and not-for-profit in nature. The following features highlight some unique characteristics:
- No Transaction or Slotting Fees. With PSN, there are no slotting or transaction based charges paid by members to the organization for making use of the PSN Directory Service.
- Open Participation. With CPXe and PSN, participation is open to any company, large or small.
- Support for the Industry. As a not-for-profit entity, funding for PSN directly supports growth of the digital photo services category, including the operation of the Directory Service as well as joint marketing communications efforts. No commercial entities directly profit from the operations of PSN.
- Freedom of Action. With CPXe, applications can be designed to integrate with whatever services make sense for the context. There is no central, controlling application involved. For example, desktop software is able to upload to any compatible CPXe service.
- Broad Connectivity. The CPXe architecture enables a wide range of integration scenarios, touching all the significant parts of the industry, from consumer devices to kiosks to mini-labs. [from the Backgrounder]
About the CPXe Initiative
"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). The CPXe Initiative Group (Phase 2) was formed in July 2002. It consists of the following member/participating companies: 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.
- Announcement: "I3A Announces Release of CPXe Specification Suite and New Online Directory Service. Picture Services Network and v1.0 Interoperability Specifications Put CPXe Into Motion."
- Download the CPXe 1.0 Specification
- "Backgrounder: Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) and Picture Services Network (PSN)". 7 pages.
- CPXe Frequently Asked Questions. June 2002. 8 pages. [cache]
- Industry Datasheet. From InfoTrends Research Group, Inc,
- CPXe Quote Sheet
- Picture Services Network (PSN) website
- Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) Initiative website
- International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) website
- Contact: Lisa Walker (Executive Director, I3A)
- Another I3A Project: "DIG35: Metadata Standard for Digital Images."
- "Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe)" - Main reference page.