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."
From the Announcement
The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), the leading global association for the imaging industry, today announced an initiative to create Version 2.0 of its cutting-edge suite of specifications, CPXe, for the exchange of digital images. The announcement was made at I3A's press conference during the PMA 2004 event.
Based on an open-standard Web Services framework, CPXe enables 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 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. Released in February 2003, Version 1.0 of the CPXe specification is available for free download from the I3A Web site, www.i3a.org.
CPXe Version 2.0 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. I3A expects that Version 2.0 will be ready for release in the fourth quarter.
Participants in the development of CPXe have included I3A member companies Agfa-Gevaert, Beaufort Solutions, Canon USA, Digimarc, Eastman Kodak, Fuji Photo Film, Hewlett-Packard, Konica, Noritsu Koki, Olympus, Pixology, Shutterfly and Silverwire. New companies are now invited to join the CPXe Version 2.0 Initiative.
"Participants in I3A's CPXe initiative are firmly committed to making it easier and more convenient for consumers to get prints and other services from their digital cameras and camera phones," said Lisa Walker, president of I3A. "Their innovative work on CPXe Version 2.0 will deliver broader functionality to vendors, enabling CPXe compliant businesses to conduct transactions or establish instant partnerships with each other, based on business terms that they control and identify to each other dynamically."
"We have seen tremendous interest in CPXe as evidenced by the increasing adoption of the Version 1.0 standards. With Version 2.0 we are expanding the features by adding those improvements most frequently requested by our members," said Patrick Gaglione, chair of the CPXe Version 2 working group.
The CPXe 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).
Specific new features of CPXe V2.0 will include:
Storage Access service functionality: the ability to add, manage and utilize images with any CPXe compliant online storage service
Transaction logging functions: enabling application providers to share in the revenue generated by orders that they direct to fulfillment providers. Fulfillers, in turn, can now partner with any application provider either by contract or dynamically, greatly increasing their consumer reach
Complex Products: standards that include support for ordering high value composite imaging products that can drive up revenue and consumer satisfaction. These products, such as bound albums and album pages, calendars, greeting cards and postcards, are becoming increasingly popular with digital camera users and generate high incremental revenue for vendors
Picture Services Network, Inc. (www.pictureservices.org) is helping the industry unleash the full potential of CPXe by providing the PSN Directory Service. This global directory provides immediate access to an online database of photo service providers.
Through the Common Picture eXchange environment (CPXe) initiative, consumers using digital cameras will be able to obtain photographic prints and other innovative digital photo services from participating providers using any digital camera, from any location, via any online photo site, from any retail printing service or printer. Through CPXe, then, digital photography is heading toward unprecedented levels of convenience and accessibility. Ultimately, CPXe is about combining the convenience and choice of current film- based systems with all the advantages of digital.
Three key capabilities are at the core of the initiative. First, it will require the creation of a Network designed to connect the array of services offered by all types of providers. Second, a master service directory, similar in function to the telephone Yellow Pages, will make all of those services easily accessible to anyone. And thirdly, the creation of industry-wide standards for applications and services will allow for seamless service and convenience.
The end result? A CPXe Network that builds new bridges between businesses and their markets, while reducing the costs and overhead of participating in such a partnership. The Network creates an environment that seamlessly supports fluid transactions on a large scale. For consumers, the CPXe network will reliably and affordably deliver new levels of access to digital photography -- anywhere and anytime.
To participate in delivering services on the CPXe Network, businesses join a non-profit association created to operate and support the Network. Participating companies pay minimal annual membership fees in order to list their services on the Network. [from the home page]
"Representing nearly all leading and emerging imaging companies, I3A -- the International Imaging Industry Association -- is the largest imaging industry group worldwide. The approximately 90 member companies of this not-for-profit association are dedicated to developing and promoting the adoption of open industry standards, addressing environmental issues and providing a voice for the industry that will ultimately benefit all users. I3A is the product of the merger of the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) and the Photographic and Imaging Manufacturers Association (PIMA), with almost 60 years of combined imaging industry leadership.
As the central forum for the development and advancement of open standards within the imaging industry, I3A takes a broad view of the entire imaging market value chain. In doing so, I3A seeks to identify strategic market growth barriers, where a strong industry consortium has the greatest potential for impact, then targets specific initiatives or standards projects to reduce or eliminate those barriers. I3A uses a combination of technical and marketing activities to reach its goals of solving interoperability challenges, resolving infrastructure issues and minimizing overall market confusion.
I3A's status as an accredited Standards Developing Organization enables us to take the formal approach when it's called for. As secretariat for the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 42 (ISO/TC42) on Photography and administrator for the USA Technical Advisory Group for this committee, I3A is well qualified in the world of formal international standardization..." [from About I3A]
Related Graphics and Media Specifications
- Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL)
- Multimodal Presentation Markup Language (MPML)
- Moving Picture Experts Group: MPEG-7 Standard
- MPEG-21 Part 2: Digital Item Declaration Language (DIDL)
- DIG35: Metadata Standard for Digital Images
- Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP)
- W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
- Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML)
- Vector Markup Language (VML)
- Image Markup Language (IML)
- VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and X3D
- Announcement: "I3A Kicks Off Work on Common Picture Exchange Environment: CPXe Version 2.0. New Features to Include Support for Transactions, Image Storage and Albums."
- Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) Initiative website
- "I3A Announces CPXe Interoperability Specifications and UDDI-Based Picture Services Network." News story 2003-03-06.
- CPXe FAQ document
- Picture Services Network (PSN) website
- I3A Member Listing
- International Imaging Industry Association (I3A)
- Photo Marketing Association (PMA)
- "Common Picture Exchange Environment (CPXe)" - Main reference document.