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Last modified: October 13, 2000
printcafe eProduction eCommerce eXchange (PCX)

[October 14, 2000] "printCafe PCX is designed to be an integration specification for interfacing external systems and services with printCafe solutions. It will map out a number of areas that are important for ongoing integration, and the relationships of these to industry standards efforts. These areas include content, electronic broker, internal plant, supply chain, third-party management systems, and buyer ERP/e-procurement." printCafe recently announced [2000-09] that it will incorporate the job definition format (JDF) into printCafe PCX.

"Paul M. Gaboury, Director Consulting Services for printCafe, spoke on 'Integration: Goals and Methods'. Gaboury began by discussing the printCafe organization -- a leading provider of print management solutions, vertical applications, business-to-business web services, and process integration to the printing and publishing industry. The printCafe strategy today is to operate the company at two levels -- one that perpetuates the businesses which comprise the collaboration, and another that provides integrated web services to the industry. The purpose of printCafe PCX is to facilitate integration by enhancing the printing and publishing supply chain. The goals are to provide customers with fully integrated access to third party systems and services, provide those in the marketplace with the ability to flow their precertified data to printCafe management systems, provide the marketplace with a blueprint for the process of integrating third party systems to the printCafe suite of systems, and support existing industry standards and maximize their use in integration projects. PCX, Gaboury said, is an integration specification encompassing external systems including business-to-business solutions (both horizontal and vertical), e-procurement (commercial and private, supply chain, content origination and management, production system and management interfaces, and other connections. The PCX process is designed to communicate needs and opportunities; coordinate with and participate in standards groups; review with an advisory council and set priorities; establish partner agreements and schedules; develop supplements and enhancements to industry standards; implement, demonstrate and pilot test new interfaces; provide third party certification of PCX partner implementation; and comarket and deploy new interfaces. PCX is standards implementation, not the creation of competing industry standards. Industry standards support criteria for PCX involve vision, scope, base of support/funding, relevant market value, willingness to cooperate with overlapping standards ventures, commitment to the GCA industry architecture program, use of an industry standard XML version, and existence as part of an industry group rather than an interest group. PCX involves interbusiness data flow (among third party systems, shared environments, and printCafe web services) as well as intrabusiness data flows (existing and future printCafe print management systems). Interbusiness data flows involve many-to-one-to-many data interchanges; the least cost, most efficient method for all parties; one interface which reaches all printCafe print management systems; and the assurance of data integrity, minimal support and deployment costs, among others..." [Meeting notes from the Digital Smart Factory Conference, Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Orlando, Florida, August 15-16, 2000. By Dennis E. Mason.] See PDF.


  • printCafe, Inc. Web site

  • Q&A: printCafe's Marc Olin. Interview with Marc Olin, Co-Chief Executive Officer, printCafe. By Marc Olin. ['In a talk with PrintWriter, printCafe's Marc Olin, the visionary behind software developer Prograph, gives direction on the the goals of printCafe, printCafe's PCX and the dawn of the Job Definition Format (JDF).'] "printCafe was created in January 2000 through the combined initiatives of Prograph Systems, leading provider of print management and publishing software, and CreoScitex, a division of Creo Products. printCafe provides leading-edge software and MIS/ERP solutions as well as tools that automate the business cycle of printing and publishing, and the production process. printCafe's approach integrates the most widely used print management systems with a powerful e-commerce engine enabling users to specify virtually any type of print project, obtain estimates, manage B2B transactions, monitor ERP information, set up all stages of the production process, track the status of a project in real time, manage invoicing, and report on a broad range of performance summaries and analyses... 'JDF is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. printCafe is focused on providing a framework for interfacing external systems and services with printCafe solutions in each area of the printing process, such as content, pre-press, internal plant, third party e-brokers, supply chain, buyer e-procurement. To do this, we're leveraging industry standards already in place and adding value, such as JDF. Opportunities for interfacing under our PCX initiative are unlimited, and we're hoping to continue dialogs with any number of companies and organizations that deploy a variety of existing standards. Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to connect the existing wheels to create a powerfully efficient machine for our customers. The purpose of printCafe PCX (eProduction eCommerce eXchange) is to provide a necessary coordinating framework for the implementation of standards, specifications, and best practices. There are a number of standards in the market, which do a very good job of facilitating data communication in specific areas of the print process, such as content, pre-press, internal plant, buyer e-procurement, supply chain, etc. JDF is one of those standards and printCafe will incorporate it into printCafe PCX, demonstrating a clear commitment to integrate open standards into printCafe's complete suite of software solutions'."

  • Integration: Goals and Methods. Introducing printCafe PCX." By Paul Gaboury, Director, PCX Initiative, printCafe, Inc. The Digital Smart Factory. August 15-16 2000, Orlando, Florida. "The purpose of PCX is simply to facilitate integration. Its mission is to enhance the printing and publishing supply chain by including third-party integration with our other prime objectives. printCafe intends to support and implement 3rd party integration wherever and however these can add value for our customers and business partners..." [cache]

  • PCX: Request Information

  • Contact: Paul Gaboury, Director, PCX Initiative, printCafe, Inc. [+1 (978) 897-4817.]

  • [October 13, 2000] "PCX: A Framework, Not A Specification." By John Parsons. In Seybold Bulletin - News and Views on Electronic Publishing Volume 6, Number 2 (October 11, 2000). ['John Parsons examines printcafe's PCX initiative. Started as a specification for interface integration, has it grown into something else?'] "Originally promoted as an interface integration specification, PrintCafe's eProduction eCommerce eXchange (PCX) is now being described primarily as 'a framework for integrating industry standards.' While the phrase 'specification' is still used in the official white paper and FAQ documents, the emphasis is now on encouraging participants to use existing standards, rather than publishing specific implementation requirements. The distinction is not a subtle one. Online print auction sites, such as, which demonstrated integration with PrintCafe management systems at GraphExpo, are given substantial, and presumably consistent guidance in the use of appropriate standards, such as JDF and cXML, among others. There even will be a certification process by a neutral party (RIT) that will be fully operational within the next 3-4 months. However, at this time, there are no published 'objects' or sample implementation components -- no code for developers to evaluate and try on their own. There are also no published APIs for the various print management systems within the PrintCafe stable. (Company co-CEO Marc Olin maintains that demands for open APIs have come primarily from competing E-commerce companies, not customers.) Under the PCX framework, integration with PrintCafe applications only will happen through the PrintCafe web site. This is essential, Olin asserts, because of the large number of applications involved (17) and the amount of custom development time required by a typical PrintCafe customer. According to PrintCafe, the reason for this approach is to avoid creating yet another standard, and to implement existing ones -- including those in the document creation and supply chain environments. Olin emphasized that PrintCafe is actively involved in standards organizations, including GCA, which is actively involved in XML applications for the industry, and CIP4, which controls the JDF standard..."

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