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About PrintTalk / PrintTalk Members / Membership Criteria / Implementation / News Releases

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What’s the nature of the PrintTalk group?

PrintTalk is a consortium of companies providing Business Management and eCommerce Solutions (BMS & eCS) for the Graphic Arts industry. PrintTalk is a non-profit group administered by NPES.

Mission statement

To create, implement, and gain rapid and consistent adoption of a freely distributed open standard that will be used to directly communicate data between eCommerce applications and business management systems for the graphic arts industry. The PrintTalk implementation uses XML and JDF to define the business objects and job specifications respectively.

Implementation details

  • Direct data exchange from any compliant print management system to any compliant ecommerce application
  • The specification is freely available to any who request it
  • The Organization is open to any company or individual with a legitimate business interest in PrintTalk

How to join?

  • Must have a legitimate business interest
  • Must publicly support the PrintTalk standard and implementation details
  • Sign the membership agreement $2K annual dues payable upon acceptance to the group
  • Go to to download the membership agreements

Benefits of joining

  • Participation in technical initiatives to influence the direction of the specification
  • Network with other members who are developing PrintTalk deployments
  • Voting rights - one vote per company
  • Inclusion in PrintTalk marketing collateral and promotions
  • Use of the PrintTalkTM name, logo, and identity on products and collateral

What is the structure of the PrintTalk implementation?

The PrintTalk implementation is built on widely adopted, openly available XML definition. The business objects that describe the commercial exchange of information between the e-procurement services and print management systems are based on cXML. The job specification is described using the new JDF standard. The job specification is encapsulated within the business object and, as the basis for the exchange of data, will be used to populate the print manager’s estimation software.

What are the initial business objects?

  • Request for Quote
  • Quote
  • Request for Requote
  • Requote
  • Change Order RFQ
  • Change Order Quote
  • Change Order Acceptance
  • Purchase Order
  • Purchase Order Response
  • Change Order Confirmation
  • Order Status Request
  • Order Status Update
  • Invoice
  • Content Push/Pull
  • Report Request
  • Report

Who are the founding member companies
of PrintTalk?

Avanti Computer Systems,, Collabria, Inc., Graphic Arts IT, GraphiTech Computer Systems, httprint, Impresse, MediaFlex, MicroInk, Noosh, Inc., Pace Systems, Parsec Corporation, Press-tige Software,,, Printers Software, Inc., Profit Control Systems, Inc., Streamline Solutions and Wam!Net

Why was JDF used?

JDF was developed by AGFA, Adobe Systems, Heidelberg, and MAN Roland and adopted by CIP4 as a broad standard for defining print production intent and processes from job creation to fulfillment. JDF uses a unique language semantic that makes it ideal for describing the desired result, or intent, of a print job. Early versions of the JDF definition lacked the precise definitions that print management systems needed to complete job estimation and ordering in an automated ecommerce environment. Together with the authors of JDF, the PrintTalk organization extended the definition to meet the needs of its members. The collaborative work between the original JDF authors and the PrintTalk committee has resulted in v4.0 of the JDF spec and will be available through the CIP4 organization. For additional information, visit the JDF website at

Why was cXML used?

cXML was developed to enhance the commerce capabilities of XML. This widely-used protocol provides a standard means for communicating business management and payment data between buyers and sellers. Organizations developing business solutions using cXML include: Microsoft, Cisco, Lucent, Ariba, Visa, Oracle, and many others. cXML will be embedded as standard business processes in products from these and many other companies, and will be the "backbone" of procurement transactions of all types used both within and outside the printing industry. For additional information, visit the cXML website at

How will PrintTalk be distributed?

After accepting a standard end-user license agreement, users will be able to download the specification at no charge from the web site.

When will PrintTalk be available?

The specification, including the business objects mentioned above, will be available publicly by the end of September.

Will membership be limited to only BMS
and eCS companies?

PrintTalk is open to all companies who meet the objectives and criteria for membership. The PrintTalk organization has received letters of interest from publishing, paper companies, commercial printers, printing equipment manufacturers and software vendors.

What is the future direction of PrintTalk?

PrintTalk is currently focused on the set of business objects stated above. We believe that this will meet the majority of print jobs typical for commercial printers, but is flexible enough to describe other printing requirements. As the membership broadens, the specification will evolve to address new business requirements.

What is NPES?

NPES is a U.S. trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in manufacturing and importing for sale or distribution of machinery, equipment, systems, software and supplies used in every printing, publishing and converting process from desktop design and image generation and processing to multiple output options and targeted dissemination systems. Information about NPES, its programs and its member companies is available on the Association web site at

The Association serves as secretariat to the following standards activities: The American National Standards Institute accredited B65Committee, charged with the development of safety standards for printing and finishing equipment; the ANSI accredited Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) to support and foster graphic arts standards activities and the develop technical standards where no applicable developer is available; the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee 130, Graphic Technology, responsible for coordinating the U.S. position and participation in the international standards activities of the ISO’s TC 130.

NPES also administers the International Color Consortium, an organization with nearly 75 members devoted to developing a specification to enable different computer platforms and devices to translate color definition information into a standard color interchange space so that the receiving device can interpret that data into the appropriate color.

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NPES serves as Secretariat to PrintTalk.  For more information, contact PrintTalk administrator William Kip Smythe at or telephone 703/264-7200.