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Mark_F
03-13-2012, 07:08 AM
This post gives some background on the issues involved in making content available to Fiery controllers via JDF/JMF. There are a variety of user interfaces available (in Web to print systems like EFI Digital StoreFront, MIS systems like EFI PrintSmith, Pace or Monarch, make-ready systems like Canon imageWARE Prepress Manager, customer intent creators, such as Adobe Acrobat, prepress systems such as Agfa Apogee and Kodak Prinergy, etc.), but the XML of the JDF always gets mapped to the same syntax. The JDF syntax supports a variety of protocols, such as http, Windows file share, ftp, MIME, etc.

Keep in mind that JDF has no magic way to get access to files across the network. JDF integration can be used as a powerful productivity tool, but the networking can be much more complex than a traditional driver workflow.

As a joke demonstrating this issue, my Fiery JDF colleague Andy sent me this text message, "I went Kayaking on the coast over the weekend. Take a look at a picture I took: C:\Documents and Settings\Andy\Desktop\kayak.jpg" Just as there was no way I could access a file on Andy's desktop, there is no way a Fiery controller can see content on an EFI Monarch MIS client or server's local or mapped network drives. The file must be specified on a network resource that the Fiery controller can access.

If Andy were to create a share on his laptop, e.g., \\server_name\share_name\, send me the link \\server_name\share_name\kayak.jpg and give me network permissions to access \\server_name\share_name\ then I could see the image of his kayaking adventures on the coast.

Note that System 9r2 Fiery controllers will respond with a JDF queue entry ID and then if it cannot retrieve the file referenced in the JDF, it will close the job back to the JDF submitting application without the job ever being visible in Command WorkStation.

Definitions

Content: By "content" we mean the actual customer-supplied artwork PDL (Page Description Language) file that will be ripped and actually printed. This is most commonly a PDF, but could be other file types supported by the Fiery controller (PostScript, PPML, etc.).

JMF (http://jdf.fiery.com/?p=21): Job Messaging Format, JDF's transport protocol. This is basically just an HTTP POST with some messaging (e.g., SubmitQueueEntry to submit a job).

Protocols

A MIME package (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is perhaps the most trouble-free way of getting content files to Fiery controllers via JDF because instead of sending a JDF that references the content on some remote computer, the JDF sending application creates a MIME package with both the JDF and the content inside. It does take extra cycles to encode and decode the MIME package and it can involve pulling the content across the network twice, but there will be no network connectivity or permissions issues on the Fiery controller.
Here is an example of the FileSpec attribute when the content is in a MIME package (this example generated by Hagen 9):
FileSpec URL="cid:020907035500_4524_19@mn.efi.com"

HTTP is perhaps the second most trouble-free way of getting content to a Fiery controller, as long as a login is not required to access files on the http share. Installing IIS or Apache are a couple mechanisms for sharing files via http.
Here is an exmple of the FileSpec attribute using HTTP (this example generated by PrintSmith 8.0)
FileSpec URL=" http://w3.efi.com/~/media/Files/EFI/Fiery/Fiery%20JDF/Fiery_JDF_Getting_Started_Guide.pdf"

Retrieving files from a Windows share is possible, but more complex and requires a workaround for System 9r2 Fiery controllers and for System 10 Fiery controllers either a common global path configuration or manual intervention on each job. When MIME is not available and there is not a way to make files available via http or the files are very large and network file transfer speeds are an issue, referencing files on a Windows share may be the best path forward, however this will not work with the default configuration.
Here is an example of the FileSpec attribute referring to a PDF on a Windows share
FileSpec URL="file://server_name.domain_name/share_name/path/FileName.pdf"