Introduction to Print Data Management

Keyline as an overseeing MIS does not interact with any print data files ("the PDF") directly. However, in order to orchestrate the processes of a printery, Keyline stores meta-data about the print data files and can trigger events based on this meta-data. This can be used to ease communication between different tools during the PDF processing and preflight.

Goals of Keyline's Print Data Management

Streamlining Processes & Connecting Tools

Keyline is the central location of all production-relevant data for any print product, and enables streamlining of many more processes of a printery. It does this, among other things, by

  • Providing a central storage for meta-data of print data files (such as file locations and sizes) and their processing
  • Pass meta-data between various print data processing tools
  • Trigger workflows with print data processing tools after certain events

Tracking Status & Informing Users

However print data management in Keyline not only enables process streamlining, but also informing users about the status of production of any print product, by

  • Tracking the progress of print data file processing and display this inside the Keyline UI
  • Providing users with links in the UI for quick access to print data files
  • Communicate print data file problems (called errata) inside Keyline's UI
  • Providing a comprehensive overview of a print product's production, incl. preflight and print data preprocessing

Metadata storage

Usually there are several tools involved in the processing of print data. However those tools don't integrate well with each other and data between those tools needs to be transferred manually. Keyline provides you with a key/value store for each print data file, that accepts almost any data you provide. With this mechanism you can use Keyline as the primary source of meta-data during preflight and processing tasks, instead of generating and moving XML or other files around.

Progress tracking

Keyline not only allows you to store print data file information, but also encourages you to store information about the state of these files. For example, during processing of an original file during which processed files will be created, we recommend that you create the objects for these processed files right away and continuously update their progress and state via the Keyline API. Keyline can then provide the user with this information, allowing her to view all critical information in one place, no matter the underlying PDF processing tool.

Problem tracking

Through print data errata, Keyline allows you to track problems during print data processing down to the page level. If you use the Keyline API to store such information you allow the user to easily view problems and devise rescue strategies. This information can also be consumed by proofing portals or mailed to a client.

What's best to read next?