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Publishers re-usable integrated network toolkits for Information technologies

Objective

The overall objective of PRINT-IT is to bring the printing and publishing industries in-line with currently available and emerging information and communications technologies. The specific objectives are to:
- build a Distributed Printing network integrating ISDN, Satellite and ATM transport with specific developments for network management facilities;
- develop missing tools and modules required to create a Distributed Publishing Service;
- run two pilots to demonstrate the viability and benefits of Distributed Publishing to potential users such as Content Creators, Service Providers, and End-Users;
- conduct a techno-economic survey defining and promoting the development and acceptance of this new service;
- deliver recommendations and guidelines for Distributed Publishing service development scenarios.
- Demonstrations of value-added network services in distributed publishing domain.
- Enabling technologies reducing the technological and financial risks induced by the service creation process.
- A complete EDI transactional model providing standards and effective tools, from pre-press phase up to the effective payment of the service.
- Enrichment of the Portable Document Format (PDF) de facto standard to cope with distributed publishing constraints and requirements.
- Guidelines and recommendations for policy makers, Telecom operators, etc. in order to create optimum development conditions of distributed publishing service.
Expected Impact
The direct impact of the project will be for today's users of offset printed documents. Decreasing delays and wasted printing costs constitute a valuable economical benefit. In addition, offset printing will be as easy as printing a word-like document since accessing the service is based on WWW facilities.
Downsizing in terms of high performance printers will be possible thanks to advanced communications features provided by trans-European high bandwidth networks.
Publishing businesses will be freed from fixed printing costs since PRINT-IT will provide an On-Demand service. The corollary of this is increasing competitiveness of European publishing industry and a direct impact on the environment.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
Build a Distributed Printing network integrating ISDN, Satellite and ATM transport with specific developments for network management facilities. Developed a Distributed Publishing Service.
Contribution to the programme
Brings the printing and publishing industries in-line with currently available and emerging information and communications technologies. Delivered recommendations and guidelines for Distributed Publishing service development scenarios.
Technical Approach
PRINT-IT will conduct a state of the art survey and assess the requirements for Distributed Printing services. One particular aim of this study is to determine which technical approach should be followed for software development in order to make the components of the Toolkit developed in the framework of the project re-usable.
A generic open architecture for DP services will be defined and a Toolkit implemented, embedding the widely used Portable Document Format (PDF), EDI transactional norms and modules and network management agents. PRINT-IT will implement most of its software modules in the form of PDF plug-ins.
Components of the Toolkit will be used to create two pilot services namely an On Demand Printing Service and Kiosk-based Service.
A potential user survey will be conducted focused on the impact of such technologies as the combination of digital colour offset printing, broadband, Web publishing and distributed publishing. Issues like perceived value added, price and cost impact, ergonomics will be of particular interest.
PRINT-IT will tackle key parameters for future development, through merging results of the pilots and potential user survey. This will lead to the formulation of guidelines to key players as well as smaller service providers, in order to achieve the optimum scenario.
In order to form a consensus around the technologies developed in PRINT-IT, an international workshop will be organised on "Distributed Publishing Services" and public demonstrations of the services will take place.
Summary of Trial
This first pilot will provide a realistic Distributed On Demand Printing service consisting of customers, service providers, network providers and vendors all involved in the complete electronic management of a print job, from the pre-press phase, up to the billing and final delivery.
The Kiosk pilot service will allow "generic" users to easily produce professional quality printed material by combining the unique possibilities of the distributed publishing network with high quality digital colour printing. The interface to the service will be developed using HTML and JAVA. Other high-level multimedia programming languages will be investigated.
Key Issues
- The printing industry has not taken advantage of the growth potential offered by existing information and communications technologies. High delivery costs and production delays associated with the traditional publishing process are no longer satisfactory for the demands of the evolving on-demand, short-run, and "just-in-time" publishing trends.
- Components allowing the development of a Distributed Publishing network exist, but no-one has integrated and developed them into a functional system.
- The electronic publishing community lacks standards for the electronic distribution and production of printed documents.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Indigo Europe
Address
Limburglaan 5
6221 SH Maastricht
Netherlands

Participants (8)

Adobe Systems Benelux BV
Netherlands
Apple Computer Europe
Germany
CitiusNet SA
France
Drescher GmbH
Germany
France Télécom Expertel
France
Address
25 Rue Des Jeuneurs
75002 Paris
Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor Agenzia Giornalistica Economico Finanziaria
Italy
Address
Via Paolo Lomazzo 52
20154 Milano
KPN Research
Netherlands
Rapidocolor France SA
France