Tip of the month by Chris Cochrane
JDF, Don’t just Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

Before I begin once more I must say BACKUPS. Last week we had two clients where companies have lost large amounts of data and did not have adequate backups.  In one case the last complete backup was six months old.  The failure in one system was caused by a virus, and in the other by hardware - the server’s disk died.  Please make sure you have a current backup tonight (and every night).  If you haven’t done one “for ages” then as the telecommunication company ad says “Now’s good” – it may be the most important thing you do today.

Now back to JDF.  JDF (Job Definition Format, and its often ignored cousin JMF or Job Messaging Format) is touted as the answer to communication problems between the software on the various pieces of equipment, particularly when the equipment comes from different suppliers.

Unfortunately, the reality with JDF is that a lot of companies are just talking the talk, not actually doing it.  Worse than that, despite the one thousand page plus specification (or perhaps because of it), different companies are implementing JDF differently, even to the extent of how they process and handle customer names.

Earlier this month (May 2005) we were asked to enable our JDF interface to pass information to, and receive from, a MAN Roland press controlled by Pecom. We have previously said that Printcost is JDF aware and ready to be enabled once other pieces of equipment at a Printcost site were ready. We are pleased to announce that our first site is now up and running with JDF.  We are well aware there is a long way to go until we have complete integration with all machines and processes but Printcost, and therefore you as a Printcost user, can take the first step, once you have another JDF enabled device.

Regrettably - unless it’s a MAN Roland press, with Pecom - it will not be without some trials and testing but we are confident that with cooperation from other suppliers, we can enable JDF interfaces to other devices.

Not only are we walking the walk, we are up and running.

Finally, I repeat, BACKUPS and while are on that, virus protection is good too.

If you want to comment or suggest a topic for ‘tip of the month’, contact Chris on email cc@printcost.com


“We first installed Printcost in 1995 when the company had 35 staff, since then various modules have been added to keep up with the increasing requirements
of the company, which now has 100-plus staff. One of the biggest benefits I get from Printcost is the KPI reports. It used to take
us one hour per day to compile the spreadsheet, but now ePrintcost does it all automatically and sends it to me wherever I am in the world."

Fred Soar, Soar Printing, Auckland, New Zealand