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Topic: VDP Software (Read 1163 times) previous topic - next topic

VDP Software

I'm looking for opinions from those of you who use Variable Data software. We got a digital press last year and are looking to handle VDP better.

I don't like exporting merged, composite, giant PDFs from InDesign merge. I've seen XMPie... I hear a lot of talk about Fusion Pro, and it looks like a good solution. EFI also wants me to demo their stuff, because I have a Fiery running my DP but I'm not a big Fiery fan and their VDP seems more focused on store-front, interactive. But maybe I'm just spoiled on big RIPs.

I'm more interested in having a powerful production tool, to merge records with design, fast output, proper file handling, etc... Is Fusion Pro a lot of bang for the buck? Or should I look at XMPie?
"... profile says he's a seven-foot tall ex-basketball pro, Hindu guru drag queen alien." ~Jet Black

Re: VDP Software

Reply #1
How serious are you? CWS has VDP built in though I haven't got around to getting it figured out yet but it is on my agenda if production work ever slows down. But if you need serious tools I would look at one of those two options you mentioned. XMPie is big bucks I think. T-Pat or Youston I think are both experts in XMPie and I know Corn has used Fusion Pro.
Mac OS 10.12 Sierra | Prinergy 7.5 | Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 | Two Luscher XPose 160 CTP units

Prepress: One who does precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

Re: VDP Software

Reply #2
XMPie costs about 20-100x as much as FP, depending on what options you go for, plus monthly maintenance fees, etc. FP is about $1000 for the basic edition done and done, and it's a good, solid program, with lots of customizable features you can author yourself (via JavaScript). If you want to get into customizable images, pull from URLs, etc., you'll have to buy those options ala carte. I would say it depends on your runs. If you're running less than 100,000 records, FP should work just fine. For longer runs, XMPie might be a better option. You can do a monthly with FP if you want them to host servers, run data, etc. Basically, if you have a good .csv/.txt to start from, FP will probably suit your needs. We just demo'd some weird thing... EasyCatalog... too complex, but it does a lot of cool stuff. It costs more than FP too, but the support was awesome.
"I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells."
– Richard Pryor

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Re: VDP Software

Reply #3
Thanks, Corn. That's some good info.

Yes, runs less than 100k (digital). Marcom was quick to reply and set up a demo. I'm going to give FP a run tomorrow afternoon... ry to bullseye some womp-rats.
"... profile says he's a seven-foot tall ex-basketball pro, Hindu guru drag queen alien." ~Jet Black

Re: VDP Software

Reply #4
But does FP take care of the issue of gigantic files to rip at the printer?

I mean like the idea that the graphics get ripped once (like a link) and only the variable changes.

I thought that was a function of the printers rip software and not the front end software.

Right now we have a basic driver on our digital printer and I really doubt if it could handle anything other than pdf. I'm assuming that FP can export the job in another way to the printer but guess that you'd need a rip to interpret it.

 :drunk3:

Re: VDP Software

Reply #5
That is what I'm trying to accomplish, Bubbs. I'm hoping FP does it in a similar way to XMP... sending the static part once and swapping the variables on the fly. 

Because yeah, I already know how to use InDesign DataMerge but don't want to be sending 1000 page, full PDFs, merged.
"... profile says he's a seven-foot tall ex-basketball pro, Hindu guru drag queen alien." ~Jet Black


Re: VDP Software

Reply #7
That is what I'm trying to accomplish, Bubbs. I'm hoping FP does it in a similar way to XMP... sending the static part once and swapping the variables on the fly.

Because yeah, I already know how to use InDesign DataMerge but don't want to be sending 1000 page, full PDFs, merged.

I may be wrong but I think that is what the VDP built into CWS does...static part once and merges the variable as it prints. And if you already have CWS it is paid for already. I need work to slow down so I can try this.
Mac OS 10.12 Sierra | Prinergy 7.5 | Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 | Two Luscher XPose 160 CTP units

Prepress: One who does precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

Re: VDP Software

Reply #8
I used to run a set of train tickets for the Polar Express. 27,000+ unique tickets, each with a different picture, number, car assignment, seat number, day, date and time and you impose within FP using their imposer software based on how you cut and stack and you export the single file setup as a PPML (.zip). CWS processes it almost instantly.
"I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells."
– Richard Pryor

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Re: VDP Software

Reply #9
That is what I'm trying to accomplish, Bubbs. I'm hoping FP does it in a similar way to XMP... sending the static part once and swapping the variables on the fly.

Because yeah, I already know how to use InDesign DataMerge but don't want to be sending 1000 page, full PDFs, merged.

I may be wrong but I think that is what the VDP built into CWS does...static part once and merges the variable as it prints. And if you already have CWS it is paid for already. I need work to slow down so I can try this.
I am using a Fiery XF, not CWS. I am considering EFI's solution, since I already use a Fiery but am wondering if FP is a better program... for more advanced control. EFI's RIPs usually aren't "gloves off" enough for me, but I doubt I can justify pitching xMF to the boss, if there is a less $$ option, that doesn't suck. Fusion Pro sounds like a fair compromise.
"... profile says he's a seven-foot tall ex-basketball pro, Hindu guru drag queen alien." ~Jet Black

Re: VDP Software

Reply #10
You are using Fiery XF for a front end to your digital machine? We used to use it for the front end for our wide inkjets when we had them but never knew of anyone using it for a digital press.

I'm sure Fusion Pro is a lot more feature rich than the built in VDP in CWS. We don't do a lot of variable stuff here si it should work for us if I ever get around to figuring out how to use it.

PS: I hate EFI.
Mac OS 10.12 Sierra | Prinergy 7.5 | Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 | Two Luscher XPose 160 CTP units

Prepress: One who does precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

Re: VDP Software

Reply #11
CWS? Whats that? Every time i see this i am thinking Chicago White Sox.

 

Re: VDP Software

Reply #12
Command Work Station

Re: VDP Software

Reply #13
We DO NOT currently have Fusion Pro here, but curious if anyone knows if it will link to images stored on a server not on site, i.e. Amazon Cloud.
"I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells."
– Richard Pryor

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Re: VDP Software

Reply #14
Command Workstation does handle the VDP stuff fine, one file for the static stuff and another file with all the variable. Certainly makes life easier when you can send a 2000 page PDF with just text and not a 2000 page PDF full of text as well as all the images.

Thought pretty much everyone was running Fiery with Command Workstation for their digital stuff.