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Applications => Adobe InDesign => Topic started by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 09:06:52 AM

Title: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 09:06:52 AM
This has probably come up before, maybe even by me!

However, we're looking to expand our capabilities with variable printing, the Indesign data merge just isn't enough for some of the work we might be getting.

We need all that conditional variable stuff like IF, AND, etc.

Looking at Fusion Pro or Xmpie, big price difference, looks like Xmpiie might be 4x more, and wondering if FP would be all we need.

Hopeful for some feedback.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 09:22:34 AM
Oh, and how about the training?

I am a reasonably fart smeller, I mean smart feller, but, I would definately need some training to get going. After all, I was a film stripper 20 odd years ago, so I can't be that bright.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DCurry on September 19, 2018, 09:49:21 AM
I've never used XMPie, but my understanding of it is that it works as a plugin to ID so you are building everything in a very familiar environment. I've heard it's very good with a price tag to match.

I have used FusionPro off and on for years and while you can kind of pre-set some things in InDesign, all the real work and programming happens within Acrobat. FP is not the most user-friendly solution, however if you are looking for bang for your buck it wins hands down. It is very powerful, but a lot of the power comes from JavaScript so if you're not a scripter it can be a little daunting to get it to do what you want. They do have a very good user forum and some real smart folks who frequent it and will help with solutions (as long as you ask the questions the right way!)

You can build some rules (IF/THEN statements) fairly easily in FP by using their rule builder wizard.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 10:33:22 AM
Hmmm, tough choice, cost versus difficulty.

I thought FP was an .indd module.

Better look into it, I am not at all versed in JavaScript however.

What about the Meadows publishing extension. :drunk3:
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 10:51:26 AM
Used Printshop Mail a few years ago. It came with our old Konica machine.

It only worked with pdf's on the pc though so that was a pain in the ass.

Had all the features we would need however.

Working in Indesign-Mac is a must have for all the issues involved, especially fonts.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 11:07:54 AM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302496 date=1537367602

Hmmm, tough choice, cost versus difficulty.

I thought FP was an .indd module.

Better look into it, I am not at all versed in JavaScript however.

What about the Meadows publishing extension. :drunk3:


That Meadows product is: design merge pro.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on September 19, 2018, 11:12:33 AM
FP can pretty much do most everything XMPie can do, BUT it's only good for up to, say, 100,000 records, so if your runs are huge, then XMPie, otherwise FP should be fine. It has plugins for .indd, but the vast majority of setup is in Acrobat. Super easy to learn compared to XMPie as well.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: Tracy on September 19, 2018, 11:19:19 AM
There is something called Design Merge plugin for Indesign, Don't know anything about it.
I know it cost around 4000 or something like that, If  you want I can give you the guy's info that has been trying to sell it to me.
He can set you up with Demos
I knew my boss wouldn't buy it for me. He wouldn't update my XMF License!
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on September 19, 2018, 11:27:24 AM
FP is like $999
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 11:29:03 AM
Quote from: DigiCorn link=msg=302500 date=1537369953

FP can pretty much do most everything XMPie can do, BUT it's only good for up to, say, 100,000 records, so if your runs are huge, then XMPie, otherwise FP should be fine. It has plugins for .indd, but the vast majority of setup is in Acrobat. Super easy to learn compared to XMPie as well.


Super easy to learn, I hear, if you know Java Script...

Or do you mean using predefined actions that guide you through the IF, AND etc. functions? Printshop Mail was pretty good at that but I didn't understand it all.

And what if you have a letter that has variable paragraphs? I mean conditionally substituting different paragraphs in letters? Are you setting the paragraph onto the pdf on a layer for example? Can you copy and paste the letter from Indesign to Acrobat?
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 11:31:01 AM
Quote from: DigiCorn link=msg=302500 date=1537369953

FP can pretty much do most everything XMPie can do, BUT it's only good for up to, say, 100,000 records, so if your runs are huge, then XMPie, otherwise FP should be fine. It has plugins for .indd, but the vast majority of setup is in Acrobat. Super easy to learn compared to XMPie as well.


Cant' see us doing over 100,000. Mostly around 10,000, 40,000 max. So that's not an issue.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DCurry on September 19, 2018, 01:49:53 PM
FP is not too hard to learn. Basic rules are pretty easy. I was just saying that if you do know JavaScript you can really make it do some wild things.

I think you should get a demo and try it out. Variable paragraphs should be pretty easy. I don't think it works in layers like you are thinking, but you can create a paragraph as a "text resource" and use rules to place it when desired.

We also use SmartStream for a lot of jobs. Currently it is our main go-to because it is pretty easy, it works as a plug-in to ID so it's a very familiar environment and you can combine ID features with SmartStream to do some pretty complex stuff fairly easily. It costs more than FP, though, and can be a little flaky. It also has limitations that FP does not, but that's more in the really complex stuff. We also have a server version of SmartStream called Composer which chews through the files much faster than the desktop version.

We also have GMC Inspire but so far we're only using it on a select couple of jobs, and we hired a guy who already knew how to use it because it is DEEP. I'm sure we'll get some experience on that down the road. Very, very expensive (you could buy a Ferrari or two instead.)
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 02:02:56 PM
So I guess, even though you're in Acrobat, the available fonts would match the ones you are using in Indesign?
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DCurry on September 19, 2018, 02:07:59 PM
Not if you are loading fonts thru ID's "Document fonts" folder. To use them in Acrobat/Fusion you need to make them available to the system either thru a traditional font manager or by copying them to a system Fonts folder, then you go into Acrobat and tell Fusion to load the fonts. It sweeps the system and loads whatever fonts are currently active, then you have to restart Acrobat and Fusion. It's a silly dance but hopefully you don't need to do it too often.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 02:08:12 PM
Yes, thanks, I have requested a demo.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: scottrsimons on September 19, 2018, 02:41:44 PM
If you are anywhere close or are already going to Print18 in Chicago, I know FusionPro will be there, since their headquarters are located in Illinois. It's a good chance to talk to the nerds. And I'm sure if you contact them before the show, they can arrange a hands on demo there.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on September 19, 2018, 02:48:37 PM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302518 date=1537380176

So I guess, even though you're in Acrobat, the available fonts would match the ones you are using in Indesign?
It is kind of fussy about fonts, but you can always copy the font to the system folder, do the job, and remove it when done if in a pinch. I've had to do this for some IMBCs.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 19, 2018, 02:56:59 PM
Quote from: scottrsimons link=msg=302527 date=1537382504

If you are anywhere close or are already going to Print18 in Chicago, I know FusionPro will be there, since their headquarters are located in Illinois. It's a good chance to talk to the nerds. And I'm sure if you contact them before the show, they can arrange a hands on demo there.


Well it's about a 7 hour drive from here so unless my boss springs for a flight, hotel room, meals and an extra day off I won't be going. Thanks anyways.

Plus, I'm not sure if I could cross the border to the US these days. I smoked pot about 30 years ago.


Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on September 19, 2018, 03:05:05 PM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302534 date=1537383419

Quote from: scottrsimons link=msg=302527 date=1537382504

If you are anywhere close or are already going to Print18 in Chicago, I know FusionPro will be there, since their headquarters are located in Illinois. It's a good chance to talk to the nerds. And I'm sure if you contact them before the show, they can arrange a hands on demo there.


Well it's about a 7 hour drive from here so unless my boss springs for a flight, hotel room, meals and an extra day off I won't be going. Thanks anyways.

Plus, I'm not sure if I could cross the border to the US these days. I smoked pot about 30 years ^minutes ago.
*fixed!
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: scottrsimons on September 20, 2018, 07:53:14 AM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302534 date=1537383419

Quote from: scottrsimons link=msg=302527 date=1537382504

If you are anywhere close or are already going to Print18 in Chicago, I know FusionPro will be there, since their headquarters are located in Illinois. It's a good chance to talk to the nerds. And I'm sure if you contact them before the show, they can arrange a hands on demo there.


Well it's about a 7 hour drive from here so unless my boss springs for a flight, hotel room, meals and an extra day off I won't be going. Thanks anyways.

Plus, I'm not sure if I could cross the border to the US these days. I smoked potatoes about 30 years ago.


* now it's fixed. They won't know a thing.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 20, 2018, 09:37:44 AM
Quote from: scottrsimons link=msg=302565 date=1537444394

Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302534 date=1537383419

Quote from: scottrsimons link=msg=302527 date=1537382504

If you are anywhere close or are already going to Print18 in Chicago, I know FusionPro will be there, since their headquarters are located in Illinois. It's a good chance to talk to the nerds. And I'm sure if you contact them before the show, they can arrange a hands on demo there.


Well it's about a 7 hour drive from here so unless my boss springs for a flight, hotel room, meals and an extra day off I won't be going. Thanks anyways.

Plus, I'm not sure if I could cross the border to the US these days. I smoked potatoes about 30 years ago.


* now it's fixed. They won't know a thing.


That might explain the drain bamage.

Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: seratne on September 20, 2018, 01:30:19 PM
Another thing to consider between the InDesign plugins (XMPie, SmartStream, DesignMerge) is that while you're processing the job you can't use InDesign. With FusionPro all of the work is done in Acrobat, but there's a separate application that does the processing so you're machine isn't tied up. There are server versions of XMPie and SmartStream, but I'm pretty sure you need to add at least a zero to the price.

FusionPro does kind of suck when it tries to keep formatting though. Leading, font sizes, colors, line breaks, forced caps, etc. need to be double checked.

As far as scripting languages, I would say FusionPro and JS is much easier than QLingo. If you need a custom javascript to let's say change a dollar amount to words instead of numbers (like on a check), you can just google for it and it'll probably be on stackoverflow for you to copy and paste. To do that in QLingo would require a lot more expertise in programming. We frequently do jobs in excess of 100,000 records with multiple pages in FP.

Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 20, 2018, 02:51:33 PM
Does anyone know if fusion pro would support multilple data files? Even being able to use 2 at once would be useful.

Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: scottrsimons on September 20, 2018, 02:56:21 PM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302600 date=1537469493

Does anyone know if fusion pro would support multilple data files? Even being able to use 2 at once would be useful.


I haven't done it, but have read about it, on the forum. I've included a link to the forum below.

Printable Forum (http://forums.printable.com/)
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on September 20, 2018, 03:14:02 PM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302600 date=1537469493

Does anyone know if fusion pro would support multilple data files? Even being able to use 2 at once would be useful.
Obviously, I've had it recall multiple variable image files. I haven't used it for multiple data, though.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: seratne on September 21, 2018, 04:14:38 PM
Quote from: pspdfppdfxhd link=msg=302600 date=1537469493

Does anyone know if fusion pro would support multilple data files? Even being able to use 2 at once would be useful.


If you mean cross referencing data files, yes. You just create a rule to load the external data file "OnJobStart", then another rule to find the matching row or rows and return the value.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on September 29, 2018, 10:47:15 AM
Just uninstalled the FP demo, it was just way too buggy on my Mac. Couldn't get the rules to work right, it did not recognize the fonts i used in the .indd document to test.

I can only say that working through acrobat is not a good option on my Mac. I have Pitstop and Quite Imposing installed so that's just another layer of complexity....and acrobat has been buggy on this machine to say the least.

I watched the demo then gave it a whole 3 hours of playing around which produced about 10 more gray hairs. From the positive comments I read here I am not saying it's a bad product, if it worked properly, I would definately like to use it.

Back to the drawing board. I looked at the DesignMerge website and their pricing is very bizzare. Just give me one cost for something that works and not break everything down into modules!

I hope there's another option out there in under the 2 grand range cause that's about all we have to work with.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: Slappy on September 29, 2018, 08:54:08 PM
If you're feeling wacky, try reading through the thread on the Affinity forums (https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/64811-data-merge/) about people wanting Data Merge functions in their newest app. They don't have it, but people mention some other software I wasn't aware that does do data, and fairly well apparently.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on October 01, 2018, 11:30:09 AM
You'll have to go back and look at a post I had on FP a while back. There's a certain order to install, so they all play nice. It works well, provided you activate fonts correctly as well. And I think there's a backup font activation protocol built in to FP to "force" it if it's not seeing something correctly.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 04, 2018, 08:34:22 AM
I am going for a webinar the demo for DesignMerge Pro to check that out.

Price is over 6,000 CND so that may be an issue.

They are in with Enfocus somehow, so that is a good sign I would think.

I would definately prefer to work only in InDesign, that would be a big plus.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 04, 2018, 08:35:43 AM
whoops: I am going for a webinar and use a demo for DesignMerge Pro to check that out.

Typo, bad grammar fixed.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: Tracy on October 15, 2018, 01:28:38 PM
Let us know how it goes, don't leave out anything! :laugh:
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 15, 2018, 02:09:06 PM
Looked good, next step 15 day demo, if that goes well, convince ownership that the ROI will be worth it.

We'll have to figure out the exact pricing and all that.


Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 20, 2018, 05:31:33 PM
Sure enough, struggling along with the demo when a real job comes in with 4 variiable paragraphs with nested variables inside one of them.

Apparently we are doing the job.

Spent the last day learning how to make adobe tagged text files, didn't even know they existed.

Too much to learn if the software company cant give us some help. If they can, and the software is good, the deal will be done. Gotta figure it out by Tuesday.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 20, 2018, 05:33:11 PM
And the beat goes on....... :drunk3:
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on October 29, 2018, 05:38:40 PM
Banged out the first job with designmerge, swapping out whole letter changes of 13 different letters with conditional changes.

Worked very well using Adobe tagged text files.

Client sent a new job, thought I would follow the same route with the tagged text but no luck. When there is an email address, the field is put in. with no email address, I setup a tagged text file with: Email____________________ to insert in its place. No luck. Rule being, if email address is empty, insert .txt file for empty email in the rule.

I realize, not many people use Designmerge here, but more than likely the logic is similar for other plugins.

Konica Minolta re badged DesignMerge as EngageIT. Maybe someone is familiar with this?
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: DigiCorn on November 01, 2018, 12:16:33 PM
no
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on November 01, 2018, 04:59:24 PM
https://www.printingnews.com/software-workflow/product/11075711/konica-minolta-business-solutions-usa-inc-engageit-xmedia
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on November 01, 2018, 05:02:01 PM
Sorry, here is abetter link
https://www.mykonicaminolta.com/wps/wcm/connect/newweb/1085c806-e5db-459a-a645-1a3d6b48d69f/EngageIT_XMedia_Brochure.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_H0261AK0LG7QE0AE0BVQU730H1-1085c806-e5db-459a-a645-1a3d6b48d69f-lDPtMBn
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on November 01, 2018, 05:05:09 PM
But we only got the part of variable aspect relating to print.

It can be linked into email, social media etc.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: PrepressPrison on November 02, 2018, 08:00:17 AM
For this type of situation, since I'm not very script knowledgable, I would just go back to the data file, re-sort all of the columns on the e-mail, do a fill/down of the literal  Email____________________. Then re-sort the columns back to the original order.
Title: Re: Xmpie or Fusion Pro
Post by: pspdfppdfxhd on November 02, 2018, 05:15:03 PM
Hey, thats what I did! Desperate minds think alike!