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Author Topic: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer  (Read 239 times)

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Offline Mikie

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XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« on: August 07, 2019, 10:25:48 AM »
Hi folks,

We have a new project we are bidding on and I had a question for those who know these software packages. We use smartstream designer some for our work, but this won't be ran on Indigos so XMPIE was suggested. In researching this morning, it looks like XMPIE is basically Smartstream designer in how it operates, or have i missed something?

Thanks for any views, reviews, criticisms, or general malaise :)

Offline DCurry

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Re: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 12:00:39 PM »
I've not used XMPie but I have used SmartStream extensively for several years. I know that XMPie is much more expensive, but I think it might be more powerful or have more features/abilities.

SS has a server-based system called Composer that works a lot faster and more reliably than the desktop version, but it is pricey as well. We use it a lot because we have a lot of automated jobs and a lot of pretty big jobs to run variably.

SmartStream Designer is not limited to Indigo output - you can output imposed PDFs (or un-imposed if you prefer) that you can run on any machine.

If you have specific questions I'll try to answer them.
Prinergy 8.1.1.286 • Preps 8 (Not a fan) • SmartStream Designer

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. But set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life!

Offline seratne

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Re: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 03:01:29 PM »
From the demo versions I was able to use, SmartStream seemed the most powerful. XMPie didn't seem to have any actual scripting language support besides their own limited version. With SmartStream I believe you could use javascript, even though it crashed on me quite often.

XMPie you're looking in the mid to high 5 figure range for a desktop and server license. SmartStream I think was a good bit cheaper.

But, both were really limiting, and with SmartStream crashing too often, we passed on both.

While FusionPro has quirks, and requires a little more work upfront on simple jobs. It was hilariously cheaper. $1,000 per workstation. And it doesn't tie up your InDesign while it's running. Plus the scripting is way more flexible.

If SS is working, like DCurry said, just keep using it. It'll output PDFs just fine.

Offline Mikie

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Re: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 08:18:46 AM »
Thanks guys. I am pretty sure this project is too large for either. It would require hands free production. I have some custom scripting I do so I may have to try and see if I can get that to work but the shear volume is daunting.
Bossman is trying to get work that is not what we focus on here, and the company that does it now ONLY does that kind of work and has for years. I think I get to tell him we are out of our league. We can print the work, but creating the art doesn't seem possible.

Offline DCurry

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Re: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 08:29:42 AM »
SS says it can run external scripts, but good luck. You'll need a scripting wizard to write them and SS gives very little in the way of help to make it work. You can actually write some pretty complex rules in its own language, but sometimes it's a bit painful if you get 1 character wrong. I also find that while building templates it often crashes while trying to set up variable images. It is nice to be able to build visually and use all of InDesign's abilities. I've done some cool stuff with GREP and SmartStream together.

I agree on FusionPro - it's a great value and it can do just about anything, but again, it helps to have a good knowledge of JavaScript and it's not as nice as building a template in InDesign. I believe it has a server version available so you could run it lights out by dropping data into hotfolders, but I've never used that nor do I know how much it costs.
Prinergy 8.1.1.286 • Preps 8 (Not a fan) • SmartStream Designer

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. But set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life!

Offline Mikie

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Re: XMPIE vs Smartstream Designer
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 09:43:10 AM »
What I do now for our current work is write javascript to run Indesign. Data is either input into a web app, or I can be fed spreadsheets. I receive an xml and read that and have the scripts manipulate the templates for each job. It's SS or xmpie but custom. We were going to go with Indesign Server but it was overkill for the volume. What I do is technically against the EULA, but that just means I dont get support.

The boss man suggested I look into xmpie, which lead me here. I did the math this morning and I'm not sure he has. I would need to create 27 million unique labels per week. He is just seeing the 1.2 billion labels per year and not understanding the real weekly volume. I checked out the company that does it now for them, and it is an enormous place with locations all over the US supporting them. It is a far stretch to go from what I do now, which is a few thousand jobs a month, to 27 million a week lol.

Should be a fun conversation later today... which will start with "Have you lost your goddamn mind?" :)