0 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2013 3:00 PM by sklett78

    Print-time XML data update?


      We're researching our options to print artwork with dynamic (i.e. data driven) elements inline with our production process.  We have a packaging machine that has an integrated inline printer and we want to send print jobs that contain dynamic data such as part number, lot number, expiration date, description, etc.  In the past we have used barcoding and marking software for this as it's designed to be either autoamted by a third party application or to pull data from a database itself.  On this new project we're looking to deliver or more graphically rich result.  We thought InDesign with it's XML backed frames may be an interesting option to explore.

      Something like:

      1. Production management system (PMS) generats the backing XML file with the job specific data
      2. PMS then retrieves the appropriate InDesign template file for the product being produced
      3. PMS prints the InDesign template file and the XML data is pulled in


      Keep in mind that workflow is based on reading the product specs and a few blog posts about InDesign, we are NOT InDesign users (yet).  There are a couple areas I see problems and I wanted to ask the community if you happen to know if they are real issues or not.

      1. I suspect we would need a full InDesign license on the PMS system in order to print the ID template files.  We would want to make tis all command line if possible, we don't want a tech to use InDesign but still I think a license would be needed, even just for printing.  Update:  I have since found InDesign Server and it sounds like it may be an option for this concern.
      2. If command line printing IS an option, will such an operation cause the template to pull in the XML data that was generated by the PMS?  In other words, the PMS generates an XML file in a location that the InDesign template is expecting, will InDesign pull in that data when the file is sent to the printer?
      3. Actually, is it even possible to command line print an InDesign template file or do we need to go through a pre-print processing stage to generate a PDF or some other file?


      I hope that these questions aren't too vague and that you understand what we're hoping to accomplish.