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A few additional questions that once answered, can help you in the right direction.
1. Will there be a personalization component to solution. Example: the sales person could add their name or the customer's name to finished product?
2. How will sales person order this customized kit, through a website, through a downloaded app., through an existing application?
3. Will the finished product be a printed kit, or a PDF/document that the sales person would be responsible to print themselves?
4. If the finished product is printed, do you need to integrate solution into existing print workflow?
- Yes, there will be personalization components.
- Ideally, the salesperson would be able to build and print the kit from their desktop. Nothing yet specified on this question.
- The finished product would be a PDF that they would print themselves.
- Do not need to integrate into existing print workflow.
Thanks for the continuation of the discussion.
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Without seeing a proposed design file and if this were my job, I would try to convince the client to forego an Adobe product and either use Access or FileMaker Pro. But it would depend on the designs desired. Or just develop a bespoke data-driven application (whether server-based or web-based doesn't matter).
If a company was bent on using a layout application--for which each person in the company using the system would need a license and more importantly, training--I would use a combination of a database for the sales force access and the choices to be made, the database would output tagged text (not ID's tagged text type) and build the design using Em Software's XTags.
Thanks for your thoughts. Very helpful.
For what it's worth, given the described context, it may be preferable to not use Adobe Products. Let me explain.
You want your sales team to generate customized materials on the fly. Customizing a template isn't specifically hard in the Adobe ecosystem. You can consider so many alternatives such as XML Import, third party plugins such as EasyCatalog or scripting even.
But eventually the user who would generate the PDF file from an automatic system might not be a Adobe licence owner (unless you subscribe licences for every one of them). So EULA stands that if a non licenced user generates some automation process, you need to use InDesign Server. The costs can then explode. Of course you could decide to hack the system and do with a regular indesign desktop licence but then you could be exposed to some serious legal issues.
The last point here is about PDF destination. If it's a marketing material not designed for press, you can think of a php portal to which your sales team will connect and generate on the fly PDF with all the customization info you may need. Something like wkhtmltopdf works great. I can demo something I have done for a client if you want to know more.
If you need a PDF for press, there are also alternatives cheaper and easier to set that I can talk to you about. Don't get me worng I love Adobe Products and they are so great for most of our uses. But sometimes, others solutions may be considered