12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2011 2:59 PM by lsk2002

    InDesign Publishing

    lsk2002 Level 1

      We are moving our product manual out of Interleaf. We use Micosoft Access for our data base, and of course need pictures to be placed along with the data. I have found a couple of plugins that look like they would work. One called Easy Catalog. I was planning on using FrameMaker, but it was sugggested on the FM forum that InDesign may work better for our needs. The link to Easy Catalog is below.

       

      http://www.65bit.com/products/easycatalog/casestudies/casestudies.shtm

       

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

       

      Thanks!

       

      ls  

        • 1. Re: InDesign Publishing
          Fred Goldman Level 3

          I have been looking into this a lot lately as I have to do a product catalog soon.

           

          The three big catalog plug-ins are:

           

          Smart Catalog from Woodwing.com

           

          InCatalog from Emsoftware.com

           

          EasyCatalog from 65bit.com

           

          They all have great manuals and great support as well as practically every feature you will possibly need for creating and updating your catalog. If you need direct access to your database you will need to get the pro version of these products. These plug-ins run at around $1,000 - $2,000 for the pro version (actually you can save 20% on InCatalog if you use the coupon code from this link http://indesignsecrets.com/indesignsecrets-podcast-153.php).

           

          DataLinker from Teacup Software does a lot of the things the previous plug-ins do for about 1/3 of the price. If the features it has works for you, you could save a lot of money using DataLinker.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: InDesign Publishing
            lsk2002 Level 1

            Hi Fred,

             

            Thanks for the information!! I looked at Easy Catalog and it looked really interesting. The Teacup software looks to be more hands on for such a large book that we are going to have...but, I probably just didn't understand what it was saying...lol...  I will definately look over it again. We are just trying to figure which way to go. We have the data that has to come in with the image in the correct place with the part numbers. I will look into the others. Let me know if you decide to go with one of them. Would love some feedback on how it goes!

             

            Thanks!!

            • 3. Re: InDesign Publishing
              krismnelson

              I have just started looking into this and can't seem to find any information that compares the features of these plug-ins. I like Easy Catalog's ability to reverse update the database from changes made within InDesign, and they have better demos that Smart Catalog. However without direct experience using and comparing the three plug-ins, it's hard to determine which is the best product for the project we have in mind. Do you know if there are any product comparisons that  have been done?

               

              Thanks... DLO

              • 4. Re: InDesign Publishing
                peter minneapolis Level 4

                DesignLO wrote:

                 

                I have just started looking into this and can't seem to find any information that compares the features of these plug-ins. I like Easy Catalog's ability to reverse update the database from changes made within InDesign, and they have better demos that Smart Catalog. However without direct experience using and comparing the three plug-ins, it's hard to determine which is the best product for the project we have in mind. Do you know if there are any product comparisons that  have been done?

                 

                Thanks... DLO

                I can't answer this question. In fact, I can only add to the realm of unknown-ness. From time-to-time, I see a reference to Catbase, another data-publishing tool that works with InDesign. I don't recall reviews either positive or negative. Search Google for terms like "InDesign catbase data publishing" and similar terms without quotes. The site is catbase.com.

                 

                HTH

                 

                Regards,

                 

                Peter

                _______________________

                Peter Gold

                KnowHow ProServices

                • 5. Re: InDesign Publishing
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  You might want to start a new thread with the names of the plugins in the title asking for real user experience here. I know there are some fairly regular participants who use EasyCatalog -- it gets mentioned from time to time in a response -- and I'd bet there are people watching who use the others, too.

                  • 6. Re: InDesign Publishing
                    Fred Goldman Level 3

                    I don't think there are any comparisons, but they all have free trials. You can give them a shot. I think more important than the features they have is the learning curve. You want something that is easy to learn and keep up with. If it is too confusing it can have great features and be useless.

                    • 7. Re: InDesign Publishing
                      lsk2002 Level 1

                      I have been looking into some of the plugins..many of which are thousands/twenty thousands of dollars, which we can't afford here right now. The latest one that I am looking into is Catbase...looks really interesting and seems to have a lot of help from the representative. We have been emailing back and forth.  Problem I am having is our firewall. Had to get IT to download the trial and now in order to register it, the registration has to go through their server. Tried calling IT about it, but they aren't willing to open the site. Hopefully we can get around it. Looking into all these, trying what to decide what to use, this is going to be an ongoing problem.

                       

                      Hopefully we can get this resolved. If anyone finds something great that doesn't cost twenty thousand dollars...lol...let me know. Going to continue to look at Catbase if we can get the trial registered.

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      ls

                      • 8. Re: InDesign Publishing
                        Fred Goldman Level 3

                        Twenty thousand? The only plugin I saw that was that kind of price was the Enterprise edition of SmartCatalog. But what would you need that for? If you have your database and you are managing thencontent the Pro version should be enough which is $1500.

                        • 9. Re: InDesign Publishing
                          krismnelson Level 1

                          I'm going to move this to a new thread with the plug-in names in the title. Perhapse we will receive more user feedback that way. Learned of another product that looks less expensive called InData.

                          • 10. Re: InDesign Publishing
                            Fred Goldman Level 3

                            InData is actually part of InCatalog which can be purchased separately. It is automates publishing a catalog using data from dat file. However it does not allow you to update that data if the data in the original document changes. For that you need InCatalog.

                            • 11. Re: InDesign Publishing
                              krismnelson Level 1

                              It looks like they are both called EmCatalog and EmData now. And yes EmCatalog does allow for two-way data updating. Thanks for the information.

                              • 12. Re: InDesign Publishing
                                lsk2002 Level 1

                                Thanks for all the replies!!! It really helps to know their are other people looking for something like

                                this. Will start looking at all the ideas!!

                                 

                                ls