Method for Integrating Unknown Variable Data into a Workflow System
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-20
This article discloses a method for solving the problem of how to get highly variable print datastreams ( in terms of format, record length/size, AFP/non-AFP ) into a print-shop floor workflow system in such a way that the system can automatically recognize the data (within certain parameters) and track the data through the workflow. The core idea is a set of database tables that store information about "Classes" of data, and specific print file "Types" within those classes, along with a set of AFP data standards that correspond to the stored information. Essentially, as long as the data contains certain key information, or can be run through existing utilities (such as ACIF) to generate the key information, the rest of the format is extremely variable and flexible. The users of the workflow system then only need to define the data characteristics of each "Class" of data, and define specific "Job Types" to represent the specific instances of a print file of that class.