Adobe InDesign is the tool of choice for creating high-quality print-ready documents. These days, nearly every magazine or high-end printed piece was created with InDesign.

In the cold winter of 2008, we were approached by a technical lead at Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ("RCCL"), regarding the topic of cruise booklet production. Sajan Chacko had seen our Silicon Paginator product (based on Adobe InDesign Server), and he inquired by email:

"Based on an XML stream, can it do the following:
1. Get data from external file-paths specified in XML
2. Reference external sources such as HTML, RTF, or Word?"

This is the sort of inquiry that brightens our days here at Silicon Publishing. We have lived and breathed this sort of technical work for decades, and whatever the year, we're using the very best technology to make it even more efficient. 2008 was no exception. I could tell immediately that Sajan would be happy with InDesign Server as a solution, because we had already mastered the art of just this sort of workflow.

The new Silicon Designer is scheduled for release in January of 2020. We are very happy with the state of the product and its direction. Silicon Publishing people are fresh from the Adobe MAX conference, where David Blatner showed Designer in one of his InDesign presentations, so we had a webinar to show the things we thought were cool at MAX and the state of our product, which has seen steady advances over the past two years.

Following is an overview of the webinar along with links to related information.

I recently participated in a presentation at Dscoop Phoenix with three companies that I've known for over a decade: Pageflex, XMPie, and Marcom Central. We had joined a "Composition Engine Panel Discussion" with web-to-print luminaries Jen Matt (of web2printexperts.com) and Chris Reisz-Hanson.

It was quite an honor to be on this panel, but an even greater honor has been the opportunity to work with these companies' rendition technologies since they first came on the scene. I have been involved in solutions involving all four technologies, and I've met the developers critical to the success of the underlying rendition codebases. These range from: FusionPro, the composition engine under Marcom, which dates from the 1980s; to PageFlex, the PDF rendition library from BitStream also originating in the 1980s; to InDesign, dating from the late 1990s. InDesign is the engine that we and XMPie use - it was created in part by our staff.

Historically, Silicon Publishing has delivered publishing solutions across a gamut of communications channels. In the first place, our Silicon Paginator product (first released in 2005 as the "XML Formatting Engine"), is a platform for flowing data through InDesign templates. As in traditional XML publishing, Paginator generates web, email, print and mobile app output from a single rendition-agnostic content source (or from diverse, orchestrated, content sources).

Multi-channel rendition, connectivity and interfacing are persistent themes in our practice, ever since the late 1990s when "multi-channel" became a buzzword to deer-in-the-headlights printers faced with the need to generalize into "communications" from the too-physical, too-easily-commoditized, craft of print.

I remember a channel called "CD-ROM" and now face channels such as "WebVR", "IoT", and "geolocated social" - the only constant is change.

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