Publishing Company – Publishing Automation and Asset Management

Working directly with the Directors of the business I have been working to fulfil their vision of a custom publishing system.

FileMaker Pro Apple Mac Database Developement – London Publishing.

Once briefed, I setup some offline examples of what was possible, we then were able to decide on the server software to use for this development. I developed the project offline for a further four weeks and then specified server software to be purchased and installed.

As the system was to be installed on top of an existing server I had to co-ordinate my work with the publishing teams. I was mostly working on my own dealing with suppliers and one other programmer, I also had to supervise the staff operating a high speed document scanner.

During this project I established many new workflow changes with the publishing teams. The system is operating well and is already proving to be very useful in speeding up the creative process and tracking. My work is ongoing mostly because we keep finding new things for the system to do, we are eventually going to end up with a system that will handle a large part of the publication creation.

The system allows people to take advantage of existing material as we have now made it easier to locate and use.
During various stages in development I have been training staff on how to use the system. I have also constantly been asking staff to provide feedback on their experience of the system.

The system includes:

Image Asset Database.

  • Tagged and Searchable.
  • Automatic Metadata import from images.
  • EPS, TIFF, JPG, PSD, AI Support.
  • Automatic Tagging.
  • Copyright Details.
  • Thumbnails and Previews.
  • Ability to Rotate.
  • Easy retrieval.

Text Asset Database.

  • Pre-Digital Material Tagged and OCR’ed.
  • Previews of original material.
  • Easy extraction of Text.
  • Page turning of scanned pre-digital material.
  • Copyright Details.

Task Management / Project Planning Database.

  • At article level to manage all necessary tasks.
  • User home page with personalised tasks view.
  • Scoring system on Articles, Projects and Staff.
  • Early Warning System.
  • Automatic easy Commissioning Form creation.
  • Article Planning Direct from Image and Text Asset Database.
  • Server-side automatic creation of content from unlimited Indesign templates.
  • Rights tracking.

Shopping Basket System.

  • All three systems have a central shopping basket facility that allows users to create short lists of assets they have researched from the database.
  • Baskets can easily be downloaded.
  • You can create baskets from baskets.
  • Some baskets are stored permanently to avoid repeat research.

To support this system I have specified and installed various hardware and software.

  • High Speed Scanner.Advanced Optical Character Recognition Server.
  • FileMaker Pro Server and Clients.
  • Various FileMaker Pro Plugins.

The entire system is built using FileMaker Pro and AppleScript. All processes are run server side freeing up users computers. The server has versions of Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator for automatic layout creation.

Using the Project Management database a user can choose text and images from the asset databases (with previews) and then choose an Indesign Template. The user then selects where text and images fit in on the template. Once they have planned the layout they press the ‘Indesign’ button and the server will automatically store a new document with the correct naming convention for the project and article with Links on the server, text and images are automatically inserting into the correct boxes.