Development of database driven product information system for large scale publishing projects

The system comprises an off-the-shelf database or spreadsheet based data capture and management enviroment. Data is then exported and post processed using custom middleware to create fully formatted product information that is imported into the publishing software.

Scripts are then run globally in the publishing software which can additionally place images, logos and graphics, that are defined in the database, onto the pages automatically.

If any information changes, either individually or in bulk, the system autmatically generates new files that are flagged up in the publishing software as being modified. The process works similarly to the way images are managed in the software.

The system has saved a lot time and effort in the production of several very large catalogue sets (in the region of 1000 pages each). The system also assists with spreading the workload over more resources and longer timeframe, thereby avoiding the usual print deadline pressure associated with projects of this nature. The infomation is also then customised further to allow for export for use on the ecommerce website and phone app, ensuring continuity accross multiple platforms.

The environment is very flexible and scalable throughout the data processing, coding and publishing workflow and can be adapted to any data intensive publishing project. Uses include catalogues, classified listings, educational publications, business cards, product labels, newsletters etc.

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