We chat to Product Manager Timo Faber to find out about some of the exciting new features in this release.
Q: Timo, for those folks that may not currently have Xinet could you give us a brief introduction;
Timo: Sure, Xinet was originally launched in response to a critical need of creative users. They need a solution that provides quick and easy access to assets without disrupting the creative production environment they are working in. Xinet is the only Digital Asset Management (DAM) system that allows both seamless collaboration between production stakeholders, vendors or clients, and has unique tools built in to streamline the creative production workflow. With a Xinet server sitting on your local network, creative users have very fast access to all their production data. It is seamless and users don’t even notice that they are using Xinet. No training is required. Production people are able to work the way they have always worked. Xinet comes with a workflow engine that facilitates automation of repetitive tasks, such as automated notifications once a job has been approved. It is a DAM system that provides access to relevant production data faster than any other system out there.
Q: Who uses Xinet?
Timo: Xinet is being used wherever creative production takes place. This could be Creative and Digital Agencies, in-house production departments, Marketing firms, Publishers, Retailers or Packaging. We are constantly adding new features to ensure our solution meets the different requirements our customers have.
Most of our customer base uses Xinet to streamline their internal production workflow and to improve efficiency. It is also used to offer data management services to their clients. Xinet is deployed in many ways and designed to make customization simple for our integrators and third party software vendors who have taken advantage to develop tools that extend the Xinet feature set.
There are over 1,000 installations of Xinet across the world
Yes, Northplains is working closely with a worldwide network of Authorized Xinet Integrators (AXI) who handle integration, implementation, training, and maintenance. This worldwide network helps us stay close to our customers. The Xinet user interface, being available in 18 languages out of the box, ensures that our international customers can reach their clients in their native languages.
Q: What can Xinet users expect from this new release?
Timo: Xinet v18 is a major upgrade that includes new Xinet Portal templates to provide a streamlined workflow to make it more intuitive for our end users. The new Marquee template provides Xinet users the ability to find and access assets more quickly than ever. Using the latest Web technology has enabled us to be more flexible in our user interface design. In addition, we have added Picture Wrangler support for Adobe CC and CC 2014 and we have implemented the option to run a dedicated data server to improve scalability for Xient sites maintaining a large number of assets. We have also updated the Solr Search functionality to use Ngram tokenizers to improve performance and we have added the support to generate PDF/X-4 files. This enables our users to use PDF image replacement workflows to output PDF files according to the PDF/X-4 ISO standards. We are continuing our support to generate modern PDF files for secure data exchange.
I’d like to elaborate on our reintroduction to Picture Wrangler for InDesign. This allows production users, working in remote locations to log in and download a low resolution proxy version of an image, place it in an InDesign layout, and upload a single InDesign document back to Xinet. A local user can use Picture Wrangler for InDesign to automatically find and relink images to their corresponding masters. This eliminates the tedious task of locating and relinking images one by one.
In addition, in order to make our QA team more efficient and reduce redundancy in our development process, we have reduced the number of platforms our software is running on.
Q: What’s coming next?
There are some really nice features on the roadmap. We will continue to invest in the development of our frontend products (Portal and Pilot) and enhance our backend server software to further support high performance enterprise level requirements to keep Xinet the de facto standard in all creative production shops in the world.
Q: How can you find out more about Xinet?