What does Switch do?
Switch is a modular software solution that integrates with existing systems and drives third party applications to speed up job processing, reduce errors, and automate repetitive tasks. Automating tasks with Switch frees up your staff's time so they can focus on new revenue-generating activities.
Switch eliminates the need for people to perform repetitive tasks associated with receiving and sorting files. It automatically downloads files from one or more FTP servers, receives them as email attachments, or handles hot folders. It then sorts files into different folders or transmits them to the appropriate destination in a flexible manner, so that each is ready for further processing or archiving.
All of this functionality is driven by an easy-to-use interface that depicts your workflow using visual elements to represent locations and processes. You can create flows by answering a few questions using the flow wizard, import ready-to-use flows from the Crossroads community website or build your own flows interactively with the wide range of communication and file handling tools available in Switch.
Using optional modules, Switch enables automation and integration of popular third party applications used in the creative, prepress and production industries as well as MIS, DAM, Web-to-Print and database systems. Switch is a robust and reliable solution—even in demanding environments—and scalability and intelligence can be enhanced with optional scripting, database and metadata modules.
Bottom line: The new modular approach expands the reach of Switch automation through the entire publishing and digital content creation process. Switch manages your workflow from creation through production and delivery, independent of file format, and allows you to choose the right functionality to meet your business needs—today and in the future.
Customized automation: Many workflow applications on the market come with a predefined idea of how your company should go about its business processes. This is NOT the case with Switch! Switch offers a flexible, configurable and affordable solution that will evolve with your needs.
Switch 11 is modular in design, allowing customers to purchase just the modules they need for their workflow. This modular approach lowers the initial investment required and makes Switch one of the most cost effective workflow automation solutions on the market today.
Open architecture and format neutral: The reason why Switch works so well with other applications and systems is the open architecture philosophy. All you have to do is tell Switch which processes or applications you want to link and automate — Switch does the rest.
Although Enfocus has unparalleled experience and knowledge of the PDF file format, Switch is format-neutral. Switch works with all popular file types including Office documents, images, media formats and native files from creative applications like Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. In a multi channel world, with 'multi-channel' workflows; Switch goes beyond 'print' automation to manage jobs from inception to all types of electronic and hard copy output.
Switch can also easily and seamlessly integrate with external applications already in use within your organization, such as MIS, DAM, Web-to-Print and order entry systems.
Easy integration with existing applications: Switch allows your company to automate the applications you already use everyday. Simply integrate Adobe Acrobat Distiller, Enfocus PitStop Server, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Word and many other key publishing applications with existing workflows. These flows can automatically create PDF files, preflight documents, correct or proof colors as needed, and much more.
More information is available on the Enfocus Crossroads community website (www.crossroads-world.com)
Fully scalable system: Switch is designed to be suitable for any size organization, large or small. Whether your company uses a simple flow for file handling or an advanced flow that relies on multiple configurators and links to other business software, Switch quickly pays for itself and brings order to chaotic and challenging environments. Switch evolves with your business, adapting easily to new requirements and making your processes future proof.
Reliable, even in demanding environments: Switch is designed to guarantee robust and reliable operation in any type of environment and adapts to your needs through the new modular approach.
Supported by a global community: Enfocus has a worldwide network of local experts ready to help you with implementing Switch.
Enfocus Crossroads is a complete community with users, integrators and application partners from around the world. The Enfocus Crossroads website offers comprehensive information to get started with Switch including downloadable Switch flows, a forum, a blog with guest expert writers, and much more.
The key to making the Switch
Best practices for Switch implementation have evolved, and the bottom line is that starting slow — with one-at-a-time "wins" — allows operators to learn Switch in a natural way that builds on itself and produces the best results over time.
Overview of Switch
Switch Core Engine
Switch Core Engine enables powerful file management including receiving, sorting, routing and tracking of files. Every company is confronted with these kinds of tasks on a daily basis. Automation gives you the ability to reduce errors, standardize procedures and reduce costs. The Switch Core Engine also includes powerful split and merge functionality for PDF files. Switch enables you to use information already available within your files to make complex routing decisions based on file naming, the number of pages or colors used in the file, page orientation and dimensions, etc.
When your business is ready to begin automating additional processes, Enfocus offers a wide range of modules that integrate seamlessly into the Switch interface:
This module enables integration, control and automation of many popular third party applications in the creative, prepress and production sectors. The Configurator Module automates Adobe Acrobat Distiller, Adobe Creative Suite, Enfocus PitStop Server, and many other popular applications and allows you to easily build solutions for preflight, imposition, color management and many more. Setup and automation of the applications is fully controlled from within Switch and the visual flow editor makes it as easy to work with configurators as it is to work with the built-in tools. Use the applications you are already using today or feel free to choose the tools that suit your needs best.
This module also includes the necessary tools to integrate with any hot folder based application or to dynamically use any third party command line tools. The Configurator Module also allows various properties values to be created using simple script expressions, adding a higher level of intelligence to file receiving, routing and processing options.
The Database module for Switch automates the communication between a database application and Switch. The Database Module makes it possible for Switch to instantly access existing ODBC data sources to expedite automated processing and prevent labor-intensive re-keying of job information into multiple systems. The Database Module connects using system DSN resources and honors all database rights and privileges.
The Database Module adds a new Database connect element to the Switch toolset. This element can be used to dynamically read, write, create or delete records in the designated data sources anywhere in your workflow. The Module also enables any SQL query result to be used as a variable anywhere within your Switch workflow. You can use live job information to easily build dynamic SQL queries at any stage of your workflow. Query results can be used to make decisions for preflight, processing, delivery or archival based on existing job or customer information.
Scripting is no longer required, making it easier and faster for customers and integrators to build communication paths between Switch and an MIS or any ODBC-compliant database. This module also enables the visualization of dynamic content from your database when using SwitchClient and PitStop Connect.
Much like the Database Module, this module enhances workflow intelligence by using existing information stored in XML or JDF job tickets or embedded within files as XMP data.
· Use metadata wherever Switch uses variables to route files or process jobs dynamically.
· Update or add information in XMP packages.
· Visualize metadata-based content within SwitchClient and PitStop Connect.
The Metadata Module also includes tools to export metadata and convert XML information, preflight logs and reports into other XML formats, HTML or human-readable information. By repurposing embedded or job ticket information, Switch enables you to more effectively utilize previous investments and personalize your service to customers.
To boost performance of the Switch Core Engine and get the ultimate processing power out of advanced hardware configurations that include multiple processors and high levels of RAM, you can extend the number of processes that Switch executes simultaneously.
Stand-Alone Functionality and Communication Modules:
The SwitchClient module enables the use of SwitchClient, a separate desktop application that enables your company's workgroup as well as external clients to interface with your workflows. SwitchClient works in the background and notifies a user only if a job needs their attention. SwitchClient displays thumbnails of the job to make it easy for the user to identify a job, and provides additional information (such as the number of pages in a PDF file) for each job displayed.
This whole process remains under the control of the workflow administrator who can determine who has what access rights while simultaneously keeping an eye on all jobs.
· SwitchClient interacts with Submit points and Checkpoints
· Dynamically choose from multiple Submit points into your workflow and optionally request user-definable job information from the submitter
· View the status of any file as it moves through the Switch workflow
· Use SwitchClient with customized Checkpoints for files that need specific sign-off or approval
· Automatically download the preflight report or actual production file for any job at any stage to your desktop using SwitchClient
The SwitchClient Module includes five SwitchClient licenses, enabling five separate SwitchClients to run and access Switch simultaneously. Additional individual client licenses can be purchased as required.
Switch Web Services Module:
This module enables third party applications such as web portals to integrate and drive Switch. You can improve your customer service experience by allowing your customers to securely submit files from the familiar environment of your company website. The Web Services Module enables your customers to track and approve jobs within Switch without leaving the comfort zone of your website interface.
Users and their IT departments can count on extra peace of mind using SwitchProxy. This command line proxy server ensures network security and business continuity: customers or employees connecting to your Switch server using SwitchClient, the Web Services Module or PitStop Connect can always deliver data to your company's Switch server even while it may be offline for maintenance or updating.