Quark Announces Dynamic Publishing Solution

The new initiative is designed to extend content created with XPress for print to web, mobile and electronic device delivery.

While over the years Quark has come up with various approaches to extending the reach of content created with XPress beyond the print media for which XPress been designed and optimized, these initiatives have been fragmented and have met with varying degrees of success. The fact is that Quark's customer base is heavily made up of those publishing in an enterprise environment, for whom the growth of new publishing platforms has made the relative isolation of XPress increasingly problematical.

Not helping matters is that Adobe makes it easy for Creative Suite users to repurpose content for multiple platforms and has even gone one step further by creating a Flash-based development platform that is closely integrated to material created with the Suite. Clearly, Quark needed to take advantage of its desktop publishing, server and collaborative workflow expertise to ensure that its most loyal customers didn't grow restless. The result is the Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution (DPS), which relies on an automated publishing process to create and deliver communications across multiple types of media, typically involving marketing collateral, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and similar publications.

Does this new emphasis on non-print media spell the beginning of the end for XPress as we know it? Quark's DPS FAQ tries to allay such concerns by stating that: "Quark has separate initiatives to continue improving our desktop publishing platform while developing and improving Quark DPS. While we remain committed to supporting creative professionals who use QuarkXPress and our other desktop tools, we are extending these tools and adding new components to our product line to support dynamic publishing. These initiatives share considerable technology, which means that improvements for one initiative will usually benefit the other."

It will be interesting to see the degree to which Quark will be able to continue to improve the abilities of XPress in the realm of print, given the finite nature of development resources and the demands of the new DPS initiative. It's worth noting that Adobe InDesign (!) is listed as a supported design application, due to the XML-based nature of DPS, so Quark is playing the open standards card for all it's worth. There's quite a bit of information available about dynamic publishing in general, and DPS in particular, on the Quark site, providing a good heads-up for those new to this increasingly central publishing topic.