No single device (i.e., printer, press, imagesetter) is likely to implement all that the JDF specification provides for. For instance, if you are in the digital printing business, you may not care to facilitate data on hard case binding. A RIP need not facilitate JDF preflighting. A Stitcher probably doesn't need to handle image rendering data. To specify exactly what individual classes of devices need to do with JDF, CIP4 members introduced continually developing "Interoperability Conformance Specifications" (ICS) documents that provide the standard for individual classes of devices.
ICS documents look at the interface between the manager of a job, (i.e., a workflow system, Print MIS, pressroom management system), and the worker (e.g, the system or software that will perform the desired process). In addition to a base ICS document that applies to all JDF-enabled devices, ICS documents have been published to cover a variety of interfaces, including:
- Commercial Web: MIS to WebPress
- Customer to MIS
- Integrated Digital Printing
- Layout Creator to Imposition
- MIS to Conventional Printing - Sheetfed
- MIS to Finishing
- MIS to Prepress
- Newspaper: MIS to WebPress
- Office Digital Printing
- Prepress to Conventional Printing
These ICS documents define the roles of the "manager" and "worker," including their ability to read (manager) and write (worker) JDF, minimum support for Job Messaging Format (JMF) options as well as additional data typing, defining how jobs files are to be exchanged or identified, and required support for particular JDF processes and resources. It's important to note ICS documents do not add to the JDF specification, but they
provide additional constraints and are specific to the interface they define. (ICS documents are available to the public as PDF files for download.
More ICS documents are in development and ICS documents will be used as the basis for product certification testing. CIP4 has signed on Printing Industries of America as the first product certification testing facility and others will be added in Europe and Asia. You will start seeing products labeled "JDF Certified" and each certification test will be focused on a specific ICS document.