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SAXoTECH - Newsroom - In the Press - SAXoPRESS Newspaper Publishing System

SAXoPRESS Newspaper Publishing System


8.5 verdict for the SAXoPRESS System
A modular editorial system for 100 workstation implementations, which integrates with QuarkXPress for pagination.
Danish newspaper system developer SAXoTECH,
has broadened its reach beyond its native country
(where it has 50 % of the newspaper market), and
launched into the UK market at the recent WONA
Technology in Publishing Show in Manchester.

INFO CHECK

PRODUCT
SAXoPRESS

DEVELOPER
SAXoTECH A/S

EVALUATED BY
Lindsey Reynolds

DESCRIPTION
Flexible, modular editorial
and pagination system,
tightly integrated with
QuarkXPress, which can
serve print and Internet
publishing.

PRICE
Call for UK pricing.

CONTACT
SAXoTECH
0045 9631 4200

SPECIFICATION
File server: Windows NT,
SUN or Novell

Database version:
Oracle or other major
SQL database

Clients: Windows NT/95
or Macintosh

 


Overview

SAXoPress is a modular, client server system that provides a set of integrated tools for handling text, images, graphic and pages with an intuitive user interface which is icon and symbol-based. At the heart of the system is the SAXoPRESS application for browsing, routing and editing articles, wire photos and pages. There are number af modules for each of these applications which allow the user to edit articles, link images to articles, search databases and archives, makeup pages, process images and preview laid out pages. The main modules are SAXoPRESS Basis, Articles, WireNews, Pictures, WirePhotos, Layouts, Management plus BRS Search and Archive modules. All the modules look the same, and four out of five menus are the same for ease of use - once you know one you can use them all with ease.
Users can log-in from anywhere on the system because the user name belongs to the user and not a workstation. The server checks the user profile against access priviligies and user preferences, so each user is presented only with information and functionality relevant to them, and in their preferred views. Even the windows will be presented how that user last left them.

Text controls
The Articles module lets a user see a list of articles, how far each has been progressed and allows the user to assign each article to a page.
The user can choose from two views of the Articles lists: basic or extended. A list of articles is displayed, and lists can be sorted by any column - writer, status or category for example. The status of each article is indicated by a symbol, for instance a yellow page symbol shows it has been written and edited but not placed, to help users track each article through the editing process.
In the extended view thumbnails are displayed if images have been linked to the article, and a caption indicated if one has been done. The first 300 characters of the article are also shown.
The Control window has three key functions: change, move or copy so you can route articles to another user or date for use, change status, priority and article name. New articles can be created, and articles can be edited. SAXoTECH has written a proprietary box text editor for Mac clients called SAXoTEXT Editor (see boxout below). A customised version of Word is provided for Windows users, and this is available for the Mac if preferred.
The WireNews module presents wire stories as list that can be ordered by date or time. You can read the story or transfer it, creating an article. Wires are converted into the SAXoPress format. An article shape can be added and each wire story can be measured. There is an alarm system for news to alert users of important incoming stories.
Users can undertake full text searches, by ID number, in a simple text engine, since there is a limited number of articles to search. The results are displayed with the search word highlighted.

Image control
Images and EPS graphics generated inhouse are handled by the Pictures module and two list views provide either a small icon list or a browser view. Images can be viewed at full size. You can attach images to articles or to a caption in the article in the Attached Image window. Status symbols indicate whether an image has already been used. The Cotrol system, as in the Articles module, lets you route images between categories and dates of use.
The WirePhotos module has the same interface as that provided for handling inhouse images but it has slightly different functionality. You can specify the agency and the period of time to be searched for example, “a day back” or “last 12 hours”. The Control system in this module will not let you move or change the original wire image.
Once found, images can be viewed as thumbnails or full size. IPTC header information is supported and captions can be viewed. Pictures stored in RGB are kept as JPEG and remain in that format when placed in QuarkXPress. Pictures from XPress go to the ImageProcessor server (detailed below) so that converting, rotating, and any other instructions can be carried out automatically.
Pictures can be opened and edited direct from the module - the user gets a list of suitable editing applications available on the workstation they are using and selects whichever they prefer. This would tend to be used only when special effects are required because the SaxoPress ImagePrecessor would normally be used to handle image processing automatically.
An image can be linked to an article, or a number of images can be linked to an article - where a selection of shots is supplied by the wire agency - so that the final choice can be made later or by another user.

Integrated page layout
SAXoPRESS allows a high level of flexibility, letting different types of users, editors for example, undertake a mix of tasks if required including traditionally production tasks such as placing articles and images onto Quark pages, selecting images and images processing. Articles can be dragged and dropped onto Quark pages in the Layout module, from within the Articles module. Similarly, images can be linked to the Quark page from within the Pictures and WirePhotos modules and can be processed. In this Way, production is supervised by production although not exclusively undertaken by the department. Alternatively these production functions can be undertaken in the conventional way by layout artists.
The Layouts module displays all the QuarkXPress pages as a list, with status and sort capabilities as in the other modules, or as a browser list, where pages are shown as previews. Pages can also be viewed full size or entire editions (with status icons). Pages are previewed via a SAXoPRESS QuarkXTension. A more sophisticated status system is provided in this module for monitoring page production flow.
The user can drag and drop articles onto layouts or this can be done with keystrokes. Once an item has been linked to a page you will get a warning if you try to place it again.
The Ralette XTension pulls together all items, articles and images, linked to a Quark page. It contains as much information about articles as the Articles module, such as attached images.
SAXoPRESS can link into advertising systems such as Atex, allowing ads to be palced on the pages. Placed ads will be shown in previews. Because most advertising systems link to QuarkXPress, you can import a dummy file and view previews.

Image Processing
Another highlight of the SAXoPRESS system is the automated image Processing system, SAXoPRESS ImageProcessor. Again this has been designed with flexibility and efficiency in mind. Images can be processed direct from SAXoPRESS, with the ImageProcessor XTra allowing the user to crop, rotate, convert to grey scale and colour correct the image. The process is intelligent and highly automated. For example, when a crop of an image is selected, a quality bar informs the user whether there is enough image data inside the crop, calculated automatically from the image resolution, print resolution and quality threshold, or the minimum accepted quality, as defined by the publication.
The user defines the processes to be carried out then the actual processing is done on the ImageProcessor server by PhotoRace, leaving the user free to continue working, with no tedious waiting. The ImageProcessor XTension ensures that users work in a constant interface in the different modules, and it lets you process images directly from the QuarkXPress page. The XTension also provides for batch processing so for example, all the images on a page could be converted to grey scale in one go.
SAXoPRESS has been designed to be flexible and easy to use, while at the same time bringing together many different functions and tasks, in a simple to use, graphical interface. Flexibility extends beyond flexible working for the individual user to providing each publication with a variety of ways of working. The customer chooses the workflow rather than fitting with what the system will allow.
Its main competitor likely to be QPS, given the fact that it uses QuarkXPress for pagination and is best suited to installations with up to 100 workstations, but the level of user choice and control, plus the system´s ability to automatically generate Internet pages looks likely to give QPS a run for its money.

 

Thumbs Up

FEATURES
  • Modular
  • User definable preferences
  • Icon-based interface
  • Open system
    tighly integrated with Quark
  • Automated Image Processor applications
  • NetNews module for Internet publishing
FOR
  • Highly flexible and automated system
  • Easy-to-use interface with consistency between modules
  • Tight integration with QuarkXPress
  • Automated serverbased image processing
  • Easy Internet publishing
AGAINST
  • No UK infra- structure as yet
  • Developer has no
    experience of UK
    market
  • Although modular,
    most effective as
    comprehensive
    installation
  • Potential to force
    multi-skilling on
    users
VERDICT

8.5

Out of ten
Internet Publishing

The SAXoPRESS NetNews module allows users to select which articles to publish in an Internet version. The user choses the category and sub-category, can change the article order and see if any pictires are linked. Hitting the "create pages" button starts an automated process - text is converted to HTML and pictures are resized and uploaded to the Web site, automatically. Alternatively, different images can be selected and linked to articles for the Web edition.

SAXoTECH reports that one of its Danish users publishes 120 articles and 70 pictures each day using NetNews. This may not sound remarkable, but according to SAXoTECH, it takes one person only 30 minutes a day to generate this Web content.
SAXoTEXT editor

The SAXoTEXT box editor is for Mac workstations only and lets users edit articles from within this module. It conforms to the rules defined by the particular publication. When the user chooses a format for an article, QuarkXPress stylesheets are applied automatically to the different boxes in that article, header and subhead for instance. The editor can see the line breaks as they will appear and can write captions to be used with the accompaying picture.

 


Visit "Publishing"
Copyright, Publishing, June 1998. Page 16.  www.forme.com

 

SAXoTECH Viking
 

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