Bowne Publishing Production Control System
Bowne, a leading financial printer, decided to make the transition from hot metal composition to computerized phototypesetting. In doing so, Bowne found that editing/typesetting packages on the market did not provide the sophisticated job control capability its business demanded. After settling on a VAX-based photocomposing system, Bowne sought a software house to implement a customized job control package that would reside between the editing and phototypesetting subsystems.
Selected as that software house, The Sombers Group designed a highly specialized file system capable of controlling tens of thousands of document pages. The system was developed to be compatible with the VAX OpenVMS file management system and to provide the required relational view of all data. Design considerations took into account two key factors. In the first place, a financial document might be active in the system for months as it was worked and reworked by lawyers and accountants. Secondly, complex changes, requiring simultaneous editing of several document pages, would then have to be typeset and returned to clients within one hour.
The new system included controls to distribute jobs over a communications network to the financial printerís various plants throughout the country in order to distribute peak workloads. In addition, a highly efficient archival system was designed and implemented, since many financial documents (10Ks, for example) were reworked each year to meet federal and state reporting requirements.
Reliability of the production control system was a paramount consideration; for with tight deadlines to meet, the system had to achieve 100% availability. To accomplish this goal, the financial printer selected Digitalís VAX Cluster system. With its multiple processors and mirrored file capability, VAX Cluster is able to survive any single failure and still provide functionality to the user.