Has anyone used the MDM 5.5 Layout or Publication features?
Our company is interested in using MDM to manage/publish product catalogs. I was just curious what the real expectations should be. Can you really duplicate what is typically done in a page layout program and get the same results with MDM 5.5?
I'm not sure how much you've seen, but here's a brief overview of the publishing process in MDM.
*Data is stored in your central repository, where you use record, hierarchy and taxonomy modes to view, edit, and enrich your data.
*The publishing process begins in Family mode. Where you decide how your product families are going to be formed.
*Once you've partitioned your family tree and have your individual family units formed, you continue on to layout mode where most of the data layout and table structuring is done.
*Layout mode is based on a top down inheritance module. You set up your defaults for column ordering, pivoting, unit of measure display, header format, feature format, image display, paragraph styles, etc., in as high a level of the family tree possible so that you can influence as many product families simultaneously as possible. Of course you may go into any given family and override any option you've set at the top.
*Once you have your basic layout, you go on to the publisher, where you create publications based on a mask(subset of products). Here is where you would do your fine tweaking of the layouts. Here is where you also determine the sequencing of families, position of family objects (table, image, text), as well as the sequencing of pages, sections, chapter, and so on.
*Once your publication is ready, you publish to the DTP (currently supports Quark 5.01 and InDesign CS and CS 2). By the way, you can publish remotely to a Mac. There are MDM DTP plug-ins available for the Mac.
*Your pages get populated with your publication within minutes.
*Once you have the DTP document published, you may work on it as you would with any other document created in these apps. However, the MDM plug-in allows you to store positioning information and page sequencing information so that you can later use them to create an index with the MDM Indexer. In addition, your pages may be updated at any point with current data from your database without having to republish anything.
I hope this (very) brief explanation answers some of the questions you may have. There are customers publishing catalogs with this tool very successfully.
If you'd like more information, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org