Q1: What does "JDF Certified" mean?
A1: If a product is "JDF Certified" it means that it writes or/and reads JDF and JMF as established in one of several "Interoperability Conformance Specifications" published by CIP4. These "ICS" documents establish the basic requirements for systems that manage or consume JDF. Certification means that a product has proven that it meets requirements for basic interoperability.
Q2: Who certifies that products are JDF compliant?
A2: Printing Industries of America has a long-term contract with CIP4 to conduct certification testing. If there is sufficient demand, additional laboratories in Europe and Asia may be added to the program, but for now Printing Industries of America is the single global certifying body for JDF systems and software.
Q3: How do I know if a product is "JDF Certified"?
A3: Products that are certified by Printing Industries of America will be issued a JDF Certified logo that will have a unique certification number. You can review the list of certified products here.
Q4: Does JDF Certification guarantee that a product is interoperable?
A4: JDF Certification does guarantee a basic level of interoperability, but optional and advanced feature support for JDF may be supported by some products and not others; hence, when integrating two JDF Certified systems, some setup and testing will still be needed, but the two systems will share a common denominator.
Q5: Are products that are JDF Certified intended to be "Plug n' Play"?
A5: Professional graphic arts systems may never be "Plug n' Play" in the sense of simple consumer electronics. Quite simply, there are so many possible variations of workflow and production techniques that it may not be cost efficient for everything to be "Plug n' Play;" hence, CIP4 is focusing on establishing interoperability between systems from different vendors, and JDF does not portend to define "plug-n-play" for graphic arts systems.
Q6: Will certified products work with uncertified products?
A6: Certified and uncertified products may certainly work together, but you may find that it takes more time and effort to establish interoperability with uncertified systems.
Q7: How should I use JDF Certification to my advantage?
A7: For printers, prepress services and other graphic arts companies, JDF Certification is meant to be an aid for your systems evaluation and purchasing programs. If you don't require JDF Certification, you should at least make it clear to prospective vendors that it is your buying preference. Buying JDF Certified systems and software should save you time and money when installing new equipment.