Automated Document Factory

The Automated Document Factory 2.0 (ADF 2.0), also known by its earlier generation as simply ADF , is an architecture developed by Gartner that is used in the design and operation of printing and mailing operations. Enterprises use ADF to provide the foundation for the operations, whether transaction printing (bills, checks, policies, etc.) or marketing collateral (brochures, literature, etc.). Hardware and software technology providers use the ADF 2.0 architecture to frame the products and features they offer to the print operations.

History of the Automated Document Factory

The ADF concept provides an architecture for efficiently and cost-effectively producing internal and external printed transaction documents. The "Automated Document Factory" ("ADF") concept was first published by Gartner Inc. in 1996. Developed and refined by Jay Ingalls and others within Gartner, ADF lays the foundation for creating and delivering any company's mission-critical, high-volume printed documents.

Gartner encouraged the use of factory production techniques to ensure lower costs, higher quality, document integrity and process controls. In time, equipment and software suppliers developed the tools to facilitate the ADF's integrated production workflow.

ADF quickly became universally accepted as early adopters collaborated with suppliers to develop, implement and refine the necessary tools to make ADF a reality.

Automated Document Factory defined

The original ADF concept comprised four modules set out in a linear fashion covering data received by the factory through production and reporting:

• "Input" — where all the data and the instructions needed to transform the data intodocuments enter the ADF

• "Transformation and integrated output" — where the data and instructions meet and thedocuments are produced in the appropriate media

• "Delivery preparation" — where documents are prepared for delivery to the recipient

• "Control and reporting" — which manages production aspects of the ADF

ADF 2.0 - the next generation

ADF 2.0 was unveiled by Gartner Inc. in November 2007 with the publication of " [http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=548507&ref=g_sitelink Introducing ADF 2.0, the Next-Generation Automated Document Factory] "by Pete Basiliere and Ken Weilerstein. ADF 2.0 extends the existing four modules with two more:

• "Document design and content integration" — where designers and design tools integratewith operations management and variable data printing tools

• "Response management" — which comprises integrated response analysis techniques

Print and mail facilities must be able to produce high volumes of personalized and relevant communications. Gartner's Automated Document Factory 2.0 strategy provides technology providers and print service providers with the framework for developing and implementing the architectures and tools necessary for 21st-century communications.

The ADF 2.0 architecture is the foundation for numerous applications of personalized variable data printing. Printing companies with an ADF in place are able to smoothly compile, print, mail/ship and analyze a wide range of marketing and transactional communications including CRM-based printing and trans-promo (or transactional-promotional) printing.

References

" [http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=548507&ref=g_sitelink Introducing ADF 2.0, the Next-Generation Automated Document Factory] "by Pete Basiliere and Ken Weilerstein (Gartner Inc., 2007)

"Automated Document Factory" ("ADF") by Jay Ingalls (Gartner Inc., 1996)


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