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METACOMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES VIRTUAL TICKET 4.0.

MetaCommunications, Inc., Iowa City, Iowa, a developer of software business solutions, has launched a major upgrade to its Virtual Ticket software product with the release of Virtual Ticket 4.0. Virtual Ticket 4.0's new features and capabilities have expanded Virtual Ticket 3.0 from an electronic job ticketing and digital asset management system to an integrated production platform for printing, publishing and creative development. Virtual Ticket 4.0 may be used as a standalone system or in conjunction with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning System) or production management system.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 enables organizations and workgroups an easy way to centralize, manage and use production information by providing a rich set of integrated electronic document, workflow and digital asset management tools. Virtual Ticket 4.0 stands in a class by itself as the only product available today to combine these essential functionalities under one customizable platform.

"The graphic arts industry primarily produces made-to-order products and services, each with a variation in the way it will be produced. In this environment, a software package that automates the production process and facilitates clear centralized communications among managers, customer service and production is one of the most valuable tools I can think of," said Robert T. Long, Vice President of MetaCommunications. "Everyone knows the difficulty in finding, interpreting and keeping up-to-date on the latest job information using paper-based job tickets, each stuffed with change orders, proofs, sticky notes, faxes, email printouts, hand written notations and so on. Virtual Ticket 4.0 can turn that paper tiger into an organized electronic workflow."

Virtual Ticket 4.0, like its predecessor 3.0 version, has a fully integrated digital asset management system that enables the drag & drop association of digital assets with production information, much the same way you would have traditionally associated physical transparencies with a job by placing them in the paper job ticket. Typical digital asset management systems lack these features and require costly operator intervention to hand key production information in the form of metadata for each individual set of digital assets.

Now, Virtual Ticket 4.0 includes a new technology called Virtual Ticket InterSync(tm) that automatically monitors, synchronizes and catalogs digital assets located on an organizations' AppleTalk/IP and Windows NT/2000 file servers. Virtual Ticket InterSync technology advances Virtual Ticket's already automated system of digital asset management by completely automating the way digital assets are cataloged and associated with production information - accomplishing the process of cataloging digital assets virtually without human intervention.

Virtual Ticket InterSync technology utilizes background server agent software and a scriptable architecture to identify the relationships between directories/files and production information within Virtual Ticket 4.0. This process happens automatically as changes are detected in the underlying file systems. For example, users may create custom scripts based upon the unique file system naming conventions of their organization to associate job folders on their file server with a job ticket for a particular job in Virtual Ticket 4.0. "The automatic association of digital assets with job tickets in Virtual Ticket allows users to later search for their digital assets using any of the fields of information saved about the job, such as job number, customer, order date and so on," said Long.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 supports integration with third party production tools like Markzware's FlightCheck, QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator and others. Virtual Ticket 4.0 job tickets can be designed to contain information for specific operations within a native application. Virtual Ticket 4.0 allows this information to be passed to scripts or helper applications that then use the native program to perform the desired function - for example preflight a file and return the results to the job ticket.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 is a client server application utilizing Microsoft SQL Server as its database engine and is capable of scaling from a few concurrent users to hundreds of concurrent users. Using Virtual Ticket's Administrator client application, users may customize forms, scripts, database structures and a variety of other components to quickly and easily construct and automate electronic job tickets and workflow processes.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 supports the full range of Microsoft InterDev development tools enabling advanced developers to create customized web access to internal Virtual Ticket 4.0 information.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 is a production platform for printing, publishing and creative development. Virtual Ticket 4.0 enables organizations and workgroups an easy way to centralize, manage and use production information by providing a rich set of integrated electronic document, workflow and digital asset management tools. Virtual Ticket 4.0 stands in a class by itself as the only product available today to combine these essential functionalities under one customizable platform. Virtual Ticket 4.0 may be used as a standalone system or in conjunction with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning System) or production management system.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 is a client server application utilizing Microsoft SQL Server as its database engine and is capable of scaling from a few concurrent users to hundreds of concurrent users. Using Virtual Ticket's Administrator client application, users may customize forms, scripts, database structures and a variety of other components to quickly and easily construct and automate electronic job tickets and workflow processes.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 offers several add-on options.

* Virtual Ticket Web Server provides a web-based interface to Virtual Ticket's digital asset management component. User may search, view thumbnails and extended previews and download images subject to assigned privileges.

* Virtual Ticket Production Pack provides a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator and an XTension for QuarkXPress that enables these products to fully integrate with Virtual Ticket 4.0.

* Virtual Ticket SQL SDK provides a set of SQL stored procedures that may be used to integrate Virtual Ticket 4.0 with third party or legacy systems.

Virtual Ticket software is currently being used in Advertising Agencies, Corporate Creative/Marketing Departments, In-Plants, Photo Studios, Printers, Publishers, Service Bureaus and Web Design/Content Providers. The typical installation size for a Virtual Ticket system is between 5 users and several hundred users.

Pricing and Availability

Virtual Ticket 4.0 is available from Authorized Virtual Ticket Resellers or directly from MetaCommunications. Customers with a current Software Assurance and Support Agreement or that purchased or upgraded to Virtual Ticket 3.0 after June 1st, 2001 will receive the Virtual Ticket 4.0 upgrade free of charge. Customers not covered by a current Software Assurance and Support Agreement should contact MetaCommunications for upgrade options and costs.

Virtual Ticket 4.0 is sold on a concurrent users basis with prices starting at $3,998.00 for a base server package and 5 concurrent users.

For more information, visit http://www.meta-comm.com.
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Publication:GUI Program News
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2001
Words:1110
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