Ricoh ProcessDirector provides several mechanisms for interacting with other applications. The mechanism you use depends on your goal and on the capabilities of the application.

The general goals that you might want to accomplish when you use Ricoh ProcessDirector with another application are:

  1. Submit a job for processing and printing.

    Your application can copy print files to hot folder input devices, which are directories that Ricoh ProcessDirector monitors at configurable intervals. Ricoh ProcessDirector accepts the print files and converts them into print jobs.

    You can send jobs to hot folders using a variety of methods. If you submit Job Definition Format (JDF) job tickets with your print files, the hot folder input device can use the job ticket to set job properties. The JDF job ticket stays with the job during processing. Most job properties and the values in the job ticket are synchronized whenever the job ticket is requested. You can also send jobs into a hot folder with the JDF batching method with the PDF, JDF and JMF information in a single MIME package. The JMF must reference the name of the hot folder as the DeviceID.

    If your application uses the line print (LPR) function to transmit files, it can send them to a line printer daemon (LPD) input device. LPD input devices are similar to hot folder input devices, but they can only receive files that are sent using LPR.

  2. Add processing capabilities that are not available in Ricoh ProcessDirector to your print workflows.

    If your application provides processing that can be incorporated into print workflows (such as address cleansing, data stream transformation, or impositioning), you can create steps that send the print job from Ricoh ProcessDirector to your application, wait for a valid return code, and then continue processing in Ricoh ProcessDirector.

    If your application monitors hot folders, the steps you create can copy print jobs to and from those hot folders. If your application has a command line, the step can run the appropriate command and wait for the resulting file to be returned.

    If you submit jobs with JDF job tickets, the application can use values in the job ticket, even if they are not supported by Ricoh ProcessDirector. If the application updates values in the job ticket, the new values can be reflected in Ricoh ProcessDirector.

    Ricoh ProcessDirector provides features that make it easier to integrate with other programs into workflows.

    Ricoh ProcessDirector Feature Associated Program
    Avanti Slinghshot Connect Avanti Slinghshot
    Designer GMC Inspire
    Marcom Central Connect Marcom Central
    PitStop Connect EnfocusPitStop Server 10 or higher
    Ultimate Impostrip Connect Ultimate Impostrip OnDemand Digital Automation

    Ricoh ProcessDirector also provides the Postal Enablement feature. The Postal Enablement feature lets you connect to your choice of external postal software. Examples of postal software include TEC Mailing Solutions MailPreparer or the Bell and Howell BCC Mail Manager.

  3. Access Ricoh ProcessDirector using a REST API

    You can use the REST APIs provided with Ricoh ProcessDirector to integrate with the Web services for your application. With these REST APIs you can make requests and issue commands using Web services.

    Making requests using Web services includes retrieving the status of objects in the system, property values, and log files, among other things. For example, if you want to collect the same information about various jobs in the system for use in a report or to display in a different user interface, you can create a Web services request to ask for that information.

    Issuing commands using Web services includes connecting and disconnecting input devices, enabling and disabling objects, and setting object properties. For example, if you want to enable and connect an input device, you can create a Web service request that issues the correct commands.

Later chapters provide more information about each goal and the ways to achieve them. Before you read those chapters, make sure that you understand the basic information about Ricoh ProcessDirector that this chapter explains.