Freeflow automation software updated

I recently revisited some software I wrote for APS Group ( a Manchester based Print and Logistics Group) in 2009 and updated it for 2018, rewriting what was REALBasic 2007 code into its modern equivalent Xojo 2018.

The Xojo App is just the User interface, allowing for drag and drop of Excel CSV files, setting up and editing of preferences for such things as the buyer names, offer types and production quantities. Underlying the App is a bunch of AppleScripts that I also udated to fix bugs, and speed up operations using some of Shane Stanley’s AppleScriptObjC code to rapidly combine PDF documents (as doing this through Adobe Acrobat scripting directly is interminably slow.. Thanks Adobe x)

This example for Co-Op Pharmacy in the UK takes a CSV file saved from an Excel spreadsheet and contains 470 Co-Op products managed by 5 buyers, having 19 various Offer Types ( e.g ‘half price’ or ‘3 for £2’), and automatically publishes the data through InDesign, creating press ready PDFs and sorting and combining these PDFs including dividers for each buyer’s proofing needs: all in 15 minutes. The CSV, InDesign and PDF files are all saved into subfolders by Buyer and Offertype, with the master CSV being broken down and saved into buyer and Offertype sub-files in order to be able to rapidly cross check and validate all aspects of the process. Once the proofed output is manually validated, a production CSV file ( automatically created from the proof step) is then run through the same freeFlow App which then produces the correct quantities of PDF and combines them for the various Store sizes throughout the country.

The App fully automated APS studio production of their Small Point of Sale artwork operations at Superdrug Stores, Co-Op Pharmacy and the now defunct First Quench Retail removing the need and cost of a full time designer or three and an account executive to boot to mash the Excel datafiles and run around the office losing their marbles!