June 2024 product update


In this presentation from the 2024 Americas Virtual User Group, Typefi VP Product + New Markets, Caleb Clauset, discusses some of Typefi’s recent product updates and teases a few big releases planned for the remainder of 2024.

First, Caleb gives a brief overview of the recent Typefi Server 8.14 upgrade. Users won’t notice any big changes with this release, but in the background, we’ve upgraded to Tomcat 10 and Java SE 21 to ensure the security and stability of our services. We strongly encourage you to update your software to this version!

Next, Caleb talks about a big change coming soon—Typefi Accounts. This update will enable seamless sign-on across all Typefi services thanks to an integration with Auth0. Keep an eye out for it later in 2024.

You may have heard us talk about Project Marcoola in the last year, and it’s now getting very close to release! This platform is a new, improved front end for Typefi Cloud which will enable easier content management, better collaboration, and faster publishing. During the presentation, Caleb reveals new branding for the project and a new name: Typefi AssetFlow. It will be rolling out very soon, through end of year 2024.

Additionally, Caleb discusses several other current projects and releases that are coming soon, including fractional Typefi Engines, a complete re-write of the DOCX plug-in, CXML 3.3, and a new Server version of Typefi AutoFit. He also gives a shout-out to Typefi RunScript, an inexpensive online PDF generator that’s essentially InDesign Server as a Service. Check out the presentation for more details!


00:00Where we’re heading
02:09Server 8.14 release
04:32Typefi Accounts
08:24Typefi AssetFlow
11:54Fractional engines
12:51Typefi RunScript
13:43DOCX plug-in revamp
14:28AutoFit Server
14:57CXML 3.3

Where we’re heading (00:00)

CALEB: All right, so let’s see. Which screen is going to let me advance?

So I just got back from first-year orientation with my daughter at university and they threw this slide up there talking about academic advising. And it really felt applicable to the way that we think about product management and the partnership that we have with each of you.

And this idea of being proactive, accountable, respectful and transparent in the way that we conduct business, the way that we think about the products and what they do. So I just, I don’t know, it hit me yesterday and I was like, I like this. I want to include this in my slide deck.

So in that regard, when we start thinking about what we want to focus on or how we look at product and how we evaluate what we’ve done, I came up with this sort of flow diagram.

And thinking about, the content goes through this cycle of editing and design. We iterate on that design and then we have our impact at the end. And for much of Typefi’s existence, we’ve focused in this design space. And a lot of our tools are built around helping to realise the design or thinking about the design, getting content into that design.

And in this ethos of Do More, we sort of want to grow that influence. Getting more into editorial space, getting more into the post composition workflows. And so that’s going to be driving a lot of our thinking going forward.

But right now I want to focus on what we have done now most recently.

Server 8.14 release (02:09)

At a high level, this is the themes in this last year, stuff that you can see that’s coming in this coming year.

The first and the biggest I think here is just this foundational aspect. We just released back in April, Typefi Server version 8.14.

This is a pretty major foundational change in that we are moving from Java 11 to Java 21 and we’re moving from Tomcat 9 to Tomcat 10.

One of the challenges with this is that all, with Tomcat 9 to 10 all .war files that were built for Tomcat 9 will not run in Tomcat 10. And so this is sort of a forced upgrade of all of your workflow plugins at the same time that you’re updating the Typefi Server.

This is the first time that we’ve had this requirement in our updates, but this is something that sort of sets the stage for greater stability and reliability, and we’re going to really be sort of focusing on making sure that we maintain these long-term support releases.

And so with Java, it’s basically every other release now is where they’re going with their standards around LTS. So Java 23, 25, so forth. And we just want to make sure that you’re aware that this happened back in April and we encourage everyone to make this a priority update.

There are security vulnerabilities and sort of disclosures related to Tomcat 9 that we are not going to address in the previous versions because we’re pushing into Tomcat 10. And so that’s sort of the foundational piece that we need to get in place for some other stuff that’s coming very, very soon.

Typefi Accounts (04:32)

Another thing that’s happening very soon is this major sort of rethinking of Typefi Accounts.

So from a user’s perspective, this is again, a slight inconvenience and you have to change your password, but the advantage of doing that is that this will enable single sign-on across our different services. So Server, My Typefi, our support site, all of that. It also integrates with your Google or Microsoft account credentials.

And so if you have two factor authentication managed through Google or Microsoft that you can just continue using that same login once we link your Typefi account with those third party accounts and you’ll just be able log in seamlessly to all of our stuff. So it’s a really nice clean experience.

So we’re replacing all of these sort of different login screens with just the one. Here we go, just the one that is powered by Auth0.

So I’m sure that many of you actually have some experience with Auth0. You may be using it yourself already. And this is authentication as a service and we’re really pleased with the way this is working.

This is going to be a process to transition all of our accounts over into Auth0, but just keep an eye out for additional communications from us as we get ready to go live with this change.

Another thing that this is going to give us is that within the apps themselves, there’ll be the little nine square grid switch app control that will allow you just to toggle between all the different services directly without having to go to different URLs or think about things. And we’re excited about that as well.

And here’s a little video from Guy talking about that.

GUY: So what we’re going to be doing later…

CALEB: Can you hear the video?

LUKAS: It’s a bit quiet.

GUY: …the place where your files will be distributed.

LUKAS: That’s better. Yeah,

GUY: Here I’m in my customer on My Typefi, and if I go to the Files tab, you can see that I have an area where I can create a new folder or upload files or upload folders and obviously also download files if I want to. And this is going to be the place where, that replaces the FTP for your file distribution.

One thing that’s not yet available in this early demonstration build that I’m working with, but that will absolutely be available to you when we launch, is there’s going to be another tab next to Files for Software where we’re going to be making available to you software like Typefi Writer or Typefi Designer so that you can download it from here.

And this will fully replace the FTP for those of you that were used to going there.

So the Files area in My Typefi is going to allow you to upload any files related to support tickets that you might have or it will allow your solutions consultant to upload new scripts or new XSLTs and it will also be the place where we distribute software.

CALEB: All right, so this is just a follow-up related to that, that the FTP server software we use cannot integrate with Auth0. That’s moving away and being replaced with a new tab within My Typefi.

Typefi AssetFlow (08:24)

All right, next thing that’s coming out later this year, and again this is for a staged rollout because it’s a pretty big change for us, is AssetFlow.

You might’ve heard us talk about this before as Marcoola. It’s now been rebranded as AssetFlow.

And this is a brand new front end for all of our Cloud customers for managing your files with a lot of additional features around the workflow of how you track status and how you track comments and collaborate within the Typefi space.

Again, this is going to be rolled out in a staged process throughout this year. We’re going to work with some select Cloud Enterprise customers first to roll it out to them and then to Cloud Teams.

And then finally, for anyone that’s using our API that is integrating in with Typefi with other solutions and services, either before or after Typefi, they’re going to be the ones that are sort of brought into the AssetFlow space last of all.

This is a Cloud-exclusive feature. This will not be something that we can offer for on-premise deployments.

And let’s see. So just to confirm, you’re still seeing my screen and you can see the Chrome browser?


CALEB: Okay. I wasn’t sure if the change is going to work with the way that Zoom does.

All right, so this is the Auth0 front end interface. Because I’m logged in through my Google account already, I can just click “Continue with Google” and it will log me in. Let’s try this again. Log me into the interface. There we go.

And so this is still undergoing some rebranding. We haven’t actually got the AssetFlow name and icon in there and so forth. But the general idea here is that it is your files that you’re used to working with in the Typefi Server 8 interface, but it is just faster and more functional in the way that we start to think about things.

That I can take a single file, I can assign different statuses, we can control what these statuses are, so you can think about the way that your content needs to flow through that and have sort of bird’s eye view of what things are. I can also look at different changes to that content over time in a very quick and easy sort of process.

And all this will tie in and integrate with the Typefi Server 8 workflows so that the same content you’re storing here, you can run through those workflows that you’re used to working with to produce the outputs and return all that back into AssetFlow for additional modifications or comments or pushing into other workflows for distribution.

And so that is also coming again across this year.

Fractional engines (11:54)

A couple other things that we are working on for this year are fractional Typefi Engines.

You might’ve heard us talk about this before as well. The idea here is that we want to be able to add and remove capacity to meet your changing demands.

Many publishers have sort of busy times during the year where they need additional content to be able to get through just a little bit faster. And this allows you to expand your pool of engines dynamically to meet that need.

This is going to be rolled out as an additional tab within My Typefi. And so you can set up those reservations and you can manage when they come online, when they go offline, what your maximum charge you want to incur for that additional capacity might be.

All of that is going to be coming later this year.

Typefi RunScript (12:51)

And the final thing is just a shout-out to Typefi RunScript. And this is our InDesign Server as a cloud service.

This is a native InDesign Server. This does not actually include any of the Typefi plug-ins like AutoFit or Designer.

And this is just a pure compute-based pricing by the second with a RESTful API wrapper around InDesign Server.

And you can use this today by going to runscript.typefi.com. There’s full documentation in GitHub as far as how to use the RESTful API to integrate with RunScript.

And we’re excited to see sort of how people are using this to do things that, they’ve never used InDesign before, but now they’re using InDesign Server as a cloud service.

DOCX plug-in revamp (13:43)

Some the other stuff that’s actually coming very soon this year.

So the DOCX workflow plug-in is being remastered and rebuilt using the latest in XSLT architecture.

The way that it’s sort of been explained to me is that it produces the exact same output, but it’s improved.

And it’s a little confusing, but the idea here is that not only is the new architecture easier for us to maintain, it resolves several longstanding issues that have plagued previous versions of the plug-in and how we convert from DOCX into Content XML and from Content XML back into DOCX.

And so this is going to be coming in the third quarter of this year.

AutoFit Server (14:28)

For some customers, that are not Typefi customers, that want to be able to use AutoFit in their workflows, like maybe they have a standalone InDesign Server instance or with WoodWing or other third-party InDesign workflow tools, they can now actually integrate AutoFit Server into those workflows.

That’s now available standalone.

CXML 3.3 (14:57)

Lastly, another sort of shout-out to something that’s coming down the pipeline with Content XML.

So right now, Content XML is version 3.2, and we’re going to be adding in support for semantic heading tags, so H1 through H6, and also change tracking with an optional status attribute attached to many of your blocks of content within your CXML.

And this is going to empower some new possibilities, especially when we start thinking about the HTML output from Typefi and having more rich semantic structure in the source to produce the same rich semantic structure in the output. And then the change tracking is going to be pretty cool.

So we’ll talk about that a little bit more later on today.

Recap (15:51)

So again, just to sort of review the stuff that we’ve been working on right now, there’s a lot of foundational stuff around Tomcat 10 and Java SE 21 that came out in April.

Typefi Accounts is coming out very, very soon. This is built on Auth0.

AssetFlow is also coming out in a rolled out staged fashion across the rest of this year.

And content velocity is something to be looking forward in the future to help you sort of manage your needs around just output speeds and bandwidth.

And that’s it for me.