Typefi has been busy lately and there are a lot of new developments coming soon! In this presentation from the 2023 Typefi User Conference, Caleb Clauset, Typefi VP Product & New Markets, discusses everything we’ve done over the last year as well as big things that are launching soon.
Typefitter and AutoFit have both seen significant updates and new features added. Typefi Server saw more than 200 improvements over the last year, and compatibility with InDesign Server 2024 is coming soon. Additionally, a new Engine Advanced platform and On-Demand Engines are coming early in 2024.
Typefi 9 is nearing its debut as well. The next big upgrade to Typefi, this new platform will be solely cloud-based and enable more collaboration, faster publishing, and better file management. Typefi 8 will still be supported and actively updated, so don’t worry if you use Typefi on-premise. Check out the end of the presentation for more details and a demo of the new Typefi 9 features.
|Recosoft: InDesign to PowerPoint demo
|Typefitter & AutoFit
Alright, again, welcome. It’s very exciting to actually again, be in front of customers and have this chance to talk and get your ideas, what you are looking for, and try to judge what we’re thinking against what you need and what you want. Because we’re very driven by, well driven by what serves you, what helps you to Do More.
When I think about the time that I’ve had at Typefi, I joined in 2005, and the DNA of the company has always been about trying to accomplish more, to be able to do things faster.
And so just last week I gave a talk at the Data and Design Summit for Creative Pro and the theme was around content velocity. Well, my talk was about content velocity, and this is a phrase that I admittedly borrowed from Adobe, but I really like the idea that it embodies around, well, doing more.
That the pressure that we all face, us as the providers of software, you as the publishers, is that there is this insatiable demand for content. And the more that we can do to help you deliver that content faster, better, easier, we all succeed. And that’s still that promise, I’ll say.
The promise that we make to you is that we will help you Do More.
New partnerships (01:53)
So I want us to sort of talk about some of the partnerships that we have forged recently.
Guy will go into this a little more in detail in this first one, but Typefi has a relationship with both Fonto and Oxygen or Syncro Soft to enable web-based authoring, editing, touchups within your content.
And so this is a new thing that you can add on to the existing Typefi Server that allows you to just open up any XML file that’s stored within our repository, make changes, and then publish that so you don’t have to move back to your desktop and apps, check-in, checkout, you actually can work on it directly there.
Recosoft: InDesign to PowerPoint demo (03:19)
Another partnership that I have, want to sort of bring attention to is Recosoft. So this is actually pre-announcing this partnership in a way. We haven’t signed the full relationship with them. We’ll be meeting them in California in about two weeks.
But what Recosoft, they’re a Japanese publisher, rather developer, and they have created a suite of tools around getting content back out of InDesign. And the thing that we are most interested in is their PowerPoint export.
And so while Lukas had built this nice template in PowerPoint, I decided I’m going to take this template and redo it in InDesign so I can show you the way that Recosoft works.
So you can see I have, oh, you can’t see, it cropped the top off. Well, you can see the little menu. Right above here it says Recosoft. So when I export that, so we are interested in this piece: PowerPoint.
And this will be a brand new action within the Typefi workflows so that you can just choose, say, hey, I want to take this layout, export out to a PowerPoint.
So click export, find today. And you may notice, I’m going to pan over here, camera’s going to catch me. So in my Pages panel, you see these little icons here. I’ve applied transitions within InDesign to each of these pages.
And we’ll see if this actually works when we get back into PowerPoint. Apologies, I have some big graphics in here, so it’s got to down sample everything for PowerPoint.
Alright, so my file is exported, open this up and here is the PowerPoint deck beautifully rendered. So I can go into here and you can see that each object is in there. One of the fonts didn’t map over and so that’s why it’s cropped in. But even the drop shadow that I applied to this object is carried through.
And when I switch into presentation mode, you can see we get the transitions and so forth. So it’s interesting, we will see what people want to do with that.
So anyway, so this is something that we will be launching as a new action in the new year. So first quarter of 2024, this will become available.
Typefitter & AutoFit (06:00)
Alright, now looking at our current products.
So in conjunction with the web relaunch, we actually shifted Typefitter, has moved up to its own website now. And so it’s kind of cool. It’s a fun little small self-contained website.
Another thing that we have that if you’ve used Designer to create templates for a while, you know about Typefi AutoFit.
This, to be honest, when I joined Typefi back in 2005, AutoFit is why I joined Typefi. I was so impressed with this little tiny plug-in and how useful it is because at the time, I mean again, 2005, InDesign text frames couldn’t grow. You drew it and that’s how big it was. And AutoFit enabled text frames to expand, to be responsive to their content.
But it had this other killer feature around creating relationships between your objects and so that as one frame grew, it could affect other things on the page.
And you can take it really interesting places where you can have objects that are hidden, that are part of that AutoFit chain that then affect something else on the page. So you can create these weird sort of lever actions and so forth.
But one of the things that we’ve just launched with AutoFit in version 8.9 and later are Smart Guides.
And so if you’ve ever used Adobe Illustrator, Illustrator has this feature called Smart Guides, which is as you are dragging things around, your cursor will snap and you can see this tail between where you started and where you are. And so we adopted that same sort of model now with AutoFit.
And so it’s a change in the way the AutoFit works. The old way, you would click and then click to create that relationship, the new way, click and drag. So that’s launched there. We have a video actually that’s featured on the Behance page now for Creative Cloud integrations.
And so we’re excited about a growing partnership with Adobe to help raise awareness, discoverability, of things like AutoFit.
Typefi Server (08:25)
Alright, the big one, Typefi Server.
So looking back over this last year, we have put in over 200 improvements into the Server, which is just a massive amount of development and a lot of time and effort. And a lot of these are features around trying to improve tiny little things that just irritate you and help you to, well, just to do more.
Another thing, when we think about the way that our Server operates, we support the latest versions of InDesign and InDesign Server plus the previous two releases. Now there’s an asterisk on that because we are literally two weeks away from a brand new version of InDesign coming out.
Adobe MAX is the creativity conference. This happens, this is happening on October 10th through the 12th. This is going to be the first time that Typefi actually exhibits at MAX. And so we’re excited about that, sort of see what that means.
From a product perspective, what this means is, well October we’re going to see a brand new version of AutoFit, the free version, so it’s not really what you guys would use, as well as a new version of Typefitter.
But we want to sort of caution you that the InDesign Server release, InDesign Server 2024, never comes out at Adobe MAX. It’s always at least a month later. And the reason for this month delay is that Adobe goes through and does sort of torture testing of the software. They want to make sure the software can run consistently for a 30 day period with no memory leaks or failures or bugs.
And so that’s sort of what we’re looking at from a timing perspective, that when Adobe announces a new version of InDesign 2024, it’s called version 19, in or on October 10th, that we expect to release support for InDesign Server 2024 within 90 days, mostly in the November to December timeframe.
We don’t want to have this creep over the Christmas holiday because it just makes a big pause. So the goal is to release this to you guys before the end of this calendar year. So that’s that.
Now jumping back, so I already mentioned, and Guy’s going to jump into this a lot more detail around the XML web authoring side of things, but there’s another piece that’s coming, in that bottom right hand corner: Auth0.
How many people actually know what Auth0 is or have heard of Auth0 before? Excellent. It’s a new thing.
So Auth0 is authentication as a service. So next question, and this is risky, how many people have had login problems with Typefi Cloud or Server? Yes, we recognise that.
So Auth0 is something we’ve been working on for a while to integrate into our solutions. It’s going to bring us a number of advantages.
One, it just really steps up the game as far as MFA support and supporting social login. So you can log in with credentials that you own as opposed to having to have separate credentials for Typefi.
The other thing it gives us is this ability to log in once, single sign-on, and as we roll this out to all the products, that you’ll be able to log into the Typefi Server and then seamlessly switch over to My Typefi and not have to log in again, or switch over to other products that we’re launching that we’ll talk about in a little bit. And again, not have to re-authenticate.
So this is going to be rolling out to over the next quarter, quarter after that, so forth. It takes a little time to integrate.
This will mean for anyone that is leveraging the APIs to integrate with Typefi, that this will touch that as well, because if we only apply Auth0 to the web front end and don’t do it to the APIs, it’s like having a really secure front door, but your back door is just wide open. So that’s coming soon.
Engine Advanced (13:03)
A couple other things that we’ve been working on. So Engine Advanced, this is a really simple story.
It’s basically saying if we think about the way that a job is run today, we have the template, we have the content, we flow them together and we output into a time-date stamped folder. And you make changes, we create a new file and a new folder, it’s sort of a one-way path.
Now we can also do round trips. So you can take any one of those output files and you can reverse it and say I want to get the content back out of that.
What Engine Advanced allows you to do is basically say, I want to take this InDesign file that’s been composed and maybe I’ve made changes to it and I want to take this content and push that into the file without redoing all the stuff, so I can actually make an update.
So when you start thinking about, the obvious use case is around a price list, that you’ve got all this content, but oh hey, exchange rates have changed, we’ve got to push new prices into that. So Engine Advanced will allow you to do that sort of work, but it could be in lots of other areas.
Maybe you have a layout where there is a sidebar that’s being written by someone else and you want to say, hey, everything else wants to stay the same but I want to update that one little piece. And so I can push a new story into that and replace it. That’s Engine Advanced.
On-Demand Engines (14:48)
The other thing that we’ve been working on for a little while and is going to be coming in the new year is On-Demand Engines.
So how many people have been frustrated waiting for their jobs to compose with Typefi Cloud? That there is a bandwidth issue sometimes with queues.
And so what the On-Demand Engines allows you to do is to reserve extra capacity. And I mean literally reserve, this is dedicated extra capacity for you.
So whether you’re on Teams or you’re using the Enterprise cloud versions, that you’ll be able to add additional InDesign Server instances to your pool. And so you still have access to the queue, the regular queue, but if you have a peak demand issue for yourself, that you can bring on this additional engine and so now you have more bandwidth to get through the content.
The thing about this is this is cloud only, we cannot do this on-prem. And the reason why we can’t do it on-prem is just because of the licencing around InDesign Server. If it’s in our Cloud, then we can own that licence and we can spin up another instance in a way that is fully compliant with InDesign’s EULA, or InDesign Server’s EULA, end user licence agreement.
But the goal here is that you don’t have to have a huge outlay to buy a whole other InDesign Server and a whole other Typefi Engine for a year, that you can say, I need this for a month just to get through this crunch period. So that’s coming next year.
Data security (16:32)
Alright, another big focus that we’ve had on product is around data security.
So I want to sort of pat myself on the back. We’ve achieved SOC2 Type 2, compliance again for this last year. This focuses on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentially, and privacy.
This is around our processes, the way that we handle data. And so the idea behind a SOC2 Type 2 certificate is that you can have more trust in the way that Typefi handles that data, handles our own stuff and how that would apply to how your data travels through our systems.
I’ve already talked about Auth0. The rollout this is going to see is first it’s with Typefi Server, that’s going to have a knock on effect with Writer and Designer, and then we’re going to roll it out into My Typefi. So you can move between those two.
And related to this, this has also sort of brought that our FTP site, the way that we transfer files, the way you give us files, it’s kind of creaky to put it kindly. And so we’re working on a successor to our FTP site and looking to actually integrate that into My Typefi.
And so you’ll see a lot of activity around enhancements and features and monitoring and capabilities within My Typefi. This is a major source of interest for us in trying to help you have more insight and transparency in the way that we operate.
Typefi 9 (18:20)
All right, this is the big one, Typefi 9.
So we launched Typefi 8 in 2015 and it was a massive change for us.
How many people here have actually sort of predate Typefi 8? Can I get a hand raise? Just a handful.
So the way that Typefi 7, and 6 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2, there was no Typefi 1 really. But the way that they operated, it was a very fixed workflow. There was not a lot of flexibility and Typefi 8 said, this isn’t answering the need of what you guys have.
And when we think about the way that you are using Typefi today is so different from the way that we originally conceived Typefi. Typefi, in the beginning, was designed around a very particular workflow of, I want to have a Word file and I want to take that Word file and I want to produce a PDF and that was it. And I want to automate to produce a dummy’s guidebook. How do I do this?
It was very limited in that scope and we were struggling with frustrations around, okay, how do we integrate something that if you’re using NLM or an XML native format instead of, when Typefi first started it was all RTF based.
And so Typefi 8 was like, okay, we’re going to take everything we’ve learned from this and apply it to create these modular workflows. And I think that’s worked really well for us. It’s enabled us to grow into a lot of new markets and do more for you.
And so when we started thinking about Typefi 9 three years ago, this has been three years in development, collaboration and how we work with files was sort of the main flag, what we’re trying to accomplish.
And so when we look at what Typefi 9 is, again content velocity, we want to make it faster. And so some of the things that we’re looking at when you, and I’ll do a little demo in a second.
So when you’re working within Typefi 9, the transfer, sort of moving data in and out of Typefi, it’s no longer limited to a data centre in Northern Virginia or a data centre in Frankfurt. It is edge-based. And so no matter where you are in the world, no matter what device you’re using, it’s a wicked fast connection and it gives you sort of a near desktop like experience.
So let me drop out of this into Marcoola.
So Marcoola is already using Auth0, and you notice I didn’t actually have to type my password in because I’d already logged in before and it knew the credentials from cookies and so forth.
So the first thing to think about, I know that’s really small, within Marcoola is it’s a file browser. Here we have content in the cloud. And so let’s see…some things that we’re working on. So I’m going to go into a folder, just moving between folders up to 400% faster. Which it’s like, okay, sure Caleb, that’s a nice little thing.
But the goal here is that as we’re looking at these documents, when I think about this idea around collaboration, so Typefi 8, we’ve always had this ability or this thinking about versioning, where when you check in a new file that you can optionally apply a comment to that and so you can sort of see maybe a history with that.
We wanted to take that conversation a little higher with Marcoola. And so on the right side here you can see I’ve selected a file, and as we go through here you can see different people are touching this file. I can see that full history, I can see different versions of the file as it’s changed over time, I can apply different states to that file so I can start to think about content automation workflows, not just publishing automation workflows.
So this is something that we will be continuing to develop and putting a lot of effort and interest into, what are you looking for around this content? And how to manage and monitor, track and collect information about that content. What do you want to see? So Guy and I are very keen to get some feedback to this in this session later this afternoon.
Now there’s some other things within Marcoola that are pretty clever.
So as I’m browsing through here on the left hand side pan over, you can see that we have different sort of shortcuts. So I can look at recent files, I don’t have any in here right now, but as I’m within this I can say, oh, the fact sheet, I’m going to work on that a lot right now. So I just want to pin this for quick access.
And so within the full sphere of all the content stored within Marcoola, I can create my own sort of personal set of, these are the things that I’m working on right now. And so no matter where I am within my folder structure, I can jump in deep and just immediately jump right back to where I want to go.
There are all sorts of things you think about with the experience you expect when you’re working with files on your desktop: undo, copy, paste, moving things around. All that works.
Now on your desktop, you probably just have one level of undo. With Marcoola, we have as many undos as you want, so you can start moving things around and say, well undo, undo, undo, undo. So this is pretty cool.
This is going to be coming out in the first quarter of next year.
And again, trying to encapsulate what this means, that Typefi 9 is a fresh look at how to share documents, track feedback, and streamline your workflow, so your team can collaborate and publish from anywhere, anytime.
Now, you may be wondering, wait, I don’t really use the web interface for Typefi 8. How is this going to benefit me? Well, it may not. It doesn’t mean that when we shift to marketing Typefi 9, and especially if you’re using Typefi on-prem, we’re not abandoning you at all.
Typefi 9 is actually, well it’s built around Typefi 8. It’s a new front end, but the underlying engine driving piece around creating the workflows stays in Typefi 8, the Typefi 8 Server. And so if you don’t need this really cool web front end, you still have access to Typefi 8, we’ll still support it and continue to innovate and develop around there.
There’ll be new workflow actions and everything else you expect on the Typefi 8 side of things. We are also continuing to sort of push in the Typefi 8 space around, well, what is the underlying code and how we improve that for security purposes.
Anybody remember the whole Log4j sort of chaos where there was massive vulnerabilities and everything? That was something, and we are moving and making changes within our own processes to make sure that we can respond to that kind of vulnerability much faster.
Again, to give you the confidence that the critical business systems that you are dependent on us for providing, in delivering that content, that it can be as reliable as you need, that it is secure, that it is fast, and that it accomplishes the job that you’ve hired us to do for you of publishing your content.
And that is a summary of where we are from a product perspective. We have a lot of things happening, coming out very early next year and continuing to develop and innovate over the next several months. We’re excited about what we have.
We hope you’re excited about what we’ve shown and there’s probably a lot to process and we hope to hear from you in the afternoon sessions where we gather that feedback and to help us to drive the product further. And with that, I say thank you.