SprintPress is a publishing system custom designed and developed for a sports newspaper. A publishing system consists of a complex of software that defines and manages a DTP workflow following the entire evolution of the editorial product, allowing users to work in parallel with tools specific to their function among the editorial stuff.
The system is based on Mac OS X Server and MySQL 5 DBMS and exploits Adobe InDesign CS4 as desktop publishing engine, but the client application, SprintEditor, is cross-platform and runs natively on Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and Windows 2000 or later.
Scalability is guaranteed by design, because SprintPress is a distributed system: every computer added to the system and configured as a node, thus installing the SprintMOM app, can run additional tasks (up to the number of its cores plus one) while the SprintScheduler app distributes the workload among the nodes.

The workflow defined by SprintPress comprises the following steps:
  1. Edition Creation and Planning
    The edition is created as a system object, defining the number of pages and a set of initial parameters, such as number and date of the publication, that will be automatically published on the pages. The edition planning follows, in which the user defines the editorial contents and the themes treated in individual pages.
  2. Pages Insertion
    Pages are InDesign documents, that can be inserted from scratch or by dragging templates on the destination pages.
  3. Objects Distribution
    In this phase, text and picture frames are defined as system objects that can be edited through the publishing system tools. This step is fully automated when inserting pages from templates, in which the objects have already been distributed.
  4. Editorial Contents Insertion
    The editorial contents are inserted through specific tools provided by the publishing system. There are editors designed to allow easy editing of articles and titles and a photo editor focused on color correction and cropping. Also sports matches data can be published directly into page, and are automatically converted in text or visual form. At any time, the user can see a WYSIWYG preview of the page or post the article onto the website.
  5. Pages Closing
    The publishing system allows to continuously follow the workflow progress: a page can be closed when it is completed, denying additional modifications and allowing it to be read and corrected before the following, final step.
  6. Dispatch to Print Center
    A PDF file for the page is distilled from the original InDesign file, then named using rules that are specific to the print center (e.g. defining page number, color information etc.) and finally sent to the print center via FTP.

Additional features:
  • Optimized for distributed and parallel computing, thus providing high scalability
  • Each node can be configured to execute some or every kind of jobs, resulting in simplified setup. Jobs scheduling is based on nodes configurations and priorities.
  • Database contains no logic and is accessed with pure SQL code, thus making the system easily portable to any DBMS
  • Cross-platform client application that runs natively on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux platforms
  • Adobe InDesign CS4 is easily integrated into the publishing system workflow with a palette
  • Ability to handle multiple independent publications, called magazines, each with its peculiar configuration, parameters and templates set
  • Ability to post articles directly onto the official website using XML-RPC
  • Multiple users management: every user has privileges to access only some or all of the magazines. An object lock mechanism avoids concurrent modifications of the same object
  • Features Articles Editor, Title Editor, Photo Editor, Photo Archive with keyword search. Matches data can be automatically converted to text or visual form and published directly into page
  • Copy-Fitting can be configured on a per-magazine basis, selecting maximum variation allowed for text kerning and tracking
  • Ability to fully configure the production (profiles) and dispatch (FTP servers) of PDF files, thus enabling the user to produce and send a PDF file with a single click
  • Smart Boxes define containers in which the publishing system can automatically insert predefined or computed contents like dates, sections, page numbers etc.
  • Tags can be added to each page object to plan the edition: these contents can be automatically poured into smart boxes on page
  • Automatic Software Update for all applications
  • Internal Messaging System
Stacks Image 224
The above image shows the servers running SprintPress at Sprint&Sport. The publishing system takes full advantage of the processing power given by 5 XServes and 4 Mac Minis, thus is capable of handling dozens of concurrent, complex DTP jobs.
Soccer Data
SprintPress was custom designed for the italian football newspaper Sprint&Sport, thus also allows to collect data about football clubs, leagues, matches, players, and automatically calculate any kind of statistics out of it. The software is capable of exporting texts, such as league tables and match reports, and images, such as team squads, directlty into InDesign pages.
Main Features
  • Runs on Mac OS X and Windows
  • Network database application that takes advantage of a rock-solid MySQL database backend
  • Multiple Users support with objects locking (avoids more users to modify the same object at the same time)
  • Handles more than 100 concurrent connections flawlessly, on production
  • Handles any kind and number Leagues
  • Easy Calendar generation and editing
  • Support for friendly matches too
  • Handles teams and players Penalties
  • Handles more teams per football club
  • Easy find matches by date and category or browse leagues
  • Full-featured Match Editor:
    • Gorgeous graphical user interface
    • Live match data entry with timer, fully optimized for fast keyboard usage
    • Easily enter and manage team squads
    • Easily manage almost every kind of match and player events and statistics
    • Export match tables, statistics and squad images directly into page
  • Dinamically Calculated League Tables and Top Scorers Table, with full statistical details
  • Players Editor featuring:
    • full player details
    • find players (e.g. by name or role) or browse list of players of a club
    • full history of changes: either player details than clubs transfers
    • dynamically calculated career, complete with goals scored and minutes played
  • Every kind of clubs and players statistics you can imagine
  • And more...

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