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Comparing Composition Engines


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DO NOT CONSIDER THIS THREAD A MEANS TO TRASH FUSIONPRO! Considering that 80% of our work is currently using FP it would be my preference to stick with FP, but as a company with two software products looking to consolidate, I am attempting to compare pros and cons of both applications to see which is better suited for our purposes.


The two products being compared are FusionPro Desktop and PageFlex Studio ID. Given that my background is primarily FusionPro, I have been playing around with a demo of Studio ID (we own Windows-based Studio, but I would prefer the InDesign plugin on the Mac) and I have found the following "pros" to their software:


1) Support for transparency

2) polygon text frames

3) flex: the ability for one frame to move based on contents of adjacent frame(s)

4) InDesign plugin (InDesign functionality -- i.e. paragraph styles -- available)

5) reusability of standalone scripts located on server


As for the "cons" (by my perception):


1) complex coding (anything more than most basic IF/ELSE code requires complex JavaScript/VisualBasic scripting using document objects and properties)

2) InDesign plugin (any non-native files from clients need to be recreated)

3) digital storefront with Studio ID requires InDesign Server purchase


While I am a fan of the simple interface FusionPro offers (making basic mail merge jobs a 5-minute task) while allowing all the customization offered via fairly basic JavaScripting, several of the "pros" to the competition are notable.


My question (and reason for posting this thread) is whether there are any overlooked methods/workarounds for handling the pros above with the current version of FusionPro, and whether any are scheduled for inclusion in upcoming releases?


Obviously I do not expect members of an FP forum to conclude that PF is the better option! What I am hoping is that someone will point out that my list of "pros" are not really exclusive and/or point out any "cons" I overlooked. Thanks for your help!

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