New Rhapsody tool simplifies multi-platform creation

Jo Francis
Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rhapsody has launched a new software module that allows non-expert users to easily create responsive apps and websites from InDesign files.

The firm’s ePublish digital publishing platform is an Adobe InDesign plug-in that meshes with Rhapsody’s existing Emagine production system, although there are plans to launch a standalone version. It is the result of a nine-month development process.

Rhapsody head of digital John Rahim said ePublish would allow publishers to harmonise workflows across multiple platforms and outputs into a single process, without the need for excessive overheads in terms of time and resource.

“Providing digital content across multiple platforms is vital for publishers, yet resources are stretched and the number of devices and sizes are continually changing,” he said.

“This is the only system that automates digital and print output into a single workstream. Publishers don’t have to change their workflow processes.”

It works with any CMS (content management system), and uses templates that are created by Rhapsody or by the publisher. The system is set up with a number of standard templates as a starting point.

Tagged InDesign files are automatically exported into the CMS, where the user decides which template to implement. The template picks up the tagged data and applies formatting accordingly.

“The templates are customisable and have drag-and-drop elements such as carousels, images and quotes,” Rahim explained. “It takes back-end coding out of the equation. Client reaction has been brilliant.”

The end result is exported in whatever format the publisher requires to create responsive app editions and websites that work on different screen sizes and platforms.

“It is HTML-based so it as future-proof as it gets,” he added. “Responsive is the only way to do it, rather than hard coding for each device.”

Rhapsody, which is a sister company to Wyndeham Group, has more than 3,000 users of its Emagine system at a number of publishing clients including Time Inc, Redwood and Cedar.

Rahim said the charging model for ePublish would be based on a monthly licence fee. The standalone plug-in is likely to be launched in Q1 2015.

A video explaining how ePublish works can be found on the Rhapsody website.



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