JDF is the abbreviation of Job Definition Format. It is an industry standard designed to simplify information exchange between different applications and systems in and around the graphic arts industry. As such it complements PDF, the portable document format. A PDF file describes the content of pages while JDF describes what to do with those pages or the job that contains them.
These pages cover the basics of the JDF protocol.
During the past years, I was involved in a number of JDF projects. One quickly learns that in many ways JDF is still in its infancy. Even so, getting things working isn’t that much about the technology. Dealing with people and misunderstood processes are the real challenges. These pages explain some of the Do’s and Dont’s of JDF integration.
Useful links & resources
The prime source of information about JDF is the CIP4 web site.
The XML coverpages also have an extensive page that discusses JDF. It is a boring read, but there are quite a few useful links in the article.
I haven’t read any of the books that are available on this topic. JDF Workflow: A Guide to Automation in the Graphic Communications Industry by Thomas Hoffmann-Walbeck and Sebastian Riegel is fairly recent (2012). JDF – Process integration, Technology, Product description is already a bit older.
There are tons of white papers about JDF available on the CIP4 site. Also worthwhile: The global impact of JDF on the graphic communications industry by the Electronic Document Systems foundation
PrintPlanet hosts a JDF forum for CIP4. Unfortunately it hardly generates any traffic.