ex DataLink

Workflow for automated page processing

ex DataLink is a set of XTensions (for QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress-Server) that connects a PIM (Product information Management system) with the QuarkXPress-Server to create an automated page processing workflow.

The Layout-Template therefore is build with ex FlexObjects.This XTension describes the interaction between objects, either single objects, grouped objects or groups. Furthermore the XTension can define how a picture or a text should fit to a box.

Administration / Preferences

The XTension is very simple in administration and offers the user a very intuitive user interface. If the basic requirements are given, it is very easy to make the setup. The user is just a few clicks away from automated page processing.

Placeholder Definition File

The Placeholder Definition File is a list of all placeholders / database fields (with their parameters) available for the respective project. It can be also received via a webservice.

Data Source (Contentfile)

The source is the result of a database query . ex DataLink can either import the source directly from a XML file or using webservices to receive the contentfile.


For an automated page processing you need to have applicable templates which represents the layout of your publication. For more information, please see section “Templates”.


In this section, settings for the available output options can be made. The page processing results can be stored locally or sent to a remote system by using webservices.


Generating a template

The ex DataLink window shows the user all the database fields available for the template. By simply drag & drop an entry to the template or using the placeholder button, the link will be established. Already placed variables will be displayed bold.
This step has to be done just one time for each template. There is also an option to define/edit the placeholders containing the variables.

Page Processing

Triggering page processing

In a desktop environment a user just has to open an existing template and load the contentfile (via webservice or a local file). Already existing files can be updated by a click to “Refresh content”. Pages can be returned as PDF or JPEG files as well.
Running exDataLink as a server XTension is much more valuable to the workflow than using it just in a desktop environment.
Any system can sent a message(e.g. from a database or PIM system) or call a URL of the QuarkXPress-Server to automatically create QXP documents, PDF or JPG files. Those files can even be assigned to a Quark Publishing System.

Within seconds the templates will be filled with the content contained in the contentfiles. The final page looks like this:

To be most flexible in pagelayout creation it is possible to create dynamic templates. Our XTension ex FlexObjects brings additional attributes to single objects and groups and allows you to define dynamic rules to control the behavior of those objects.

« Back