Getting your hands on Prinergy 4.0

by dj on October 8, 2007

So if you are a shop running Prinergy 2.2 or 3.x, I suspect you may have to wait a while before you can get an upgrade to 4.0. Under the hood, it's a HUGE upgrade, with a new RIP and a new version of the Oracle database.

Plus, it runs under Windows 2003, which is important as Microsoft is dropping support for Windows 2000.

And remember, the new RIP handles transparencies. Don't tell me you haven't been frantically banging on the various refining options in the process plan editor trying to make those stupid transparent logos come out on the plate like they look on-screen.

But massive upgrades mean a massive load on the service organization, and if this upgrade is anything like the massive upgrade program of 2000-2002 (Prinergy 1.1/windows NT to Prinergy 2.0/Windows2000), then I bet a lot of Kodak district service managers are having sleepless nights.

Which brings me, in long and disjointed fashion, to the purpose of this post: Tips on how to get your shop upgraded to Prinergy as quickly as possible.

First of all, I'll tell you not what to do. Don't scream, and especially don't scream about Kodak in public forums like this one. I absolutely swear to you that the high-maintenance screamers are always the last in line to get major upgrades. Because Kodak DSMs are not stupid, the screamers add just that little bit of added pressure to the application specialist when they walk into the lions' den that is your shop. So they won't send in a guy unless he or she already has completed some upgrades at a "safe" shop somewhere else.

By the way, this reminds  of my favorite all-time "safe" shop IRL in Lausanne, Switzerland. Man I loved installing new software in their shop, even though I had to fly 10 hours in economy to get there. We would install beta products, and they would give us written reports every week on what they liked, what they didn't like, and what errors they encountered. They were just totally professional.

But back to Prinergy 4.0. This is what you do: Realize that there are two big obstacles that stand in the way of the upgrade, your hardware and your database.

First, check to see if you can export ALL of your jobs that you ever made in Prinergy. I know definitely that this approach is no-go for the larger shops, but for the smaller shops, half-terabyte hard drives are dirt cheap and this approach worked for us.

If you export all your jobs out of the Prinergy server to another file server, then the next step is to get Kodak to clone your server with a clean 4.0 install. Then gradually reimport your jobs using a smart hot folder. I've written up more detailed instructions here.

Now, if you are a bigger shop, or you having a database that goes back to 1999 or whatever, then you should have to look at the following options:

1. Order a brand-new Dell server and use the licenses from the old Primary server to configure the new Dell. That is to say, you should be able to transfer such licenses like the hi-res, trapping, refining etc. to the new box and get some sort of price discount. The old primary server would then be nothing more than an archiver. If Kodak won't give you good pricing on the new server, then offer to present with an formal end-of-life plan for the old server and agree to temporary one year licenses. That might convince them that you are not trying to hustle them and get two Prinergy servers for the price of one.

2. Really look at your archives and decide what needs to be kept backed up and what needs to be archived. Remember if you blow away the database, you don't delete the files off the RAID, you just delete the meta-data. If you very infrequently need to retrieve files, then it might be worthwhile to store the jobs without having the meta-data stored in the Prinery Oracle database. Such a choice allows you to pick the faster/easier way of cloning to get Prinergy 4.0 in your shop.

There are definitely a lot of shops do tons of repeat work, and have written a lot of jobs to tape that they must absolutely have access to quickly and easily. But a lot of shops don't have that constraint, so they should look at whether their current Oracle database is more a help or a hindrance. You can adopt a variety of strategies: Export all jobs done in the last year, save all pdfs on the RAID that were processed in the last two years, blow away everything else. Choose your flavour.

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