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Graphic Arts IT, Visual DataFlex empower management of graphic arts industry

Graphic Arts Information Technology
Graphic Arts IT (GAIT) is a software development and consulting company that provides information management solutions to the graphic arts industry, including commercial printers, trade binderies, and print-on-demand organizations. Founded in 1971, GAIT’s 8 member staff delivers a flexible and complete suite of integrated Visual DataFlex powered software applications to their North American customer base, who vary in size from large companies such as IKON Office Solutions (NYSE: IKN) and Consolidated Graphics (NYSE: CGX) to small trade binderies such as the 20 employees of Finish Binders in Des Moines.

The company’s Visual Paradigm software is a Windows based suite of integrated software applications that have been installed in print-on-demand plants, all digital plants, traditional plants, trade binderies, and other specialty shops. Print-on-demand shops in particular can benefit from the software system’s Internet on-line order interface, finished goods, and print production interfaces.

Visual Paradigm is highly configurable and may be installed in modules. The software supports all Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP clients, runs on Windows Server 200X, NT, Novell and UNIX or LINUX network operating systems and provides a wide range of database options. A variety of reporting options are also provided via the Crystal Reports for DataFlex desktop query tool and report writer.

It’s the ability to offer a wide range of backend database options by using various Connectivity Kits for Visual DataFlex, however, that pleases GAIT’s application development staff. Robert Cergol, GAIT’s vice president of product development, recalls a time when, "in order to impress upon a very large prospect for us several years ago that flexibility of our product and the development environment we used, we demonstrated Visual Paradigm running with portions of the tables in Oracle, Btrieve and native DataFlex. It [database connectivity] just works. No reason why we couldn’t have included DB2 and MS-SQL in the mix."

Mr. Cergol states that he’s been using the Pervasive.SQL for DataFlex Connectivity Kit via the direct Btrieve driver since it has been available. "It is a fabulous product with terrific support," he says, noting that the combination of Visual DataFlex and the Pervasive.SQL database using the direct Btrieve access is the company’s default deployment environment for their system.

Graphic Arts IT’s president Vincent Lawrence says that customer satisfaction is the principal business objective that the company seeks to achieve. "We have been delivering quality software to our customers starting with character mode DataFlex applications for over 20 years," he says. "We have continued to refine and enhance our system into what is now a very powerful Windows and web based application that continues to satisfy our customers. It’s not uncommon to hear from them that we have a great product - the most flexible product on the market - and that we do a great job of accommodating the needs of print-on-demand organizations," as well as customers in other graphic arts niche markets.

Mr. Lawrence says that GAIT’s customers report a tremendous cost savings and cost recovery associated with using the company’s Visual Paradigm system. "IKON tried a different solution with less flexibility and failed," he says. The Visual Paradigm system’s "flexibility in estimating and production planning, with an emphasis on extremely flexible ’Customer Specific Price Lists’, were the KEY applications features, along with extensive database options, that moved IKON our way."

GAIT’s senior programmer/analyst and longtime Visual DataFlex developer Dan Walsh is not shy about expressing his thoughts about the Visual DataFlex application development framework. "I’ve been programming in DataFlex since 1986. What was the best tool for the job then just keeps on getting better. I can’t imagine having built the Visual Paradigm system using any other programming environment," he says.

GAIT other software solutions include FulfillIT.net, which are hosted and licensed web applications that provide e-business order entry and order fulfillment solutions over the Internet. These managed applications are designed to "meet the real-world demands of business-to-business transactions." The company also offers scalable fulfillment management software, programming services and consulting, and robust back-end management systems that can be deployed on either the client or the company’s web site.

Visit Graphic Arts IT, or e-mail info@GraphicArtsIt.com for more information.

Read more about Visual DataFlex, Data Access Worldwide’s complete line of Database Connectivity Kits, and Crystal Reports for DataFlex.


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