The Navigator client is a desktop client that connects to the Navigator Server. Mac OS X and Windows versions are available.  In a RasterBlaster system, the desktop clients primary function is to configure workflows. Workflows are a set of job settings, such as input hot folder, filename template setup, and overlay action.

Additionally, the client can be used along with or instead of the browser client to manage or release jobs.

This document describes the process of setting up a typical RasterBlaster workflow using the Windows client. More detailed information on the options in the Navigator Client can be found in the Navigator Server Manual.

Creating RasterBlaster workflows

Launch the RasterBlaster / Navigator Client

Log In to the server

  1. Enter a username. By default, a user called "Administrator" is built into the system.
  2. Enter the password. The default password for the Administrator user is blank (no password).
  3. Select the RasterBlaster Server or add a server by IP address.
  4. Click OK to log in.

Create a new workflow

  1. From the workflow menu, choose New Workflow. 
  2. Enter a meaningful name for the workflow. For example, you may want to label it by press or plate type. "Heidelberg Printmaster"

Workflow Editor Overview

The workflow editor lets you build a workflow using by dragging and dropping workflow actions.

The Workflow Actions panel on the left side of the window displays workflow actions that have been configured on the server. RasterBlaster ships with some workflow actions preconfigured.

The Workflow Diagram shows a diagram of the current workflow steps. Every workflow automatically starts with a Hot Folder Action. Workflow Actions can be added to the diagram by dragging and dropping them from the Workflow Actions panel to the workflow diagram.

The Configuration Tabs show available settings for the workflow in general and each action added to the workflow.

Adding Workflow Items

Most RasterBlaster workflows will contain the following actions.

Hot Folder (pause after) > Direct Output

If the overlay function is going to be used, setup the workflow like this.

Hot Folder > Overlay (pause after) > Direct Output

To add an action, drag and drop its icon from the Workflow Actions panel to the Workflow Diagram.

Configure General Options

To configure general workflow settings, make sure the "General" tab is selected.

  1. Workflow Name - changes the name of the selected workflow.
  2. Priority - applied to jobs processed through this Workflow. If there are other Workflows competing for the same resource, as is usually the case, then Normal priority jobs are processed in the order in which they arrive. High priority jobs are processed ahead of any Normal priority jobs and Low priority jobs are only processed when there are no other jobs waiting on the System.
  3. Get Ahead - controls how many jobs the system will schedule at one time for a processing Action. For Kodak Trendsetter systems, this value should be set to 1. Screen PT-R systems where users want to use the Preload feature the value should also be set to 1.  For other systems, this value should be set to 0.
  4. Send To Workflow - allows completed jobs to be sent to another workflow. This is a common way of linking workflows.  Note that Send To Workflow sends the original job file. To copy an intermediate file such as a PDF file created by the Stabilizer to another workflow, use the Copy Action.
  5. Archive - places jobs in the Archive folder when deleted from the Workflow.
  6. Delete - instructs the system when to delete jobs. Selecting When Necessary instructs the system to delete the oldest jobs in the system when it reaches a default limit of 250 jobs.

Configure HotFolder

To configure general workflow settings, make sure the "HotFolder" tab is selected.

The following controls are available for configuration of Hot Folders:

  1. Input Folder: This selection is preset to the default job location defined in the Navigator Server setup. To change the Hot Folder location, use the Browse button.  Remember that you are browsing from the location where the Navigator Server is installed, not your own workstation. Hotfolders can be configured locally on the server, so that the RIP system "pushes" tiffs to RasterBlaster. Alternatively, the hotfolder can be set to a network volume the RasterBlaster system has permission to access and it will "pull" the jobs from the server.
  2. Use Color and Name Recognition:  groups multiple TIFF files together as one job. Use with an appropriate configuration file from the Server’s Color and Name Tool. This setting must be enabled and set properly for RasterBlaster to group and preview jobs. See the Filename Analysis document for more information.
  3. Job Name: Several controls allow you to define how the system will name jobs during processing. The System Job Name(the name displayed in the Navigator Client) may contain up to three parts. Each part is set by the three columns of radio-buttons. To construct the Job Name, click on one button from each column. The functions of the buttons are:
    1. Job Title: Original document name extracted from the postscript or PDF.
    2. File Name:  name of the file that contains the job
    3. Date and Time:  current date and time when the job was accepted into the system
    4. Job Number: sequential job number
    5. Edit Box:  any arbitrary text
    6. None:  no entry for this part of the name.
  1. Pause After: Activating this check box causes all jobs to enter a hold state after processing. The jobs are then manually released,

Configure Overlay Action (optional)

The Overlay Action adds a barcode with the job number to the plates in a desired position for plate identification. In combination with the quick release feature in the Browser Client, this makes it quick and easy to re-release a job. The filename of the job is also added as a slug line. Names that are too long may be truncated.

This step is optional and can be omitted if a plate identification barcode isn't required.

  1. Position Selection:  Aligns the barcode to one of four corners of the job. The diagram updates to reflect the position setting.
  2. Offsets: Applies horizontal or vertical offsets to move the barcode away from the selected position corner. Note that offsets are always positive and always move away from the select corner.
  3. Units: Adjusts the offsets unit between standard and Metric.
  4. Pause After:  Activating this check box causes all jobs to enter a hold state after processing. The jobs are then manually released.

Configure Direct Output

Direct Output is used to send raster image data to the output device.

To configure general workflow settings, make sure the "DirectOutput" tab is selected.

The following controls are available for configuration of Direct Outputs:

  1. Page Setup:  This list box shows all the Page Setups available on the selected RIP. Choose the Page Setup for this Workflow to use. In this example, since this a workflow to output plates for a Printmaster, a "Heidelberg Plates" workflow is selected.
  2. Refresh Page Setups:  Selecting this function forces Navigator to request a new list of Page Setups from the RIP. This is helpful after creating a new Page Setup that did not appear in an earlier list.
  3. Page setup configuration:  Below the top three controls is a listing of the configuration of your chosen RIP Page Setup.  You can override several of these settings from the client either globally or on a job-by-job basis.
  4. System Device: This setting allows you to choose a system device to associate with the workflow. Multiple workflows can point to the same system device. System Devices (Plate Devices) can be configured in the Navigator Server.