Let’s rewind a bit. In the 1990s, a startup developer based in Germany began to address this issue by connecting database records to QuarkXPress documents, using the latter’s XTension approach. This soon developed into a broader, system approach now known as LAGO.
Over time, it embraced several different types of databases, including Product Information Management (PIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), marketing campaign management, pricing, and other key systems. Focusing primarily on Adobe InDesign and InDesign Server for actual page composition, LAGO achieved prominence in the data-driven catalog space.
What distinguished LAGO from other database publishing systems was a simple difference. It was not a one-way “firehose” of data into the digital publishing ecosystem. End users could identify needed changes or adjustments, make them with the needed approvals, and still meet their production deadlines. The changes were reflected in the respective databases, with an audit trail to assure data integrity.
The use of this unique, two-way approach has other advantages as well. The current “snapshot” of a particular print catalog or flyer can also be used to populate its online or mobile app counterpart. The added flexibility also allows each retailer or other business to create multiple, regional versions of each product.