Introduction to CD-Q - By: Andrew Young

A new era of ease-of-use is about to dawn for users of automated CD-Recordable production systems. ARTH International will soon be shipping Young Minds' new CD-Q software package for automated CD-Recordable job management. This product will allow our robotics-enabled CD-Recordable systems to be used easily and efficiently without the end users or integrators having to do any programming. At the same time, this software will provide an unprecedented level of flexibility in system configuration and job creation and processing.

CD-Q allows multiple users and any number of shell scripts or application programs, to easily set up and launch jobs to automatically format, record and/or label CD-Recordable discs using autoloader equipped products. Each of these systems can record different disc images simultaneously on from one to four independent recorders in a single robotic disc autoloader, with shared access to an integrated disc label printer allowing each individual disc to be clearly and uniquely labeled for easy identification and professional presentation.

But CD-Q is much more than a simple job-queuing product. Multiple PAS, PAS Jr., or PASsport equipped products can be configured to be controlled by a single copy of CD-Q, or with multiple copies of CD-Q running on separate servers, using either separate or shared job queues, allowing for both redundancy and automatic load balancing across all the configured systems. Controllers managing recorders in the same robotics unit can even be attached directly to separate servers in your data center.

Each CD-Q job can be assigned a priority level and a scheduled execution time to allow efficient resource management. A database of jobs which have been completed, and/or which are currently pending or in progress, is kept to allow for easy tracking of, or accounting for, discs created. This database also can be configured to be accessed from major database management systems if comprehensive reporting capabilities are required. When a job is completed, the system can also send a notification email directly to the end user.

Historically, automated CD-Recordable production systems had to be controlled either by the user or integrator developing custom control software, or by tightly restricting who could use the systems and how. This led to many systems either being underutilized, or being dedicated to a single, high-volume, high-value application. While there will always be applications justifying such an approach, CD-Q opens the door to easy access, multiple-use applications, allowing the capital expenditure to be allocated over many potential uses. Better yet, CD-Q makes it easier than ever to integrate CD-Recordable capabilities into other automated applications, either for dedicated use of the PAS, PAS Jr., or PASsport, or for shared use with other applications and/or ad-hoc, user-generated jobs.

The combination of advanced capabilities, flexible configuration, and ease-of-use offered by the CD-Q product will open the door to a wider range of applications for automated CD-Recordable production technology. At the same time, these systems will be quicker and easier to set up and operate, and more efficiently used. This is truly the dawning of a new era in automated CD-Recordable production.

CD-Q is written in Java for flexibility, maintainability, and easy portability. It will be immediately available for most major Unix platforms, as well as Linux and Windows NT. A DVD-R version of this product will be available later this year (capabilities may vary depending on the hardware technology which is available to support DVD-R applications at that time).

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