The CD-Q JobTicket

CD-Q is a set of interrelated Java software packages that work together to automatically manage the process of issuing, formatting, recording and labeling CD-R discs.

Four main components comprise CD-Q:

  • JobFind
  • JobQ
  • JobAdmin
  • JobInfo

Three of these packages (JobFind, JobQ, and JobAdmin) are core programs that reside on the host computer that controls system CD-R hardware resources. The fourth package, JobInfo, is a client Java application that can be freely distributed to CD-Q network users. It is the default method used to create JobTickets for CD-Q.

Every disc production job submitted to CD-Q is defined by a JobTicket. A JobTicket is a simple ASCII text file that describes the disc production job to the CD-Q server software. JobTickets can be created by JobInfo, as well as by batch files, shell scripts, and third-party application programs. Much of CD-Q's power and flexibility derives from the simplicity of the JobTicket and the ease with which JobTickets can be created.

Some of the information in the JobTicket is automatically generated by information contained in the CD-Q configuration files. If an empty JobTicket is submitted, the default values contained in the configuration files will fill in the missing parameters to form a complete JobTicket.

JobFind and JobQ search for JobTickets in designated search directories. JobFind and JobQ distinguish between JobTickets by their filename extensions.

JobFind looks for JobTickets associated with files that require "premastering" (CD-R image formatting). JobTickets that require premastering are identified by a *.FRD extension.

JobQ looks for JobTickets associated with image files (a set of files that have already been premastered). JobTickets that are ready for recording are identified by a *.PRD extension.

JobFind premasters the source data set into a preformatted image and stages it for JobQ.

JobQ performs the actual CD-recording tasks. It searches the directories for formatted disc images (*.PRD files) and prioritizes them relative to the information contained in the JobTickets.

Searches by JobFind and/or JobQ can traverse multiple directories, allowing a great deal of flexibility when assigning search directories to users. Search directories can be allocated to projects, groups, departments, etc.

CD-Q is designed to increase productivity by minimizing the amount of time that users must spend creating discs. It is the mass storage version of "fire and forget," a term usually used to describe smart weapons that guide themselves to the target once they have been released. In CD-Q's case, the user clicks a mouse button and the software does the rest.

Creating a JobTicket with JobInfo takes only a few seconds, and users can learn how to use the application within a few minutes.

Once the JobTicket has been created, it is placed into one of CD-Q's scan directories. Then, at the next designated search interval, CD-Q finds the JobTicket and processes the dataset associated with it. The JobTicket itself is also processed as the dataset is processed, and its name (filename extension) is changed to reflect the current status of the job.

For seamless CD-R creation, CD-Q can be easily integrated into custom applications, without the need for extensive recoding or using complex APIs. This owes to the simplicity of the text-based JobTicket. Wrapping simple scripts around an application lets the application automatically generate JobTickets upon an event occurrence or other trigger. There are virtually an infinite number of potential applications for CD-Q, with limitless implementations and variations possible.




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