Autralia's Rural Press Buys Pongrass News, Ad-Tracking Systems

By: E&P Staff Pongrass Publishing Systems of Sydney, Australia, sold the Pongrass Editorial System and Juggler Ad Tracking system to Rural Press Ltd. for installation at its regional newspapers and agricultural publications in Australia and New Zealand, where it publishes more than 200 weeklies, dailies, and monthlies.

The purchasing decision came after a five-month trial of the software at the Maitland Mercury, a regional daily. Rural Press plans to deploy the new systems at its other sites, where these components will be integrated with existing Pongrass Classified and Display Advertising systems. Rural Press already has Pongrass software on 440 workstations at more than 100 of its publications in 77 sites.

The new systems will upgrade those Rural Press sites that now run Pongrass' 12-year old, Macintosh-based PPI editorial system. Also upgraded will be sites using QuarkXPress and a number of support applications and Xtensions for page make-up. The Editorial and Juggler Ad Tracking components plug into the database that is at the core of all Pongrass publishing systems, resulting in fully integrated configurations with all components (display, classified, pagination, and layout) using the same database.

Rollout of existing advertising-system components across the company was performed by Rural Press' staff over a 12-month period beginning in June 1998. It continues to be supported by a small number of its personnel. Rollout of the Pongrass Editorial and Juggler Ad tracking components that expand these systems is to begin immediately.

Pongrass software supports both QuarkXPresss and Adobe InDesign on Mac and Windows platforms. Rural Press will run Editorial and Juggler on a Windows platform with QuarkXPress 6.5.

Emphasizing "simplicity and performance," Pongrass said its systems can be configured for small workgroups and entire organizations. It enables multiple workstations to collaborate in the makeup of ready-for-output pages. The system's SQL-compliant editorial database tracks and controls all aspects of production. Every page element is registered in the database, ready for use. XPress and/or InDesign connect directly to the database for quick generation of pages. Folios and other standing elements are placed automatically, ads and ad rules are placed according to the layout held in the database. The database is capable of tracking multiple story versions, ads, standing elements, multiple editions, publications, and zones over an extended period of time with high performance on standard fileserver hardware.


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