It’s one of the few task-based publishing systems in the market. It has a an easy-to-use interface, digital publishing from the ground up, a built-in DAM and a traversal querying system that is more powerful than any of the competing systems I’ve seen so far. It’s called Q4 and Spanish QSystems developed it.
Q4 is a task-driven cross-channel publishing system with unique features such as traversal queries, structural configurations, an XML-editor and centralized dictionaries. End-users work with InDesign, InCopy and the Q4 client. The Q4 client can be compared to a dashboard holding information on tasks, assets, etc. as well as central control panel from where you manage your assignments regardless of whether you’re a designer or a writer (free report here).
Of course Q4 supports parallel editing, i.e. a writer can work on content while the designer works on the layout of the same publication. It would be strange if it didn’t. But in the case of Q4, there’s more to it than just parallel editing. This system makes abstraction of almost anything. The only two concepts that are fixed are the “Publication” and the “Page”. Everything else is abstracted as “objects”, and for good reason.
Furthermore, the publishing workflow to printed matter is what you can expect, although Q4 has many features not found in other publishing systems. But it’s the digital publishing workflow where this system really shines. Whether you’re publishing an ePUB or iPad publication doesn’t matter. Q4 is XML through and through — but without your designer or author having to know about schemas and transformations at all.
Q4 makes good use of Indesign strengths and leaves the Adobe app for what it is when it comes to the more complex matters of cross-channel publishing. The result is a system that looks deceivable in its user simplicity, yet is so flexible, adaptable and downright powerful that it’s hard to believe QSystems hasn’t attacked the global market sooner.
But now it has, and if you know more about it, then download the free report I have cooked up about the system.