Rochester Institute of Technology: School of Print Media    

RIT Provides Students Hands-On Education Using Industry's Leading DAM System

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is consistently named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional universities in the United States. RIT’s School of Print Media, one of the leaders in printing and graphic media education, stresses the importance of teaching students to apply real-world technology in their coursework.


Erich Lehman
Rochester Institute of Technology

View Video

As a result, RIT implemented Xinet® WebNative® Suite to better educate students on best practices in digital asset management and workflow. The Xinet DAM solution has become an integral part of the School of Print Media’s curriculum as well as one of the driving technologies used in the school’s Digital Publishing Center (DPC).

The School of Print Media’s commitment to utilizing the latest in digital asset management and workflow technology helped to make Xinet’s software a mainstay in its curriculum, ranging from the DAM classes to Workflow I/II and Media Publishing classes. The Digital Asset Management class in particular is built around WebNative Suite to help teach students the technical and business aspects of DAM, and depending on what projects and coursework are required, specific uses of WebNative Suite vary. The Xinet solution is flexible enough to meet the needs required from course to course at the school.

“Using Xinet software is an essential part of the learning experience for our students. The capabilities of the WebNative Suite give the students the ability to interact with the system in a variety of ways. It shows the flexibility of the system as well as providing hands on experience with key features of a digital asset management system,” said Patricia Albanese, Gannett Center for Integrated Publishing Sciences Distinguished Professor.

WebNative Suite is also being used as a real-world application by the DPC. Staffed by qualified School of Print Media and School of Design students, the DPC is devoted to delivering quality customer service, printing, and finishing to College of Imaging Arts & Sciences (CIAS) students. The goal of the DPC is to provide a learning laboratory for students to educate them about their digital printing needs and aid them in file creation, preparation, and final output.

With the School of Print Media’s implementation of WebNative Portal, a job is tracked from the moment it’s uploaded into the system. Students can enter metadata in any piece of Adobe’s Creative Suite using a custom XMP panel or they can simply enter data via the DPC site. The job is then moved through the system using a series of Triggers and Actions. The School of Print Media takes advantage of the customizable WebNative interface to offer the student Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) an expanded view of the metadata fields,

"A big reason we got WebNative is that agencies wanted us to become a full-time image bank for their large clients” -

allowing more specific information to be added, and driving the job through the rest of the workflow. The School of Print Media also takes advantage of WebNative Suite’s open interfacing with a variety of RIPs to drive the jobs out to the proper output devices through a simple Portal interface.

With the School of Print Media’s secure web server, they can offer secure remote job submission from anywhere their student body works. This has been incredibly popular with the more advanced students.

Erich Lehman, Premedia Facilities Coordinator at the School of Print Media said, “The Xinet solution helps us ensure that there is no question about the status of a job, no matter who is working on it. Everything is tracked and logged in the system. Any of our student workers can pick up where the last student left off so customers get great service regardless of who’s behind the wheel. When a student submits a job, they will get an email confirming their order and then another email when the job is finished. It’s all tied through metadata and Xinet’s Triggers and Actions. The reaction we’re getting from our customers are very enthusiastic across the board, and the same goes for our employees.”

“We’re trying to do something innovative with the WebNative system that’s still very applicable to the real world. We have created an environment where students are the primary developers as well as the primary users, giving them tangible, hands-on experience with the inner-workings of a comprehensive workflow system. Further, WebNative Suite’s support for customizable metadata enables us to design a flexible and integrated system that is easily updated to meet our needs. We have been able to meet almost any need we come up against and that’s without going to any of the third party vendors. We’ve done a lot and yet, we’ve really only begun to scratch the surface of the system.”