EFI has been shipping version 7 of Fiery XF for about a year now. The current version as of late July 2019 is v7.1.2. In this note, we touch upon some of the new features, as well as some of the “unfeatures” and give you our straight opinion as a company that has been working with this software for ~18 years.
- Recent OS Support (MacOS 10.14 Mojave)
- Server runs only under Windows
- Commands Workstation (Client) Limitation of 10 concurrent users
EFI is merging their software that drives color copiers (Xerox, Ricoh, etc.) with their software that drives inkjet printers (Epson, Vutek, etc.). The old “Client” software (version 6) is now called Command Workstation in v7 and is indeed the same software that is used with color copiers. However, the “Server” component remains separate for the time being. The software interface has changed significantly from v6 to v7, but the core functionality is essentially the same. Most users who have used v6 can get trained on Command Workstation quite quickly.
One very nice feature of v7 is that EFI has dispensed with their hardware dongle and is now using software based license protection that has become the industry norm. No more problems with dongle recognition, and it’s a snap to change around the licensing if you have the need.
Another compelling reason to consider switching to v7 is that v6 is no longer being developed. So if you are using a new-ish operating system, such as Mac-OS 10.14 (Mojave), only v7 Command Workstation will be supported. The new Command Workstation interface also lets you easily view multiple servers without having to log out of one and log into the other, as was the case with v6.
Now for some of the limitations of v7. The Server component will now only run under a Windows operating system environment. This isn’t a huge change, since a relatively small percentage of the v6 installed base ran the server component under the MaOS, and the Command Workstation component will continue to be supported under the MacOS for the foreseeable future.
Another limitation of v7 versus v6 is that v7 allows only ten concurrent versions of Command Workstation to be logged into the Server. FieryXF was experiencing stability issues when too many Clients were logged into a given server, so this is EFI’s solution to this problem. As a result, we are encouraging larger customers to submit jobs via hotfolders, which does not require any software to be installed. This can be complemented by a “kiosk” Command Workstation installation near the printer(s), so that users can check their print status or manipulate the job prior to printing if they choose.
As is the case with many major software upgrades, version 7.0 had some “unintended features” that have gotten mostly sorted out over time. We encourage you to test 7.1.2 to evaluate its suitability for your environment.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more about EFI’s Fiery XF 7 RIP software, give us a call at 415-382-8681 ext 2 or visit Spectraflow.com.