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Product Comparison
Catalog Genie vs. Content Genie

This page describes some of the similarities and differences between Catalog Genie and Content Genie.

Similarities

  • Automate catalog production by accessing a database to update content.
  • Built on Quark Xpress and MS-Access.
  • Common components.
  • Easily modified to meet your specific requirements.

Differences

The following table provides you with a quick comparison of the two products. Examine the table and the accompanying notes to pick the right product for your needs.

 
Catalog Genie
Content Genie
Format Template-driven format Free-form format
Content Built-in content management database. Integrates with your ODBC compliant database. Accesses your ODBC compliant database.
Output Generates new catalogs Updates existing catalogs
Special Capabilities Enables per-customer catalogs.
Optional web-browser interface.
Enables personalized catalogs.
Document management.

Format
Catalog Genie uses templates and user-supplied options to generate a complete catalog. A consistent look-and-feel is maintained throughout the catalog. After the catalog is created, you can edit the resulting pages in Quark to achieve the perfect appearance. The advantage of this approach is that the catalog is as accurate as the database. New products are automatically added, discontinued products are automatically dropped, and the catalog is repaginated. The disadvantage of the Catalog Genie approach is that the catalog layout is not free-form and all the information you want listed for a product must be maintained in the database (which may not be a bad thing). The last point may be overstated: you can add anything you want to the Quark document after Catalog Genie creates it; however, it will not be automatically added to new, updated catalogs.

Content Genie updates free-form catalogs and other documents. You have complete layout freedom. Each page can be "a work of art." The advantage of this approach is that the time you spend tweaking each item is not lost. All the elements in the catalog that are linked to the database are kept up-to-date. And, you can add information to the catalog that is not maintained in the database without loosing it the next time the catalog is updated. The disadvantage of the Content Genie approach is that you must add new products and delete discontinued products from the catalog yourself. Content Genie can tell you which products are new or discontinued, but the actual editing and repagination is not performed by Content Genie.

If you consider consistent product presentation a good thing and want automated handling of new and deleted items, automatic pagination, and the ability to quickly create one-off catalogs, select Catalog Genie.

If you want free-form page layouts, notification of new and deleted products, and automatic content update, select Content Genie.

Content
Catalog Genie incorporates a built-in content management system. You can use it to manage text, graphics, descriptions, and pricing. If you don't have this information in a database, you probably should. If you have content information in a variety of locations, you can use Catalog Genie to integrate and publish it. Catalog Genie enables you to select the items you want through a series of pick-lists and then publish it by clicking on a button. The database keeps track of your content and which information goes into which catalog.

Content Genie incorporates a built-in database to track which information is in what catalog and the rules by which it is updated. The database also serves as the basis for the Content Genie document management component. The actual content for your catalogs is maintained elsewhere (presumably an existing system) and is accessed by Content Genie when you want to update your catalogs.

Output
Catalog Genie creates a new catalog every time you press the Create Catalog button. The new catalog contains only those products you have selected for inclusion in the catalog. All the pricing (customer specific if you want) and other information is automatically added to the catalog. Once the content is flowed onto Quark pages, Catalog Genie paginates it to minimize whitespace and maximize presentation quality.

Content Genie updates your existing catalog or any other document type. Items tagged for update are automatically modified to reflect current database values. All formatting changes that you make are retained when the catalog is updated. Once the documents are updated, a complete workflow system is initiated to make sure that all changes have been approved and look good.

Special Capabilities
This is only a partial list of the special capabilities of the two products.

Catalog Genie can quickly generate new catalogs: select the products (use a wizard), select a format, and Print. You can even have remote salespeople and distributors create catalogs through a web service. Users don't need to know Quark or publishing skills. They just select the items, format, and price list. When the resulting PDF is complete, they are notified by email.

Content Genie makes it easy to link catalog content to database elements. Once the items are linked, you can process publications with a sophisticated mail-merge facility to create personalized publications. For large, free-form catalogs, Content Genie helps you manage the entire catalog update cycle. It helps you add, drop, and update products. It keeps track of which items and documents have been changed and makes sure that the changes are approved before they are printed.

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New information
You can now get Catalog Genie or Content Genie free. Click here for more information.

Selection Tips

Catalog Genie:

If you consider consistent product presentation a good thing and want automated handling of new and deleted items, automatic pagination, and the ability to quickly create one-off catalogs, choose Catalog Genie.

Content Genie:

If you want free-form page layouts, notification of new and deleted products, and automatic content update, select Content Genie.