Data for Production

The Scenerio

The client has a large set of information that is updated regularly. These updates need to be reflected in InDesign in a quick and efficient way. Manual entry of the updates cost too much time, so the client looked to improve this process by connecting InDesign to a database with the help of the EasyCatalog plugin.

The marriage of data and design

I was contacted to help connect Indesign to a database through an ODBC connection. Having used the EasyCatalog plugin for Indesign extensively with spreadsheets, I was excited to finally connect to it a database.

The EasyCatalog database plugin allows for a two-way connection between InDesign and the database, meaning that if the database is updated, Indesign will update, and if something it changed in InDesign, it can update in the database from the panel inside of InDesign (shown below).


Connecting Efficiency

The first challenge is setting up the ODBC settings for Mac. It involved getting the correct drivers and installing a free app called ODBC Manager . Next, the database connection is setup in ODBC Manager, which allows it to be seen by EasyCatalog inside of Adobe InDesign. Below the connection to the database is show in the EasyCatalog panels. There are some basic SQL queries needed to pull in the database, but nothing too complicated.



Once the templates were created for EasyCatalog and the data was pulled in correctly, I used Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop to control the client’s computer and set up the connection and templates on their laptop.



Result: database engagement