The Simple Workspace interoperability challenges

Simple Workspace is a production platform: it’s a factory. And this factory is not different from others, it is used to manufacture. It is about organizing the transit of the raw material needed for production and transporting the manufactured items. That’s today’s topic: how does Simple Workspace connect1 to the rest of the world?


There are many options available for data transmission techniques:

  • File transfer via FTP is a proven technique; it often has the merit of allowing the reuse of existing streams;
  • Direct APIs: whether they respect the REST, XML-RPC, JSON-RPC protocols, etc., they allow a direct link between two solutions;
  • The arrival of Cloud technologies now makes it possible to use application messaging. What are the advantages? A very fine granularity and an update of the data almost in real-time;
  • Still, on the cloud side, Dropbox and OneDrive promise users local access to data shared with Simple Workspace. Helpful when it comes to editing Adobe InDesign files locally!
  • Finally, of course, it is possible to set up specific workflows!

Keep in mind that these technologies can be mixed and that they work both ways: files can be made available via FTP, but also with Dropbox, the central part of the data transferred from the PIM can arrive via files, but prices can be transmitted via application programming, etc.

This combination also makes it possible to adjust the timing: a daily update for the ” main ” PIM data and a real-time update for a particular field (thanks to the application mail server, as we will see in the example below).

Which option should I choose?

  • Sometimes, it is desirable not to reinvent the wheel; if a flow has been used successfully for years, it may be appropriate to maintain it2;
  • Another common situation is when there is no choice! Because the tool to be connected to only supports a specific technology, or because a company policy imposes a particular model;
  • Finally, it may be helpful that guides the decision: one option may be easier for users to use.

A nonfictional example

This is a classic use case: Simple Workspace is used to produce brochures and the organization is using a PIM.

The company was using another solution for which flows had been set up. The client and I decide to use the same flows based on file transfers via FTP 2️⃣. But, as the users need to layout out updated prices, we set up the transfer of these via the application messaging of Microsoft Azure 1️⃣.

A small specificity, is necessary to indicate to the PIM in which catalogs the products are placed: a specific upstream flow is thus set up, a flow which is triggered at each page validation in Simple Workspace 3️⃣.

Simple Workspace manages the DAM. But the PIM needs to link images to products, right? No problem, a connector is set up 4️⃣: directly from the PIM interface, the user can search and view the images. Finally, outgoing feeds are set up to supply visuals to the 5️⃣ merchant sites.

When the designers need to finalize the pages on their workstations, OneDrive is used 8️⃣. When the pages are finalized, a specific flow is used to send the PDFs directly to the printers 6️⃣. Finally, the Argo augmented reality solution has been implemented, when the pages are validated, the link is automatically made with the APIs of the solution.

As you can see, we are experts on this topic: no matter how complex your situation, we can help you.

Contact us: we will be delighted to get started.

Jean-Yves Jourdain,
Cofounder of J2S


  1. Is he or she? Is Simple Workspace a boy or a girl? We still don’t know.
  2. Even if the technologies used are no longer fashionable!