Third Party Solutions for Data Publishing
Yes, InDesign can be used for creating data-driven publications, such as catalogs, advertising circulars, directories, and more. But that doesn’t mean that you can do it with only InDesign. InDesign’s built-in Data Merge feature is nice, but it is very limited. So when it comes to complicated data publishing, you often need to rely on a third-party tool — often a plug-in (or add-on, or whatever you want to call it).
I recorded a title on Data Merge (and it’s pros and cons) for Lynda.com / Linked In Learning, and included a movie about just a few of the other third-party options available to you… which you can watch here:
Please note that there’s a typo in the slides I show in this movie… the “custom solutions” company is Rorohiko.com (the slide is missing one “o”… oops).
By the way, another great solution is to simply hire someone else to do the database publishing project. For example, I was impressed by the folks at Pagination.com, a company that takes your design and your data and makes it all happen.