Stibo Catalog announced the next generation of STEP. With STEP 4.8 Stibo Catalog will release a new merchandising planning module to help catalogers drive sales. STEP Merchandiser gives product managers on-demand visibility and lets them analyze product performance of products and pages. The tool lets merchandisers pre-plan pages, as well as initiate product, image and copy writing workflows. Designed to tear down the walls between product managers and creatives, STEP Merchandiser will help reduce review cycles and increase the speed to market of new promotions and multiple versions. STEP Document Author is a new optional module designed to create documents such as data sheets and provide detailed information about a product that will often include tables, diagrams and long descriptive text and editorial text. Data sheets are updated regularly and reused throughout the life of a product. These characteristics lead to publishing workflows that can be very different to those used when producing catalogs and other direct marketing publications. The new tool will include an authoring interface within STEP PIM that provides both creation and reuse of data within a document format STEP’n’design will provide a print publishing tool for documents enabling a multi-page document to be paginated fully formatted with a single drag & drop. STEP 4.8 will support print publishing with QuarkXPress v7 and Adobe InDesign CS2 as well as Quark DDS and Adobe InDesign Server. Other enhancements will include Proof views in STEP PIM, Image Workflows, user password authentication using LDAP and support of external digital asset management systems via Asset Push. Stibo Catalog will be working with selected customers on testing STEP 4.8 and expects to commercially release the solution in Q4, 2006.