So, it depends on how much ticketing you want for the job, and how you control it. It is very easy to build a workflow that has a hotfolder. Then of course in a different workflow you can have a SAVE component that drops the file directly into the hotfolder of another workflow. However, that just passes a pdf from one workflow to another without a ticket. You might be able to tell the save preset to save the file and XPIF ticket - I think I have done this but dont recall right now!
I totally agree with you that 76 workflows are too many and you are not approaching this correctly. The workflows are highly flexible so you should not need this older approach.
Another option (a little more work) is if you have the Advanced Automation license you could use an external preset and write a custom CSV file that is your job ticket for a MAX (Manifest driven) workflow. The first workflow would do what you want, then save the file from the workflow in a 'temp' directory. THen write a CSV data file referencing that location (so the second MAX driven workflow knows where to pull the job in from) and then the rest of the fields can have your job details like quantity, plex, or whatever. All mapped in the MAX portion of the hotfolder.
But depending on all these little details you pull from the filename, you might just be able to use a ROUTE preset (Advanced Automation license needed) and perform some action based on filename data or whatever, then drop back into the normal flow of a workflow.
I have 76 workflows currently built for the same basic purpose. The variability is derived from naming convention of the input file, which dictates what press, sides printed (simplex or duplex), sheet size and paper type (gloss or uncoated) it is output to.
I have recently made updates to all 76 workflows...twice. Mind-numbing work to say the least.
It made me think there has to be a better way. If I could break these workflows into 3 separate workflows for preparation, imposition, and output I could reduce the number of workflows by at least 50.
What is the best way to pass jobs from one workflow to another? I was looking at the 'External' node and dropping it to another hot folder, but that appears to be for 3rd party solutions.
Any help would be super helpful.