The service's ultimate aim is to achieve the best possible letter-fitting in digital fonts in terms of quality and suitability to the project. My ideas about what this means are partly exposed in this site's pages, formed in discussions with many designers from many different backgrounds. I also expect customers to have their own ideas, so that the final result could effectively meet their expectations and mine.
iKern gets the glyph outlines information via customer-supplied fonts. The metric data for the new letter-fitting gets imported into the same fonts. The format of choice is UFO, which most current font editors can easily export and import. It allows manipulating the font data in an agnostic way, without having to access functionalities that are specific to the various font editors.
Old formats, like .vfb (FLS5), and standard formats, like Truetype and OpenType, are supported the same.
The information contained in the fonts has to be efficiently processed. Fonts are expected to be standard-compliant and consistent in the use of glyph names and Unicode values.
iKern is a relatively fast service. Usually no more than a week to send the fonts back. Sometimes less than 24 hours, to meet exceptional deadlines. That's why clients should be prompt in their feedbacks too.
The costs are as unique as the service. They vary depending on the number of fonts, belonging to the same family, processed at the same time. To take into account economies of scale in data handling and the advantage of parallel working on fonts requiring family consistency. There is no fixed price per font: it depends on each job's specificity and provided by an estimate.
Any information received is confidential by default. And as such it's stored (encrypted) and not disclosed.
Processed fonts reside on the same exact platform that handles iKern and its source code. In so sharing the same level of protection.