Windows & Linux Edition
Volume 1, Number 30 -- September 11, 2002

inFORM Decisions Launches Document Management for Windows

by Alex Woodie

inFORM Decisions, an Irvine, California, software company that develops document management software for IBM's midrange AS/400s and iSeries servers, last week launched a new suite of document management software that runs on Microsoft Windows operating systems. iDocs for NT has the same basic capabilities and features as inFORM's iDocs Suite, with the main difference being that it reads the ASCII print datastream instead of the proprietary print datastream used exclusively in IBM iSeries and mainframe computers.

iDocs NT is middleware that reformats the print output from applications to make it more functional, more flexible, or more aesthetically pleasing to the user. Its primary uses include adding logos, barcodes, or other graphics to business documents such as invoices and purchase orders, designing and printing checks (including MICR checks), converting and distributing spooled documents as email attachments, faxes, or PDF documents, and archiving and retrieving documents over the Web.

Like inFORM's iDocs Suite, iDocs NT features a Windows-based WYSIWYG editor that lets the user map the output from the application and add any new graphics. The iDocs NT engine intercepts the ASCII datastream from the print spooler and does any necessary routing, such as sending it to additional modules, such as the iDocs NT fax module. inFORM has several ready-to-purchase packages that include different output modules.

inFORM Decisions, which was created earlier this year when FORMation MG split into two companies, obtained the code for iDocs NT through an OEM licensing partnership with an unnamed company. Although inFORM says its two product lines, iDocs NT and the OS/400-based iDocs Suite, have architectural similarities, such as the operations users must perform for the generation of checks, forms, faxes, emails, PDF documents, and the retrieval of documents online, they are not based on the same source code.

inFORM Decisions was responding to customer demand when it decided to offer a Windows-based document management system, said Dan Forster, the company's president. "In the last few years, we've run into a lot of business partners that have asked us about this," he said. "Our stuff has been running on the iSeries, but they need to run this across other platforms. Now we have the ability to support whatever platform they're running on, and support whatever app they're running."

In terms of the sheer number of potential customers out there, the market for Windows-based document management solutions is far greater than the market for OS/400-based solutions. However, the typical deal size will likely be smaller with iDocs NT than it has been for iDocs Suite, Forster said. Because Forster expects to have more deals with smaller companies with the new Windows software, he set the price for iDocs NT lower than those for iDocs Suite.

iDocs NT runs on Windows NT, 2000, and XP servers, but will be able to reformat the ASCI-based print datastream coming from just about any type of server, including Windows, Linux, and Unix servers--and even iSeries and mainframe hosts, if they're configured for ASCI datastreams (there are aftermarket print datastream converters available, such as those from MPI Tech). Software licenses for iDocs NT will run from about $6,000 to $15,000, depending on the modules the customer chooses, the company said. For more information, visit the inFORM Decisions' Web site at www.informdecisions.com.

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inFORM Decisions Launches Document Management for Windows

Timothy Prickett Morgan

Managing Editor
Mari Barrett

Contributing Editors
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Victor Rozek
Hesh Wiener
Alex Woodie

Publisher and
Advertising Director

Jenny Thomas

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Last Updated: 9/11/02
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