Elite Document Solutions Introduces NAS Archival Device
May 18, 2004 Alex Woodie
Elite Document Solutions is shipping a new network attached storage (NAS) device that is intended to serve as an archive for documents created with the company’s electronic forms software for OS/400. With a starting price of $6,500, some OS/400 shops may find that the eFile Cabinet is a compelling alternative to traditional optical archives and retrieval software.
The eFile Cabinet is the latest in a series of archive solutions introduced by OS/400 document management software vendors, which are seeing an increased demand for low-cost, easy-to-use archives for storing a variety of computer-generated documents. While many of Elite’s competitors have introduced software-based archives that use existing storage resources–usually one that’s based on the OS/400 Integrated File System–the Southern California company decided to package its archive with a popular NAS device, which it OEMed from Snap Appliance.
Users can store any document they create with their eliteSUITE of software on the eFile Cabinet, in their original layout, including PDF, PCL, and other formats, the company says. The eliteSUITE includes forms overlay and document distribution software, and it is often employed to reduce or eliminate pre-printed forms, such as invoices or shipping documents.
The eFile Cabinet works with the eliteSUITE to create search indexes for each document, which lets users retrieve specific documents by keying in a customer number or other indexed value. Elite says users can retrieve documents from either a green-screen interface or a PC. Documents retrieved from the green-screen interface can be e-mailed or faxed directly from the iSeries, if they have the eliteMAIL or eliteFAX plug-ins for the eliteFORM product. PC-based users can also e-mail retrieved documents, the company says.
Elite’s eFile Cabinet works with OS/400 IFS, which serves as a staging area for documents that are then sent down for storage on the NAS device’s disk. By caching documents on the IFS first, the company says, users don’t have to worry about losing documents intended for the NAS device, should the network suddenly go down.
The eFile Cabinet is based on the popular Snap Server 1100 NAS device, manufactured by Silicon Valley-based Snap Appliance. With 250 GB of storage on a single ATA disk (it also offers 80 GB and 160 GB versions), Ethernet connectivity, and support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), the Snap Server has found widespread use as a simple and low-cost file server for small or remote offices. Snap says that more than 50,000 Snap Servers have been installed.
Elite hopes the diminutive device (it measures 4.5 inches wide, 8.5 inches deep, and 2.5 inches tall, and weighs just 3.5 lbs.) will be a hit among its users. “The eFile Cabinet enhances the document management solutions offered by Elite to give our clients a complete paperless environment from a single source,” says Andrew Rackauckas, Elite’s president.
The eFile Cabinet is available now. For more information, go to www.elitedocuments.com.