Symtrax Ships Updated Edition of WebReports
September 21, 2004 Alex Woodie
Symtrax has improved the search engine and made other improvements to WebReports, a Windows-based document archive application that provides secure and centralized access to output from a variety of other hosts, including OS/400 servers. The latest release, WebReports Version 2.3, which Symtrax released last week, also features more customizable screens, better administrative functions, and support for Windows 2003 Server.
WebReports, which Symtrax originally launched in February (see “Symtrax Improves iSeries Report Access with WebReports”), is designed to give users easy access to important documents–invoices, statements, weekly sales reports, and the like–which many shops have spread across OS/400, Unix, Windows, mainframe, and Linux computers. What makes WebReports unique is its capability to automatically grab documents from a variety of hosts, and then to convert, store, or distribute them in any number of formats (HTML, PDF, XML, TIFs, XLS, e-mail), giving faster access to information and potentially reducing printing costs.
To help users find the right documents among tens of thousands that may be stored online in the WebReports archive, Symtrax built some basic indexing and searching capabilities into WebReports. A monitored directory, or “scope,” in Symtrax terminology, could be set up and indexed for quick search and retrieval. Alternatively, the software could store documents in one of Symtrax’s compression formats (SPL or CTS), which users could search through using “iFilters” and then pull up using a special viewer designed to work with compressed files.
Symtrax has enhanced searching in WebReports 2.3 with finer-grained search capabilities. The new search engine looks at individual words within a sentence, rather than simply the whole search entry itself, which makes searches more efficient and effective, Symtrax says. Custom search forms can now be customized to a greater degree, as well.
The main interface has been overhauled with this release, including the capability for users to customize their WebReports home page with their company logo and other information. The home page provides access to “WebModules,” which allows users to access documents from various sources, such as ERP or CRM applications, or customized searches. There is also more space on the home page for displaying WebModules and other WebReports content (although users may still use the old interface if they want, Symtrax says).
The administrator’s module has been enhanced to provide managers with more control over what users view and have access to within the WebReports archive. Administrators can now define whether users can update documents stored in WebReports, and they can also clean up their users’ interfaces, eliminating buttons or menus, through the administrator’s module. Administrators can now schedule back ups of the WebReports archive directly from within the product, another new feature.
To gain access to spool files on an OS/400 server, a user must also license Compleo, which allows iSeries reports to be automatically indexed into WebReports.
WebReports 2.3 is available now. Pricing for WebReports starts at around $5,000. For more information, go to www.symtrax.com.