Xerox Introduces Homogeneous Storage and Retrieval Solution

Storing documents electronically for efficient retrieval and distribution is not a new concept. But Xerox Engineering Systems (East Rochester, N.Y., www.xerox.com) hopes to provide enterprises with a powerful new alternative to the venerable Adobe PDF. The Adobe Acrobat portable document format (PDF) from Adobe Systems Inc. (Seattle, www.adobe.com ) is an approach that has been adopted on an industrywide and Internetwide basis, but the format doesn’t scale with the needs of large enterprises that often have voluminous document storage requirements.

Xerox’s Intranet Docs 1.2 is positioned as a homogeneous distributed document storage and retrieval software solution that provides for location independence by allowing users to search, view, and print wide-format documents from a standard Web browser's interface. The Adobe PDF format is primarily a client-side technology that facilitates the viewing of electronic documents with the Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Reader Web browser plug-in.

According to Xerox, Intranet Docs 1.2 works by linking electronic documents to Web site URLs, consequently it does not require a software plug-in. More importantly, says Thomas Vacchiano, the CEO of Xerox Engineering Systems, Intranet Docs makes it possible for companies to store and render electronic documents of a variety of sizes and dimensions -- even wide-format documents such as engineering drawings or electronic schematics -- in a manner that is presentable within the context of a Web browser interface.

"Vast amounts of knowledge are stored in wide-format documents, whether engineering drawings, construction plans, or property records," Vacchiano says. "The simplicity and speed with which Intranet Docs makes those drawings available enables greater levels of collaboration and understanding."

Intranet Docs 1.2 features new job set creation functionality that allows a user to create a determined job set composed of a number of files and then assign all of the files in that job set to a single URL address. Also new in Intranet Docs 1.2 is a revision control feature that automatically alerts users when an updated version of a document is available.

Utility company Equitable Resources Inc. (Pittsburgh) implemented Intranet Docs 1.2 on a companywide basis to facilitate the retrieval and dissemination of electronic documents throughout its organization. According to Chuck Sovyak, an imaging analyst with Equitable Resources, Intranet Docs 1.2 improved the efficiency of document dissemination within his company and scaled in step with an expanding base of electronic documentation.

"Using Intranet Docs, documents are immediately available at multiple sites within the company," Sovyak comments. "Now anyone can access our archive, which grows by 500 drawings per week. That's saved time in the printroom and the field, because instead of using company mail to distribute hard-copy documents, users can instantly view the drawings on screen, print what they need locally, and even download the digital file."