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THE BUZZ: News and notes from the AIIM show floor

DMA 1.0 is not yet ready for prime time. It's that simple. How do I know? Because Bob Bueltmann, VP of Optex, told me. How does Bob know? Because as an integrator, he and his team have looked closely into the bowels of DMA, and, according to him, DMA 1.0 is still 18 months away from readiness, partly because of its inadequate security, i.e. it lacks the ability to do cross-repository searching, which makes it necessary to define all users in both repositories.

Bueltmann has gained this knowledge because his client, A.G. Edwards, is looking to install a multi-thousand-seat document management system, and he has been charged with scoping the situation out. Not surprisingly, it has come down to Documentum and FileNet. Bob isn't exactly wild about Documentum in this case, because it would require the use of DMA to connect with a legacy FileNet system. Since DMA doesn't make the grade there, he said it would be necessary to build an object broker linking the Documentum and legacy FileNet systems.

On the other hand, Bueltmann hesitates to apply FileNet's Mezzanine, because its lack of a three-tier architecture "could be the show stopper," he said.

Parascript, the Moscow-based company that is trying to master the elusive art of cursive handwriting recognition, continues to raise the technology bar, and now claims to achieve a 75% read rate on checks. The question is, is that good enough? According to Pavel Zelinsky, senior VP of R&D at the company, it is, because companies like NCR, Mitek and Formware are integrating Parascript's CheckScript product into their banking packages.

Zelinsky noted that any time the system indicates less than 85% confidence, the check is relegated to manual processing. However, he added, 50% of those checks sent to manual processing were properly recognized in the first place. Of those checks that are accepted, 99.5% are accurate. It's a neat technology, but a lot of people are still waiting for more reliability before they sign on the dotted line. Parascript's U.S. headquarters is in Boulder, CO.

Chatted with old friend Harvey Spencer of Harvey Spencer Associates at the show. Harvey was impressed with the advances in color compression technology on display and speculated on the increasing integration of document technologies with print-on-demand systems. Could it be, we wondered, that AIIM and Xplor, the printing-based counterpart of AIIM, will find themselves following an increasingly parallel track? Will those two organizations' yearly shows end up as one?

Minolta's software company has made it through its first year of operation. The spinoff, which has a five-year commitment, started life with the 3,000-user base of the parent company and added approximately 350 new customers during the year. Even though the start-up didn't get rich, it did meet its plan.

Verity has jumped on the XML bandwagon by unveiling an XML-enabled version of its search engine, which performs more focused and structured searches designed to pinpoint relevant information. Look for more of those capabilities as XML is increasingly hailed as a savior for users seeking greater control of their data. XML may even become a competitor to EDI for computer-to-computer data transfer.

At press time, Dataware had also announced its embrace of XML. A logical evolution, says CEO Kurt Mueller, who noted that Dataware tools have been SGML-friendly for some time.

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