Lotus merges imaging product with Notes

CHICAGO—Lotus Development Corp. announced at the Association for Information and Image Management trade show earlier this month its plan to fully integrate Lotus Notes:Document Imaging (LN:DI) into the latest version of Lotus Notes.

In addition, Lotus said it has begun to ship an application that links Notes to IBM Corp.'s ImagePlus high-end imaging software. The Notes to IBM ImagePlus Connection application marks the first step toward integrating Lotus' groupware products into IBM's imaging and workflow products.

LN:DI 4.0 is scheduled for release by early fall. The product comprises two components: the viewer and the Professional Edition Client, which includes optical character recognition, annotation and editing capabilities.

Lotus will no longer market LN:DI separately from the flagship Notes product, said Susan Ryan, senior manager with Lotus Notes Companion Products Marketing. "What we've done is give up the generic market" for imaging to focus on imaging as part of groupware applications, she said.

Scott McCready, an analyst with International Data Corp., said the integration of LN:DI with Notes allows Notes users to manage images the same way they manage other electronic documents—something that would not be possible using another vendor's imaging products with Notes.

Both LN:DI 4.0 and the Notes to IBM ImagePlus Connection are being marketed as add-on products to Notes 4.0.

The ImagePlus gateway retails for $4,995 and runs on a Microsoft Corp. Windows NT server. The image viewer for LN:DI 4.0 is expected to be available in Windows, Windows 95 and Windows NT versions, while the Professional Edition Client would be available for 32-bit platforms, Windows 95 and Windows NT.

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