Caere eases publishing of forms on the Internet

Caere Corp. last month introduced OmniForm Internet Publisher, which aims to ease the process of converting paper forms to electronic forms accessible via the Internet.

OmniForm Internet Publisher scans paper forms and translates them into electronic forms that can be viewed, printed, filled out and submitted through the Internet.

"Our mission is to bridge the gap between paper and the digital world," said Edward MacBeth, director of marketing for Caere's Imaging Products Division.

OmniForm is designed for form-intensive operations, such as government agencies, Caere said. "I think there is going to be a tremendous interest in this type of product," said Scott Shiffert, Caere's federal government manager. Caere's federal resellers include BTG Inc., Comark Government and Education Sales, Government Technology Services Inc. and Software Spectrum.

A lot of federal agencies are in the process of creating their own World Wide Web pages, but "how forms are viewed on the Net right now is kind of archaic," Shiffert said. In fact, a number of General Services Administration resellers are interested in using OmniForm on their own Web sites to ease the process for Internet-based electronic commerce programs, Caere said.

The Internet forms product can create forms in Adobe's Portable Document Format, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or Caere's Open Form Markup Language. OFML enables documents to retain their paper-based look and feel, including pagination. MacBeth said the format offers an advantage over HTML. "HTML forms have limited display capabilities," he said.

In addition, Caere's OmniForm Internet Data Collector does not require the creation of Common Gateway Interface scripts for Internet forms processing. Other Internet forms products require CGI scripting, which is beyond the technical capability of typical users, according to Caere.

"We want to make [Internet forms] as simple as word processing and spreadsheets," MacBeth said.

OmniForm Internet Publisher for the Microsoft Corp. Windows 95, NT and 3.1 environments is priced at $695. The product is scheduled to ship in October. The OmniForm Internet Data Collector is priced at $299 and will be available in the fourth quarter of 1996. OmniForm Filler Plug-In for Windows, which is compatible with Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, is available free of charge from Caere's World Wide Web site at http://www.caere.com.

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