A documented success
- By Tim Fielden
- Apr 30, 2001
If your department or agency is like most, chances are you deal with a lot
of documents. Although the largest organizations have the flexibility and
the budget to buy enterprise-class document management and delivery solutions,
smaller agencies often have to settle for much less, which often means the
The bottom line is that end users whether they are other agencies,
other departments or even other individuals expect and require reliable
delivery of documents to and from a variety of media, including fax machines,
e-mail and even the Internet or an intranet.
Thanks to the efforts of Hewlett-Packard Co. and its recently acquired
software company, Dazel Corp., users now have a cost-effective solution
that unifies output delivery and management of files, faxes and e-mail
messages across an organization via the HP Document Router.
Best described as a plug-and-play output management appliance, HP's
Document Router combines hardware and software to enable users to reliably
deliver information to almost any output device or destination. This can
be done from any application using standard file print commands on Microsoft
Corp. Windows or line printer commands on Unix, AS/400 or other mainframe
As the device is meant to be affordable and scalable, we were pleased
to find HP offering its users several choices and upgrade paths. The low-end
Model 2010, priced modestly at $12,000, enables up to 1,000 jobs a day from
about 100 users, with up to 40 devices and four fax ports. Those requiring
higher usage levels or more devices will find the Model 2090 and its 10,000
jobs a day from 800 users, 300 devices and eight fax ports also priced
appropriately at around $70,000.
The Document Router supports an array of platforms (see box, above right).
For those employing the Web as a destination, the product supports almost
as many Web servers as it does platforms, including Sun Micro-systems Inc.
and Netscape Communications Corp.'s iPlanet, Microsoft's Internet Information
Server (IIS) and the Apache Software Foundation HTTP Server.
The unit, intended for rack mounting, measures 3.5 inches tall by 17
inches wide by 28 inches deep. We found the installation of the appliance
extremely easy, requiring only eight easy-to-follow steps, the hardest being
the input of the device's IP address, subnet mask and gateway. With our
definitions complete, we needed only to launch a browser, point it to the
newly assigned IP address location and begin our prompted software setup.
Once connected to the router, we found the interface unencumbered and
composed of only two panes. We performed all configuration and administrative
tasks using a control window on the left. An action window was on the right;
it displayed and enabled selections of the tasks from the left.
As with the hardware, we found software setup easy. In fact, thanks to the
simple interface, we quickly defined and configured each destination device.
Those with many printers will be glad to know that the solution also comes
with a device-discovery function.
Throughout our testing, one of the most appealing aspects of the device
was its ability to retry delivery until successful and notify us of its
success or failure.
In all, we found the HP Document Router a truly wonderful product, worthy
of any agency or department. Its low cost and high usability make it a best
Fielden is a frequent contributor and senior analyst with the InfoWorld
Test Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.