and a number of other vendors are developing solutions to make imaging on intranets as practical as possible. Imagination Software is banking on ActiveX -- despite its limitations -- to create a suite of imaging modules for use on an intranet. At the same time, the company is developing what it believes will be the first native, Java-based technologies for document imaging.

Other vendors working on intranet solutions for imaging include: Acordex Imaging Systems, ByteQuest Technologies, FileNET, Fulcrum, In.vision Research, Metafile, Mobius, Optical Image Technology, OTG Software, TMS Sequoia and Omnikron Systems.

In Washington, the Department of Ecology's application is based on a system developed by Archive Retrieval. Essentially a storage and retrieval system, without the bells and whistles found on more typical client/server imaging applications, the Archive, as it's called, allows staff with browsers and proper security clearance to view more than 186,000 records pertaining to shore lands, water resources, water rights and coastal erosion.

According to Polzin, users must download a viewer plug-in to see the document images, which are stored on a CD-ROM. Performance can vary according to network traffic on the department's backbone, but 7 to 10 seconds is a typical response time for image retrieval.

A LOT YOU CAN AND CAN'T DO

With all the hoopla that the Internet receives, it comes as some surprise to find out that the intranet market is growing. Not surprisingly, Klein and others believe imaging on intranets will eventually dwarf the traditional imaging market in the coming years. But great expectations and promises of grand benefits must be tempered by the fact that implementing imaging on an intranet today has long way to go. The network infrastructure for most governments is inadequate for intranet-based document imaging. The technology for web-enabled imaging is far from mature. "The good news," said Klein, "is there's lot you can do today with imaging and intranets. The bad news is there's still a lot that must be done."

March Table of Contents