In addition, the original source document can be retrieved using the bundled client software, which can in turn be freely distributed through the host site to most customer workstations operating on the same network.
The array of tools available to search, retrieve and manipulate the documents was compelling enough to impress the procurement staff. GA estimated that the 700 or so documents which it needs to index from this one group alone represents a savings of over 120 hours of labor to convert the initial load. Additional savings in maintaining only a single document would also be anticipated.
I created a Web front-end to highlight the demonstration, provide examples of complex searches, and list supported file types to make a more professional demonstration. But the ACGI, AppleSearch, and WebStar software was stock -- out of the box. An anticipated hardware cost for this system is under $9,000. The same package, running in a less powerful box but using the very same software, can be purchased for under $3,000.
Strategic Initiatives has identified many additional potential uses of this technology. At the recent Information Processing Manager's Association Fall Forum, many state and local government customers had the opportunity to see the demonstration in person, and were impressed by the ease of use and power of this publishing solution.
Since the conclusion of the pilot, I have demonstrated this capability to Tacoma City Light -- a large power utility serving the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma City Light has purchased the MacOS-based server, and is planning to implement AppleSearch for various projects including indexing technical documentation for hardware, software and computer-related systems.
In addition, the Office of the Administrator of the Courts for Washington State is considering implementing this solution for indexing court documents. The Department of Social and Health Services Internet group will also be prototyping a document search application in the coming months using AppleSearch.
The following file types are supported by the AppleSearch software, according to the documentation: Microsoft Word for Windows, versions 1.0 and 2.0; Microsoft Word for Macintosh, versions 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1; Microsoft Excel, tab delimited text; WordPerfect for Windows, version 5.1; WordPerfect for Macintosh, versions 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1; FrameMaker MIF, versions 2.0 and 3.0; PageMaker, version 4.0; Ragtime, version 3.1; AppleWorks; WriteNow, versions 2.0 and 3.0; MacWrite, versions 4.5 and 5.0; Nisus, version 3.0; PICT, text extraction only; WordPerfect for Windows, version 5.1; Microsoft Mail, generic text documents, including HTML and many other mail formats. Additional translators for other document formats can be ordered from various vendors.