Fall Internet World '97, New York, NY, --Inmagic, Inc., developer of knowledge management and information retrieval software for the Web, intranets, CD-ROM and LANs, today announced the first interactive spider, enabling distributed opportunities for web-based interaction. Using a web browser, searchers of corporate knowledgebases can interact immediately with the information at hand, adding their own comments, insights and feedback. This new information is pumped automatically back into the knowledgebase in real-time, where it is fully searchable by others throughout the corporation.
Enabling the interactivity is Inmagic's new DB/Text PowerPack for Windows NT, designed to automatically populate knowledgebases by capturing information from a variety of data sources, including the Web. DB/Text PowerPack is used in conjunction with Inmagic's DB/Text Intranet Spider, which was developed jointly with leading Internet navigation company Lycos, Inc. The spider catalogs and indexes documents across a corporate intranet or on a public web site, creating a central knowledgebase which people can query.
DB/Text PowerPack transforms corporate knowledgebases into dynamic, evolving resources. As personnel respond to items in the knowledgebase by adding their own individual comments, they participate in a collective context-building effort. This collaborative filtering helps subsequent searchers to process and utilize information with the benefit of in-depth perspective.
"What we're offering is a way to get the tacit knowledge of a corporation out of people's heads on a daily basis and in real-time into knowledgebases where it's accessible by the entire corporation," says Phillip Green, president and CEO of Inmagic, Inc. "This interactivity is possible because we've integrated our indexing engine with the data repository. Other spiders have no database back-end, or a very limited one."
DB/Text PowerPack supports a variety of applications:
The research department of a major manufacturer spiders the public web site of a competitor, gathering information on documents available at that site. The manufacturer launches the resulting knowledgebase of competitive intelligence on its intranet, where personnel can add comments about specific documents. For example, researchers can highlight weak spots in competitive products, insights that are valuable for sales reps.
A consulting firm spiders its intranet so employees know what resources are available. Working with DB/Text PowerPack, a feedback form is set up so employees can offer their comments on specific web pages, such as noting outdated or inaccurate information. This feedback can be directed to the webmaster, or added back into the catalog created by the spider, where others can access the comments.
The mayor's office of a major city spiders its web site, providing an efficient method for city residents to find documents describing city services. With DB/Text PowerPack, a feedback form allows city residents to request services via web browser. Residents comment on services rendered, even rate them using a numerical scale which then contributes to a weighted average. Requests and comments are added back into the spider catalog, where they may be searched and utilized in reports by staff. With a numerical ratings system of services, the city produces statistics on its performance as perceived by city residents.
At Fisher Controls International, the leading worldwide supplier of automatic control valves and regulators, Information Center Manager Mark Heindselman notes the impact of DB/Text PowerPack's distributed web-based information-gathering on the company's competitive intelligence efforts. "Implementing DB/Text PowerPack will enable us to provide worldwide intranet access on competitive news and issues, and at the same time collect new competitive information," says Heindselman. "The ability to collect and share competitive information seven days a week, 24 hours a day by our worldwide staff will greatly enhance our ability to compete," says Heindselman.
Pricing, Availability and Distribution
DB/Text PowerPack, which began shipping in late November, is priced at $5000. DB/Text Intranet Spider is priced at $7500. The products are available through Inmagic's direct sales force and worldwide network of value-added resellers, systems integrators and Web content developers. DB/Text PowerPack and DB/Text Intranet Spider 45-day free trial versions are available from the company's web site, www.inmagic.com.
Inmagic's been around since 1983, and in the past 15 years, we've built a customer base of tens of thousands of clients in over 50 countries. Privately held, Inmagic, Inc. is a leading developer of knowledge management and information retrieval solutions for use in Web, intranet, CD-ROM, LAN, and WAN environments.