Re: Acrobat/Folio comparison....Long

Subject: Re: Acrobat/Folio comparison....Long
From: Bill Bledsoe <bill -at- ENVISION -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 14:23:30 -0500

Bill, List,

While the Adobe Acrobat Exchange Reader is free, the version of Acrobat
Exchange with the Verity search engine (for full text and Boolean search
capabilities) is not.

The Full blown Adobe Acrobat Exchange is not freely distributable, and
costs on the order of $25-$75 per license depending upon the quantity
ordered. There is a Search for CD ROMS, but I didn't think that was the
same engine as the Verity plugin. Bill can follow up with those details.

Now, if you want to buy the Software Developer's kit, and the Verity search
engine separately, then build your own viewer based on the SDK (which is
the exchange source so that you can either integrate your software or
customize the Exchange interface some other way), that will run you
approximately $5000.

We looked into Adobe Exchange as a way to distribute Research Reports
online to our personnel at my old place of employment (8 months ago).
Because we had a "workstation" that was a collection of applications that
provided all our employees needed to do their job, we wanted integration
within that workstation. This meant we had to use the SDK. We did, and it
worked out great so far.

As to Bill's discussion on doubting Folio's speed on a 2x CD... you have a
good point, what is speed when the device is as slow as a 1 or 2x cdrom
drive. However, in the scenario that you described (100,000 plus "pages"
of documents), on a 4x cdrom lets say, doing a full-text search of all
documents, or just sub documents, Folio will be faster. You can check out
the PCWEEK Labs review of online document publishing systems from last June
I think it was, and it has the facts to back it up. Also, I've Catalog'ed a
ton of documents, putting them into separate indexes, etc. It is slower
than the rate you prescribed, even over a LAN. Especially when you put in
stop words to limit the index (which should in fact speed it up!). And the
size of the documents is on average enormous compared to a Folio Infobase
with the same info in it.

Bill you'd also asked whether the Folio Viewer is free, or if you have to
pay for it... you have to pay... but they have a separate rate for the type
of licenses you're talking about with CDROM distribution. (They actually
have a publishing kit for building CDROM's that builds the reader into the
document.)It is comparable to the full Acrobat Exchange license.

In a desktop/office environment, you could implement the Folio Web Server,
and then only have to buy the authoring kits. That way, you can distribute
a web browser to your desktops and view the documentation there, with all
of the search features of Folio from within your favorite web browser
(Which, while you can read a PDF file from within a browser, you can't
search it yet, you have to start Exchange to do that).

Don't want to turn this into a "my tool is better than yours" argument.
Just want to point out to the TECHWR-l'rs info chunks stuck in this here
cranium that others might benefit from. To close, there are applications
for both tools. As I said, I use Acrobat almost daily. I like it a lot,
because it goes across platforms and is very easy to use. However, I don't
believe for a second that it is the be-all end-all in online text
publishing systems. There are other products. And, Folio is more
expensive up front, But, if your budget can stand it, don't count out
Folio. It is a really quality tool.

Bill Bledsoe
Technical Communicator
Envision Solutions
SQA MGR/Process Lead
bill -at- envision -dot- com
intlidox -at- anet-stl -dot- com

"I'm out on a limb where the fun begins"
Adrian Belew/The Bears

From: Bill Hartzer[SMTP:XBJH%mimi -at- MAGIC -dot- ITG -dot- TI -dot- COM]
Sent: Monday, August 26, 1996 8:23 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Follow-up to 'seeking a solution' for Acrobat

Hi David,

You said:

"I was wondering if you are referring to features that come standard
Adobe Acrobat, or if these are features for which you have to pay extra
for by purchasing a per site license. I ask because these features are
not available on the Acrobat viewer we're using..."

Of course, not, David! Adobe Acrobat Reader is free, and any company
distributing products for free would eventually go out of business if
they didn't have some 'gimmick' or other way of ultimately making you
pay $$$$ for their product. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is available FOR
FREE on Adobe's WWW site at

Here's how Adobe Acrobat works:

You, as someone who wants to distribute electronic documentation and
distribute it to your users, must pay to create Adobe Acrobat files.

- After you have paid money for the program that allows you to create
these files (Acrobat Exchange or Acrobat Pro), you can distribute the
files you create for free as well as a copy of the program used to view
these files. There is no limit or site license required to distribute
the Adobe Acrobat Reader program. It's free. In fact, they want you to
give it to as many people as possible.

- If you wish to create a way for your users to search many .PDF files
by using keywords you may also PURCHASE Adobe Acrobat Catalog which
makes an index of all the terms in all of the .PDF files. There's still
a catch.

If you wish to allow your users to actually use this search capability
within a .PDF file (the only way to do a search), you must purchase the
SEARCH plug-in (add-on) which also costs money. If you want, you can
purchase Adobe Acrobat Search for CD-ROMs, which gives you license to
distribute the Adobe Acrobat Reader and Search plug-in for one title of
a CD-ROM. Search for CD-ROMs costs $500.

You see, David, there must be some way for Adobe's users to pay for the
products they use. Of course, this ends up being a marketing ploy by
Adobe. Whether or not it is a fair way of doing business and whether or
not Adobe makes any money doing it this way remains to be seen and I'll
leave that up to your judgment. I'm just here to pass on the facts.

One reason I have to chosen to use Adobe Acrobat is because of the
Search engine. However, another reason I went with Adobe Acrobat is
because of the fact that it's the only Electronic Book program (the only
one I'm aware of) that allows you to distribute the Reader program for
free, to as many users as you like. One extreme example is that Apple
Computer charges a license fee of $50 per license for you to distribute
their Apple Viewer (this might not be the name of it), Apple's own
electronic book software product.

All of this 'marketing stuff' by Adobe is kind of a hassle to deal with,
especially because I think this is the first company to do something
like this. However, all in all (in my opinion), Adobe Acrobat is a
reasonably priced product that has a great boolean search engine. (FYI:
the search engine wasn't originally created by Adobe...I think it was
originally created by some company in Colorodo.)

Bill Hartzer Bill Hartzer
Contract Technical Writer President
Texas Instruments, Inc. Highfield Marketing Group, Inc.
Dallas, TX USA Irving, TX USA
xbjh -at- msg -dot- ti -dot- com Highfield -at- aol -dot- com
(214) 575 - 2041 (214) 432 - 0124
(214) 798 - 2976 voice pager (214) 432 - 0152 fax
"Highfield Marketing Group, Inc. is the proud maker of the CD-ROM
TalentBank(tm), an electronically searchable resume database full of
quality professionals in the computer, high-tech, and technical writing
industries. Never a fee for applicants. Employers and recruiters
can search thousands of resumes electronically on their desktops while
applicants can reach thousands of employers with their resume."

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