Re: Folio vs HTML (Long)

Subject: Re: Folio vs HTML (Long)
From: R2 Innovations <R2innovations -at- MYNA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 21:53:24 +0000

Barry Kieffer <barry -dot- kieffer -at- EXGATE -dot- TEK -dot- COM> wrote:

> I used FolioViews for a few years, and it is a good application with a large
> following.
> The main problem is that FolioViews is a proprietary system. In order for
> anybody to view the topics or even search on them a Folio reader has to be
> installed.
> Folio allows the owner of the creation part of the db to "almost" give away
> the reader (much like what Adobe does with Acrobat). But don't confuse
> FolioViews with Acrobat - FolioViews is a full featured application. Folio
> rips through the document and indexes every single word.
> I used Folio mainly as a technical support database of problems and
> solutions that I was responsible for. If I had the chance to do it all over
> again, I would stick with Folio.
> Oh, one other downside to Folio, the company is a lot like Interleaf, it has
> a great application, but it is very slow to update.
> But also like Interleaf (who created a completely custom desktop publishing
> system for Integrated Device Technology) is willing to work with their
> customers to offer some custom stuff.
There are some points here that require clarification. First,
FolioVIEWS, beginning with Views 4.0 will, through the use of an
add-on pak called siteDirector, allow users to view Folio inforbases
using their web browsers - IE and Netscape, anyways.

The only limitations that exist using this method, are those
contraints that exist with HTML. Where I work, we are looking at
installing a hybrid system that will be made up of FolioVIEWS and
it's viewing tool _and_ siteDirector. This will allow users who just
want to view the files and do searches to the extent allowed by HTML
to use their browsers. If, however, the user needed to make use of
sophisticated search techniques, selective and controlled printing,
and many other features available through Folio's viewing tool, then
they would be able to use this option. This is a best of both worlds
scenerio, as the source files are only created once in FolioVIEWS,
but viewed by two different means.

As far as updating, Folio doesn't release updates that are basically
bug fixes and razzle-dazzle "features" - which usually don't work
anyway - but they do release well thought out upgrades to their
products that have been strongly influenced by the users. Since I've
been using FolioVIEWS (+3 years) there have been the following
versions: FolioVIEW 3.1, 3.11, 4.0, 4.1, and I believe there is
another minor upgrade out, 4.2, now. No upgrades???

Each year there is a conference, usually called Infobase 'XX, that brings
together users, developers, and VARs to discuss new directions,
features desired, problems requiring attention, etc. How many
other software providers do that? I've attended two such conferences
and found them extremely helpful. Folio is a small enough company
that even the Pres. and his next in lines attend and are
out-and-about at workshops _and_ social functions, easily accessible
to anyone who needs to talk with them.

Do I like FolioVIEWS? Yes. Do I think they have a good product?
Yes. Do I get good support from them, or one of their recognized
VARs? Yes. Do I feel constrained by the proprietary nature of the
product? Definitely not.

Ralph E. Robinson
R2 Innovations, publishers of "Documenting ISO 9000:
Guidelines for Compliant Documentation", an APEX '98
Award of Excellence publication. Visit our website
at for ordering
instructions, and other information and news on ISO 9000
Email address: r2innovations -at- myna -dot- com

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