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Case Study: Citrix
Case Study: IHS Engineering
Case Study: Xilinx

IHS home page
http://www.ihs.com

Background

Information Handling Services (IHS) is a leading worldwide provider of technical standards, specifications, logistics and parts information. The company provides a wide selection of subscription-based products in various formats such as the Internet, CD-ROM, and hardcopy. IHS products serve the critical information needs of many industries including government, military, automotive, aviation, electronics and petrochemical.

In 1986, Optical Software Tools (now merged with Doclinx) was one of the very few companies with the capability to provide full-text search technology on CD-ROM with acceptable performance. Since then Doclinx has been awarded numerous contracts for IHS applications and provides on-going application development and support.

Development of these products presented unique challenges for the following reasons:

  • The products required fast full-text search of hundreds of megabytes of data using 1X CD-ROMs.
  • A complete application needed to be written that had to run under limited memory available under MS-DOS.
  • The products had to provide parametric search of documents along with full-text search.
  • A custom rendering and printing system needed to be developed as the documents were of a complex nature containing equations, tables and diagrams.

Solution

Doclinx possessed a very fast search engine that was able to perform full-text as well as parametric searches and could run directly off a CD-ROM while providing acceptable search performance. Doclinx analyzed IHS' processes and recommended SGML as a document format and agreed to develop applications that allowed indexing, rendering and printing of the input SGML documents.

In 1986, IHS awarded Doclinx its first contract to develop CD-ROM based products using the proposed solution.

Products Developed

IHS products developed by Doclinx include very-fast retrieval, advanced search features, change notifications, and document administration features. Doclinx has developed the following CD-ROM and Web based products for IHS that use its full-text search technology.

TechDataXpress (TDX)

The TDX product is an E-commerce web site for 576,000 standards from organizations all over the world. This is the first IHS product that allows true e-commerce of documents. Users can register, log-on, search for relevant documents, and buy them over the web using their credit card. The application also supports subscription users, purchase orders, debit cards and debit accounts.

TDX is a complete, 3-tier Java Servlets based web application with features like user registration and authorization, full-text and parametric queries, tracking lists, document selection, document change notification, shopping carts and checkout facilities. It integrates with Oracle 8, Microsoft IIS, Solid RDBMS, and the TaxWare and CyberCash e-commerce back-end severs. Additionally, it interacts with various internal IHS systems like IDMS, Data General Accounting, and Session Manager. The application runs on two load-balanced four CPU Sun Enterprise 450’s running Solaris 5.6 with two hot backup machines.

World Wide Standards (WWS)

The WWS product is a collection of more than 400,000 standards from organizations all over the world and is distributed on 260 CD-ROM’s. Each CD-ROM contains an application to browse, searchand view World Wide Standards documents. It has sophisticated drill-down search and structured query capabilities. The application also supports NetWare, DiskPort, and NetworkTree.

ASME Boiler Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Application

The ASME BPVC product is a subscription based, segmented text and image CD-ROM application. This application provides full-text search of the BPVC documents, precise rendering and printing of documents that contain inline equations, tables, fonts and diagrams. Doclinx built and supports two versions of this application, one for MS-DOS and the other for Microsoft Windows.

Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Application

The CSA product is a subscription based, segmented text and image CD-ROM application. This application provides full-text search of the CSA standards, precise rendering and printing of documents that contain inline equations, tables, fonts and diagrams. Doclinx built and supports two versions of this application, one for MS-DOS and the other for Microsoft Windows.

Customer Benefits

Using Doclinx's technologies and application development expertise, IHS was able to bring state-of-the-art products to market years ahead of its competition. Many of these products are still in production today and are some of IHS' best sellers. Doclinx continues to provide support and ongoing development to IHS for these products.

Doclinx was also instrumental in helping IHS adopt leading technologies like SGML and Document Ecommerce.

Accomplishments

Doclinx has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with IHS for over 15 years. During this time, Doclinx has provided many product development services to IHS such as:

  • Requirements Analysis and Specification Development.
  • Data Analysis and Design.
  • Application Coding and Testing.
  • CD production. IHS sends Doclinx SGML data and Doclinx validates the data, creates full-text indexes, and send back a CD-ROM to IHS for replication.
  • Maintenance and Technical support.
  • On-going product enhancements based on IHS’ requirements.

 

 
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