Do we now have the ‘It Does Everything’ Application?

by Frank 13. October 2011 15:00

Back in 1995 I wrote a paper called ”Document Management, Records Management, Image Management Workflow Management…What? – The I.D.E.A

IDEA stood for “It Does Everything Application” and I predicted the merging of what were then disparate applications like records management, document management, imaging and workflow into a single ‘it does everything’ application. It made sense back then and it makes even more sense now because most content management vendors now have applications that encompass all of the aforementioned applications plus many more.

We have of course also followed the same path and the RecFind today is a far cry from the RecFind of 1995. Today’s version, RecFind 6, is in fact the 7th total redesign and rewrite of our iconic product. Just like the grandfather’s axe story; “the handle has been changed 6 times and the blade 4 times but it is the same axe my grandfather used  60 years ago.” It is the same RecFind just improved somewhat over time.

We have in fact moved way past the original concept of an IDEA and the current RecFind is now able to be configured by our customers to be almost any application. This is possible because of a new architecture which allows RecFind to run multiple and different applications concurrently. We believe that this is the new model for all high end information management software going forward; a significant improvement over my original IDEA paradigm.

Our customers can now leverage off a single investment (RecFind 6) to satisfy multiple application software requirements. These include Asset Management, Business Process Management, Case Management, Content Management, Contract Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Digital Asset Management, Document Management, Document Scanning, Imaging, Enterprise Content Management, Electronic Document and Records Management (EDRMS), Email Archiving, Email Management, Help Desk, Human Resources Management, Knowledge Management (KMS), Library Management, Records Management (RMS) and Workflow.

The big difference and major improvement over past generation systems is that everything is done via a high level configuration tool, not by changing source code. This means every RecFind 6 customer in the world runs a ‘standard’ version of our software even though each customer has RecFind uniquely configured to its precise requirements. This means every customer can benefit from our regular updates and new releases and that no customer is impacted by a ‘special’ maintenance contract.

When I presented the concept of RecFind 6 to a bunch of other vendors during a round table discussion at a records management convention a few years ago they all scoffed at the idea and said it was impossible. One vendor even said they had investigated doing what we proposed but that it was impossible.

As we developers all know, nothing is impossible in IT; it just takes time and money. RecFind 6 is evidence that it can be done and I already see other vendors following our lead.

The concept of  generic application solution (which is one way of describing RecFind 6) is one that both empowers and liberates the long-suffering customer. The customer can now change anything, including the data model, reports, language and any business process without waiting on the vendor or sending the vendor money. The customer can leverage off an investment in a single product to create multiple products and realize significant savings. Surely this is the model the world wants and needs, especially in these difficult economic times we all live in?

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