There has been a lot made this week of the announcement that Google is to offer a new PDF reader with Google Chrome that will add web-like functionality to documents. Appian integrates with AnyDoc to combine on-demand BPM with automated document capture.

Google Chrome Offers PDF Support

Google has announced that it will integrate a PDF reader with its Chrome browser that can be downloaded from Chrome plug-ins initially, but which will eventually become part of the default settings.

In a Chromium Blog entry recently, the company said it was introducing the new functionality because “the traditional browser plug-in model . . . presents challenges in compatibility, performance, and security.”

It also said that Linux support is on the way, and it will be enabling the integration by default in the developer channel in the coming weeks.

With the new reader integration Google says:

  • It will render PDF files as seamlessly as HTML web pages, and basic interactions will be no different than the same interactions with web pages.
  • PDF functionality will be contained within the security “sandbox” Chrome uses for web page rendering.
  • Users will automatically receive the latest version of Chrome’s PDF support; they won’t have to worry about manually updating any plug-ins or programs.

While the new integration does not support all the advanced features of Adobe Reader such as certain types of embedded media, they will be introducing this in the near future.

Google Docs Encourages Sharing

And if you missed it late last week, Google has also rolled out new sharing capabilities for Google Docs that make document collaboration a whole lot easier. As a result Google Docs users can now choose from three different options when it comes to the visibility of their documents on the Web:

  • Public on the Web: This option enables anyone and everyone on the Web to find and view the document. Share the URL in any public space and the document will be indexed by Google and other search engines, and change the URL to control access.
  • Anyone with a link: This option closes the document to the public, unless they have a special link to access it (sent via e-mail, for example).
  • Private: This option restricts access to the creator and anyone the creator has approved to view it.

At any time, users can change the settings, add editors or view who has access. Furthermore, users can batch edit by selecting multiple documents and changing their settings in one straight shot. Likely to be more action in this space soon as Microsoft develops its new web apps as a possible alternative.

On-Demand BPM With Doc Capture

More release news, this time from AnyDoc, which provides automated document, data capture and classification solutions, and Appian provider of on-demand business process management (BPM) technology. The two have announced that they will be getting together for their next release.

AnyDoc will develop and deliver the next generation of document processing solutions by combining AnyDoc's industry-leading document processing technologies with the Appian BPM platform.

Through the partnership, AnyDoc will use Appian's (news, site) web architecture and full process, task and data orchestration to provide complete workflows for structured and unstructured documents and data.

The Appian BPM Suite offers companies real time monitoring of applications, required tasks, compliance guidelines and approvals in a managed process that that provides analytics and reporting.

AnyDoc Software's solutions provide companies with tools to assimilate business data into the organization. Its data capture software classifies documents and extracts data from scanned paper or imported images and data files -- including e-mails and attachments.

With Appian-enabled AnyDoc solutions, incoming documents including paper, scanned images, faxesand e-mails will be automatically categorized and routed to the appropriate business unit without any presorting required. Data will be captured and validated from nearly any business document, with minimal manual data entry required.

Oracle Adds To Product Suite

Following the release of Oracle’s BPM 11g last week, the company has added another component to its Product Value Chain Suite that will enable users to manage all product information, product lifecycle processes and information collaboration.

Oracle's (news, site) new Agile Customer Needs Management will enables customers to capture and prioritize product ideas, customer feedback and product requirements from internal sources including product managers, engineers, sales and executives and external sources.

Using Oracle UCM and Oracle's AutoVue it also enables users to collaborate, view and digitally annotate any product information and engineering drawings to facilitate multi-disciplinary document collaboration.

EMEA Hosted Email Boom

Hosted email mailboxes in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), including both business and consumer accounts, are expected to grow from 536 million mailboxes in 2010 to 641 million mailboxes by 2014, according to new research from technology researchers the Radicati Group’s latest study.

The report entitled “EMEA Hosted Email Market, 2010-2014" found that growth in the consumer sector is driven by increased broadband penetration to the home while business sector growth is driven by cost cutting and mobile workforces.

The report gives an in-depth look at all segments of the European Hosted Email market, including ISP/Webmail email, hosted business email and managed business email.

It also shows that the growth in the use of hosted business email solutions is also fuelled by the increased availability of low-cost, full-featured messaging and collaboration suites from Microsoft, Google and others. If you want to read more though, you’re going to have to buy it