SAN JOSE, Calif., Apr. 20, 1998–Participants in “The Impact of Salutation on Tomorrow’s Fax Applications,” a two-day workshop sponsored by the Salutation Consortium, heard manufacturers of fax devices, fax servers, and multifunction devices detail progress in applying Salutation technology to distributed printing, image capture and transmission, and Internet fax.

Twenty-three attendees representing 16 companies saw demonstrations of Salutation products and development tools from IBM Japan, Mita, Muratec, STS Consulting, and XtraWorX, LLC. Keynote speaker was Pete Davidson, Davidson Consulting, affiliated with International Data Corp. and Buyer’s Laboratory. Davidson, editor and publisher of FaxWire, said, “There is a definite need for Salutation and nothing else is in this space. Salutation is a good answer for solving some very real needs. Without Salutation there will be less market for vendors to share.”

The Salutation Architecture is open middleware technology for locating and controlling fax machines, printers, copiers, and other computer equipment across the Internet or a company intranet. It lets you query the network to discover which devices attached can receive your images, files, and messages. For example, a laptop computer can locate a color printer, or a digital camera can send an image directly to a fax machine. Salutation reduces LAN administration by autoregistering new devices on the network and by supporting ad hoc discovery, with no need for maintaining enterprise-wide directories.

Workshop participants pointed out in discussion that Salutation fax functions support Inbound Routing, Receipt Notification and Read Confirmation over G3 fax protocol, all key features for developing new fax applications.

Edgar M. Tompkins, Mita marketing manager for the Integrated Document Imaging Division briefed attendees on Mita’s Salutation fax machines now available in Japan. “Salutation enables users to fax directly to an email address, without intermediate scanning steps. A recipient can retrieve an image via email from a remote location. Customers are pleased with their ability to support mobile workers with convenient, secure access to information,” said Tompkins. The Mita fax is marketed in conjunction with IBM Japan’s Salutation extensions to the Lotus Notes office system. According to Tompkins, the company is looking to expand the platforms supported and plans to launch the product in the US.

The Muratec fax with Salutation, demonstrated to workshop participants, is also marketed in Japan with NuOffice, the IBM Japan Salutation extensions to Lotus Notes. NuOffice provides a complete office system for large customer sites with many mobile or telecommuting users. The Salutation extensions to Lotus Notes enable users to send fax and email messages to the device most convenient to the recipient.

Salutation development tools demonstrated were XtraWorX LLC’s Port of Entry and STS Consulting’s Salutation API Driver, both now in beta test. Port of Entry bridges legacy desktops and peripherals to Salutation and presents a consistent access format for network peripherals. The API Driver graphically builds API calls on Windows, teaches programmers the Salutation interface, and demonstrates API call attributes and responses.

Manufacturers of fax server products led discussions about the need for security and standards in the network environment. Salutation Consortium managing director Robert F. Pecora stated that “Salutation is a thin layer to integrate existing standards and deliver additional user capabilities.” Global Village Communication director of engineering Steve Urvan added, “We’re interested in how the Salutation vision of standardized APIs for capability discovery could extend the potential for our LAN fax server.”

According to many participants, the growing market for color output devices, both printers and fax, will make the Salutation discovery capability very attractive to users. “The sender will be able to know in advance if a receiving device can print in color. Sometimes it’s not enough to send a fax–you want to send a color document,” Pecora said.

Salutation Consortium

The Salutation Consortium is a non-profit corporation with member organizations in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Member companies include Adobe Systems, APTi, Axis Communications, Brother, Canon, Cisco, Eastman Kodak, Fuji Xerox, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, Integrated Systems, IBM, Kobe Steel, Komatsu, Konica, Lexmark, Matsushita, Microware Systems, Minolta, Mita, Mitsubishi, Murata (Muratec), Novell, Okamura, Oki Data, Ricoh, Rios Systems, Sanyo, Seiko Epson, Sharp, Sun Microsystems, Toshiba, and Xerox.

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