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Introducing ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1: the Universal SDK for Data Capture and Document Conversion

Version 7.1 breaks new ground by combining ABBYY OCR, ICR, OMR, and Barcode recognition technologies with new support for processing fixed forms and semi-structured forms and documents, making it the most comprehensive software development kit (SDK) for data capture and document conversion currently available.

New version combines advanced OCR, ICR, OMR and Barcode recognition with form processing addressing multiple tasks from a single platform.

 

ABBYY, a leading developer of intelligent document recognition and linguistic technologies, today announced ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1, a new version of its software development platform and toolkit for building recognition capabilities into Windows applications. Version 7.1 breaks new ground by combining ABBYY OCR, ICR, OMR, and Barcode recognition technologies with new support for processing fixed forms and semi-structured forms and documents, making it the most comprehensive software development kit (SDK) for data capture and document conversion currently available.

The Most Comprehensive SDK for Data Capture and Document Conversion

ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1 is a software development kit (SDK) for integrating ABBYY recognition technologies into new or existing applications. Unlike any other offering in this class, FineReader Engine 7.1 offers developers access to technologies in two major areas: document conversion and data capture - within a single environment:

 

1. Document Conversion

FineReader 7.1 Engine offers one of the widest ranges of technologies for analyzing images and converting scanned documents or PDF files into editable and searchable text. Its strength is demonstrated in:

  • Multiple Recognition Types and Languages
    The FineReader Engine 7.1 platform covers the range of document print types and languages. It reads: machine print (OCR), handprint (ICR), check mark (OMR), and Barcodes (OBR). FineReader's extensive language support includes 186 machine print languages with special modules for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, 90 handprint languages in 22 handwriting styles, and 1D and 2D barcodes. It also supports the industry's first omnifont OCR solution for reading Fraktur, Schwabacher, and Gothic type fonts from the 17-20th centuries known as "Black Letter" scripts.

 

  • Intelligent PDF Conversion
    Advanced PDF conversion capabilities will open and process PDF files using an intelligent opening process that combines: recognition of the image layer, extraction of the text layer, and use of Adobe PDF® Library technology. In addition to high PDF conversion accuracy, FineReader Engine supports conversion of files with special encoded fonts. PDF output capabilities include support for four formats and saving of "edited PDF files" and PDFs optimized for Web publishing.

 

  • Input and Output Formats for All Types of Functions
    FineReader Engine 7.1 supports a broad range of input and output formats to suit a variety of tasks. Input image formats include BMP, PCX, DCX, JPEG, PNG, TIF and PDF while document saving formats include DOC, RTF, PDF, HTML, PPT, TXT, XLS, DBF, and three types of XML (Native XML, ASCII XML, and MS Word XML).

 

  • Sophisticated Image Pre-and-Post Processing
    FineReader Engine offers a variety of image processing features including image deskewing, rotation, inversion, despeckling, and scaling, as well as page analysis functions such as auto-detection, page orientation, text blocks, tables, and vertical text.

 

  • Superior Layout Analysis
    FineReader Engine retains the exact look of the original documents. It recreates the layout and formatting, including columns, tables, vertical text, and font attributes. ABBYY's technologies ensure high accuracy even on documents with complex layouts, or text on low contrast backgrounds, and poor quality images. The precisely composed results can then be exported to formats like DOC, RTF or PDF for the future editing or archiving.

 

2. Data Capture

FineReader Engine 7.1 also supports automatic capture of data from forms and other documents for export into information management systems and databases. Its range of data capture capabilities include:

  • Fixed Form Processing via ABBYY FormReader
    The new Engine 7.1 works in conjunction with ABBYY FormReader, a form processing application that extracts data from fixed forms such as questionnaires, exams, bulletins, customer claim forms, etc. The developer can use the FormReader application to design a form from scratch (using ABBYY's FormDesigner application) or to create a template for existing forms (using the FormReader Template Editor), and then import the template into the recognition engine, extending the end application with fixed-form processing capabilities.

 

  • Flexible Form Processing via ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio
    FineReader Engine 7.1 also supports ABBYY FlexiCapture technology, an intelligent technology for processing semi-structured forms and documents. Engine 7.1 works with ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio, a tool that allows developers to create FlexiLayouts which describe the type of semi-structured forms/documents and define rules for locating the desired data.

 

  • Document Analysis for Invoices
    This special document analysis tool is designed as a pre-processing engine for converting special semi-structured documents such as invoices, payment drafts, checks, and transfers. The purpose of this pre-processing mode is to uncover as much text on documents (mentioned above) as possible, including characters and numbers - even if text information is located within stamps, logos or in fine print areas. As a result, the maximum amount of information about the text, including its coordinates, is available for analysis, field-by-field processing, and parsing at subsequent processing stages by other systems.

Integrated and Modular Solution Suitable for a Variety of Markets

With its new feature set, FineReader Engine 7.1 has much more to offer for developers, VARS, Integrators, and corporate IT departments working on document management solutions. Its various functions support a full range of document conversion and data capture applications: archiving and document processing, control and verification systems, fax processing, invoice processing, form processing, digital mail room applications, Intranet archiving systems, and many more. As a result, developers can now address different corporate departments or markets, using a single platform and development environment.

 

FineReader Engine's wide range of functionality can easily be customized to suit multiple tasks in different departments of one organization or can be used by an outsourcing agency to serve multiple clients. The developer benefits from quicker development and training by working with one underlying technology. Plus, FineReader Engine's functionality is offered in a modular structure, so that a developer need only choose the functions he or she needs.

 

ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1 also offers a Network License Manager (NLM), a new tool which makes managing and distribution of licenses between stations in a network easier and more flexible. Developers can set up a single license in a network for several workstations, concurrent or non-concurrent, or establish a shared page counter for use by all workstations across a network.

 

According to Alexander Rylov, technology licensing manager for ABBYY, FineReader Engine's new all-in-one offering is ideal for developers working with large corporations and service bureaus (such as business process outsourcing organizations - BPO's). "Data capture and document management processes are used by many different departments within an organization for a variety of different tasks - contract archiving, invoice processing, order processing, package tracking, to name a few," explained Rylov. "Using FineReader Engine, developers can incorporate the required recognition technologies, all from a single environment. A company that starts with a document archiving application can easily add invoice processing at a later date by simply adding a new FineReader Engine module. This makes their entire document processing system more efficient as a result."

Licensing Policy and Add-on Modules

FineReader Engine 7.1 is offered in Developer Licenses and Runtime Licenses. Developer Licenses grant access to the FineReader Engine platform and programming interface for use in developing applications using FineReader technology. Runtime Licenses are purchased for distribution of applications into which FineReader has been incorporated.

 

To make it easy for developers to purchase only the specific functionality that they need, Runtime Licenses are offered in three pre-defined License Kits with a series of add-on modules with specific functionality. Developers can customize their FineReader Engine package by simply purchasing the corresponding add-on modules:

  • PDF opening and recognition,
  • PDF export,
  • XML export,
  • CJK (Chinese Japanese and Korean) OCR,
  • ICR,
  • OMR,
  • 2D-barcodes (PDF 417),
  • Document analysis for invoices,
  • Fixed form matching via ABBYY FormReader,
  • Flexible form matching via ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio.

 

Recognition of special Black Letter or Fraktur scripts is available through a special Runtime License entitled FineReader XIX.

 

Pricing varies according to the number of pages processed and scales accordingly.

Trial Version

A fully-functional time-limited trial version of ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1 runs for 60 days, allowing customers to process only a certain number of pages. To obtain a trial version of FineReader Engine 7.1 please contact corresponding ABBYY office or fill out the electronic form at the ABBYY Web site.

Availability

FineReader Engine 7.1 consists of a set of Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) and is accessible through a standard programming interface, which conforms to the COM (Component Object Model) standard, supporting development environments such as C/C++, Visual Basic, and Visual Studio.Net.

 

The product is scheduled to ship in the middle of October 2004. The product version with Network License Manager is scheduled to be at the end of November 2004.

 

Information on licensing models, pricing, and other technical information is available through a local ABBYY Office or partner. For additional product information and sales information, please visit http://www.abbyy.com/.

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