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September 28, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:51pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Jot-It! Software Corp, the Canadian company that last year introduced its software post-it notes product for the desktop, has changed its name to Sideware Systems Inc. The name change was largely a result of pressure from 3M Corp which was threatening Jot-It! with legal action over what it perceived to be an infringement on its brand names. The small Vancouver-based company is readying its new groupware product, Net Notions, which essentially allows users to share and exchange notes that are attached to documents or web pages as well as communicate in real time without using an email application. The product is also being touted as perfect for internet commerce, as consumers can use the notes to instantly communicate with vendors about products being sold on the web. Sideware says its has a nice development partnership with Lotus Corp which is interested in the e-commerce potential of the product. The company is also working with Sun on a Java version of Net Notions which it will demonstrate (an Alpha version) at Comdex in November. Interestingly, Sideware has different units set up to work on the two products, just in case the big boys like what they see and want to buy up the part of Sideware that meshes with their own products. Net Notions should ship in October, and soon after Sideware will ship the latest version of its original single-user product, Tagalongs, which has new features such as a calendar function that allows users to send themselves messages at a later date. The Java version of Net Notions should be out in mid-1998. The cornerstone of all Sideware’s products is the proprietary and patented Concurrent Technology, developed by the company in 1986. The software creates an environment where a program can run parallel to another application and interact with it, without affecting the integrity of it. Invisible to the user, the Concurrent Engine sits in the background watching all the inputs and outputs of the keyboard and mouse screen. Then it creates links to trigger interactive activities between applications without altering the applications or documents. The company likes to think of this kind of software that runs aside other applications as sideware, akin to the nomenclature of middleware. Through changing its name to Sideware Systems, the firm hopes to raise awareness of this particular kind of software, and foster a new market.

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