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Toronto, Canada-based Lava Systems Inc has released version 5.0 of its Lava document management, imaging and workflow software, claiming its pushing the document management envelope by providing access to desktop information systems. Version 5.0 links existing applications such as transaction processing environments including SAP AG, JD Edwards & Co Inc and Peoplesoft Inc with Lava Enabler to access applications such as claims processing and manufacturing control systems. Lava treats file types by using specific drivers for each document type stored and indexed within the system, including spreadsheets, word processor documents, presentation graphics, and project management objects. New features include Lava Workflow Designer for graphically building workflow scripts; graphical workload reporting tools for optimising workflow patterns; Lava Workspace for working with multiple unrelated documents and Lava Stapler for creating visual links between related documents. Other new features include Lava Enabler Designer, a 32-bit extension to Lava Enabler, and Lava Cold – developed with fellow Canadians Hitec Labs Inc – for putting computer output on to laser disk. A Lava Toolkit divides up C-level application programming interfaces. Lava Enabler provides hot links to the screen elements of business applications, such as SAP R/3, JD Edwards, and Oracle Apps, enabling calls to Lava components from back-office applications. It utilizes a rules-based interface that can access multiple hosts including IBM AS/400s and mainframes. Most of its competitors also run a line of business applications, admits Lava’s general manager for Europe Brenda Weldon, often from within a Windows-based terminal emulation package. But the difference with Lava Enabler is that commands based on a series of keyword parameters can be sent to the core Lava system from any line of business application, as well as from sessions running in terminal emulation windows. The company has 200 employees, with twenty based in the UK. It’s working on a ‘Lava on Java’ version for later on in the year. Lava is compliant with the Open Document Management Applications programming interface specification. It is available on most Unixes and Windows NT.


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