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DEVONthink Professional preview, public beta

updated 05:40 pm EDT, Wed June 15, 2005


has released details on its long anticipated DEVONthink Professional. While a few features are already available with DEVONthink Personal, the Professional edition "brings the real gems now", says Eric Boehnisch-Volkmann, President of DEVONtechnologies. "DEVONthink Professional is much more than a simple document database. It's a work environment. The true paperless office for the Mac." Contrary to the home-user-centric DEVONthink Personal, DEVONthink Professional easily handles multiple databases and allows users to split up their information collection into several smaller databases for specific projects. Databases are simply packages and can be copied, e-mailed and backuped like any other file or folder. A Public Beta is immediately available for download, with the final version expected in August.

A new data type are records and sheets which hold table-like data like reference lists, information collections or any other type of structured data. Sheets and records combine the database-oriented approach of records with a comfortable table-like view for easy entering and managing structured data.

DEVONthink Professional comes with a "larger AppleScript dictionary than every other Mac application today." Using scripts, DEVONthink Professional can be extended in many ways, and with folder actions the integration into custom workflows is "just a matter of AppleScript skills." Special attention has also been paid to triggered scripts than can be attached to groups or documents in the database. Groups with triggered scripts can for example collect items containing certain words (like smart folders in the Finder of Mac OS X Tiger) or automatically connect to an RSS feed, download all new items and store them as text files. The generated news articles mark themselves as read when they are viewed, again by using an attached triggered AppleScript.

Users can use the new download manager for downloading complete websites and storing them for offline editing and browsing in the database as well as the possibility to save single web pages as Mac OS X standard "webarchives". Webarchives can even be edited in WYSIWYG directly in DEVONthink Professional. The built-in Safari-based web browser handles RSS, RDF, RSD and Atom newsfeeds, effectively making DEVONthink Professional also a comfortable news reader and aggregator.

DEVONthink Professional supports more file formats than the Personal edition and comes with brand-new import/export plug-ins. In addition to text files, rich texts, Microsoft Word documents, HTML/XML, webarchives, PDFs and PostScript files, images, movies and MP3s, DEVONthink Professional exchanges data with OmniOutliner, all OPML compliant applications, BibTeX, iData 2 and the Mac OS X address book. The new website export plug-in lets users publish information from DEVONthink readily prepared for their homepage, and an iPod export plug-in converts selected documents for viewing on-the-go. No other application on the Mac has ever been so open for all kind of standard file formats.

Other features created with the professional user in mind are the full screen mode, which allows to write and browse without any interface clutter, the Mail-like three panes view for easy navigation and two Dashboard widgets for searching the database and for quickly jotting down notes in DEVONthink Professional. Finally, DEVONthink Professional has no restriction on the number of PDFs and images in the database, and it comes with a comprehensive tutorial written completely in DEVONthink Professional itself.

by MacNN Staff



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