updated 12:30 am EST, Tue February 21, 2012
Keeps relevant documents, webpages to hand
Productivity and research software maker Devon Technologies has launched two products that constantly analyze what user is working on and keep relevant documents, contacts, media, e-mails and other content in a quickly-accessible list for instant access. DevonSphere Express searches a user's Mac or webpages on the Internet, while DevonSphere Server brings Devon technology to the server level.
The DevonSphere Express program functions as a menubar item and keeps relevant material from the user's own hard drive available in a list; it can also search websites looking for related content when the user is working with a browser. The principle idea is that having ready access to relevant material will keep the user focused on the task and less prone to distractions which may occur while trying to find related content themselves.
All the user needs to do is select a file in Finder, open a web page in a browser, or selects text using the Services menu. Users can add the found related content to Safari's Reading List or view and select results directly from the menubar. The service can even be used as an alternative to Spotlight due to its support of Boolean operators, wildcards, ranges and parentheses. Users have control over what local content is pre-indexed, and searchable items can include in DevonThink Pro databases.
DevonSphere Server brings the same advanced searching technology used in DevonThink and DevonAgent to servers. The technology enables users to build unique, specialized search engines that incorporate local data as well as related content from the Internet. The program doesn't require specialized hardware, and supports UNIX-style complex search queries as well as fuzzy logic.
The program can even extract related data from linked or embedded objects inside other documents such as PDF files or programming code snippets. It also features a plug-in architecture to support additional "search agents" without having to update the main application.
The technology can use up to 16 CPUs -- on a Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM, DevonSphere Server can index up to two million documents. Output options include HTML over RSS, XML/XLST, JSON and Bonjour.
DevonSphere Express requires 10.6.6 and at least 2GB of RAM. It is selling for $5 until the end of March on the Mac App Store. DevonSphere Server is only available to select enterprise customers, and pricing has not yet been announced.