DEVONthink Pro Office is Available

Icon DEVONthink Pro OfficeLast month I had announced that we’d send DEVONthink Pro Office to our team of beta testers. Now, we’ve released it as a public beta for all of you! Check out our updated product page including the unique features and the screenshots. Compare it with the other editions of DEVONthink. And, finally, DOWNLOAD and TRY it!

In short, these are the main new features:

  • Professional email archiving
  • Paper capture for flatbed scanners
  • Integrated optical character recognition (OCR)
  • Special support for the Fujitsu ScanSnap
  • Integrated web server for searching
    (“My private little search engine” ;-))

Read more also on our News page.

27 Responses to “DEVONthink Pro Office is Available”

  1. Romeo Mariano says:

    I wish that DEVONThink Pro would have a bibliography manager – have functionality like Bookends.

    This would expand on it’s ability to organize data. But it would do so in such a way as to make it highly more useful for scientists, researchers, students, writers, authors, lawyers, doctors, other professionals, etc.

    When you have a lot of data organized, it would be great to use it to create new works – which would require the ability to create a bibliography of resources that allowed you to create that work.

    Currently, DEVONthink primarily is a grouping of files which is searcheable. However, it does not have much advantage over organizing your own files in folders of various subject names, then searching through it using Spotlight. I already have the scanning and OCR functionality by using Adobe Acrobat and various scanners includding the Fujitsu ScanSnap. e-Mail is already searcheable using Spotlight.

    Thus DEVONthink Pro Office has no advantage to the built-in Mac OS X facilities plus Adobe Acrobat.

    Adding a bibliography manager to DEVONthink would make it an instantly killer application. The center of organization for any writer, student, researcher, doctor, lawyer, academic, etc. etc.

    Further, having a bibliography manager that can instantly search MedLine would be a killer feature.

    It would be killer if DEVONthink would add Bookend’s capabilities.

    As such I do not think DEVONthink Pro Office offers much over Mac OS X, Mail, Spotlight, and Adobe Acrobat.

    In fact, it is far more convenient to use Mac OS X and spotlight to organize files than to use DEVONthink – I don’t have to wait for DEVONthink to start up, for example.

  2. slashj says:

    To pip in on Romeo’s comments re: bib support. I am a neuroscientist and currently I use a combination of Sente, Devon and Tinderboz for research and Word for writing.

    I combine sente and devon by letting sente handle all the actual pdf papers while linking with Devon to provide the heuristics for search and classify. The “suggestion” feature is a killer.

    I think the ROI in implementing bib support in devon is not that high. It’s easy to do a simple one but not trivial to do one as good as bookends or sente. With the downside of making devon bloated with functions.

    I do have a question to the developers of devon, though. What is the future path for Devonthink Pro? Now that devon Office is out is Pro going to be progressively phased out with little development emphasis? Like some, I don’t need OCR functions or web search. I am taken aback by this latest development as it seems to be a strange detour to the product line and one that will take away development resources from the “core” products. cheers.

  3. webmaster says:

    slashj: No DEVONthink Pro Office is just an addition to DEVONthink Pro, consisting basically of a number of plugins to DEVONthink Pro (this is why we just added “Office” without replacing “Pro”.) And its not a detour, it’s an extension.

  4. pfig says:

    romeo, what are you talking about? have you ever tried “see also”?

    and if you’re a programmer, try throwing your dev tree at devonthink and then see what you could package/modularise/turn into a function/etc (besides the obvious “search for that bit of code i wrote 3 years ago”).

  5. Frank says:

    Congratulations – DEVONthink Pro Office indeed is a step ahead on the way to a paperless (small) office. I shortly tested the new features – which I really loved to hear about – and this is what I still suggest to improve (I hope, this is the right place for this and my English is not too bad):

    1. When it comes to produce an image-over-text-PDF ReadIris always uses to output a full-colour-image even if you had put in a black-and-white-image. The result is an remarkably increased file size due to the embedded colour information and maybe some loss of quality due to JPEG compression and perhaps change in image resolution. This is a general (and very annoying) issue with the entry level version of ReadIris Software. Better you let the ReadIris engine only produce a text-only PDF, then (by a separate routine) set its text colour to transparent and add the resulting PDF as watermark layer to the original image PDF put in by file or scanner. So the original image is preserved while the file is searchable and not too big as well. An additional RTF output option would make the feature complete.

    2. To use DEVONthink also as an email archive solution is a good idea, but what, if I will have to export my email onto another platform or program in future times for whatever reason? Then I will still need to have my email in a native email format other email programs can import. So as long as DEVONthink stores email as RTF or text-only files it cannot be my choice to store my whole email archive, for reasons of future compatibility.

    3. There seem to be still some problems with German umlauts and similar characters at the email import. Probably not a big thing.

    4. (This is not new to the Pro Office version, but already appears at recent Pro version). In the preferences I cannot choose an external backup destination. Instead the backups are stored into the recent database. I don’t know, whether this is a bug or a feature, but I would prefer to have to option to automatically back up my complete database to another location by DEVONthink app, too.

    5. Please make DEVONthink handle Excel files.

    Thanks again for not just sitting on the balcony and drinking way to much tea 😉

    Kind regards,

    Frank

  6. I both disagree and agree with Romeo. DT has a specific function and unless you are going to make a huge branch out, bib. management is not your game. But, working with a bib. manager is sorely needed, as you hear over and over again.

    Why not make the next branch out DEVONthink Academic? Work with Bookends and Mellel and get an integrated writer’s suite happening (finally!) on the mac. PC users have this in Nota Bene- and I loathe being jealous of PC users. This would cure it. You can charge extra dollars for the extensions necessary to interact with these two programs. Mellel and Bookends already have a working partnership, DT just needs to join the alliance. This would bring so many new clients for you guys, I just can’t believe you don’t see that. I was recently at a conference where Nota Bene was and thousands of people were looking at Nota Bene, hundreds buying it. I even met mac users who decided to run parallels in order to use Nota Bene. And Nota Bene costs like $500! This is a big piece of pie that these three companies can together decide to enter in to. DEVONthink Academic- let it be so!

  7. webmaster said: “DEVONthink Pro Office is just an addition to DEVONthink Pro, consisting basically of a number of plugins to DEVONthink Pro”

    Should we be expecting additional plug-ins as part of Pro Office? Are there other existing DEVONthink Pro plug-ins?

    I still feel that I’m scarcely scratching the surface of this software, but I really do appreciate extensibility. The thought that there may be more to come makes Pro Office more appealing to me.

  8. Zoran Grbic says:

    *** Hello,

    Since it’s a public beta, I presume it’s another way of saying “have a go at it”. I will gladly oblige:

    – “DEVONthink Pro Office”? Next release is to be called what: DEVONthink Pro Office Plus? Third version from now the product name will flow over how many lines? What is wrong with using simple version numbers?

    – Office it shall be: Why then doesn’t it support Excel files? And why is a Word document still converted into a RTF file upon import?

    The features are (maybe) interesting, but hardly worth a new product launch. You’d be better off simplifying things. Four different versions for the same product? There’re two too many.

    Greetings.

  9. Annard Brouwer says:

    Frank: this is a problem with AppleScript and 8 bit encoded email messages. If you use the Mail plugin, the raw message data is used and thus there should be no problems with “special” characters.

  10. Bob says:

    Works fantastic in combination with the Epson Stylus DX6000. OCR (with dutch language) is amazingly. Thanks for this great app!

    Bob

  11. webmaster says:

    Frank: ad 4) This is a yet unimplemented function. See the online help 🙂 ad 5) Blame Microsoft. The Excel file format is undocumented and proprietary to Microsoft. But, we’re aware of the problem and may find a solution.

  12. webmaster says:

    Zoran: No, DEVONthink Pro Office is an extension to Pro, thence the name. The version numbers will continue to grow, the next one being 1.3. The name “Office” means that it is most likely to be used in the office. No relation to Microsoft Office.

  13. Adrian says:

    I purchased teh update from Pro to Pro Office instantly, only for SnapScan integration/OCR. Yes – there is similar handling of OCR and scanning in Acrobat (8) but that is a 900 MB belemoth that costs … twice as much). It’s a matter of integration in a reasonabily fast and accurate program. I can integrate all my faxes (from pagesender), emails (from Entourage – by the way – slow import), research documents (PDFs) in a common interface. It might be that each of its parts has better options, but as a sum of parts – it really offers me an almost paperless office.

    And now for the “please consider”:
    – Office document imports (at least the ultrageneric DOCs, PPTs (a must) and XLSes. For now I am still using the save to PDF for the PPT slideshows and import them in DTP(O).
    – Mellel is a must. Now – they migrated toward an XML format since 2.1 – and in fact their file is just a container for a gzipped XML. So – it shouldn’t be REALLY a problem. Just a little bit of… communication between Redlers and Devon Technologies.
    – similarly the 2007 new formats are around XML and that shouldn’t be a significant problem (didn’t try it though – but that means working with Parallels and the whole shebang. The native doc, XLS and PPT handling are ubiquitous.

    In the SciFi requests – handling of the sound fiels would be nice. The API for that already exists in the Mac OSX API – and they plan significant voice services improvements in Leopard. 2 things to index: phone messages (aside faxes) and… taped conferences/talks and so one. Now that’s a thing to think about.

    Thank you – and yes – just make it slightly faster. It shows that is a beta (like ScanSnap-to-IRIS delay and IRIS to Devon kickback).

    A.C.D.

  14. […] Devon Technologies hat ein neues Produkt am Start, für knapp 115 Euro ein dicker Fisch, aber Devon Think Pro mit weiteren Features wie Email-Archivierung, eingebauten Webserver für die Archivierung und integriertem ORC ist nicht verkehrt gedacht. […]

  15. BC says:

    It looks at present that DTPO only allows you to apply OCR as you import images one at a time or from a single folder. My (thousands of) pdf documents are organized already in a directory hierarcy as a mixture of text- and image- based documents. The work around is to import the folder hierarchy and then identify and scan each image document into its individual location. Are there others looking for this functionality?

  16. Robert Stark says:

    Wanted to let you guys know that I like what I see so far. There is definitely room for growth, and when I have had more time with it I will let you know more detailed thoughts on that.

    I noticed some people talking about support for microsoft word files. Here is an idea for you. Have you guys considered using Lucene from Apache. Taken from their website: “Apache Lucene is a high-performance, full-featured text search engine library written entirely in Java. It is a technology suitable for nearly any application that requires full-text search, especially cross-platform.”

    I also read it was being ported to other languages.

    It supports a variety of document types including MS Word, PDF, html, xml.

    The reason I mention this is that I use OpenBase database for a content managment system. They have integrated Lucene into their database application, and since DevonThink is just a database, maybe it could work for you guys as well.

  17. webmaster says:

    Adrian — Regarding support for “ultrageneric” Office files: They are by no means generic, they’re proprietary to Microsoft and undocumented. But we’re already looking for a solution. Re. XML formats: They’re are not problematic unless you have a stylesheet. No stylesheel (like for Mellel) means WE need to write the complete stylesheet for rendering it, something that the makers of these formats could do way quicker. And, finally, DEVONthink supports all QuickTime sound files already 🙂

  18. webmaster says:

    BC: This was a licensing issue with IRIS, that has been solved today. We’re just adding this feature now.

  19. Robert: Using Lucene is not an option for us as we use a completely different architecture based on artifical intelligence. However, we will add support for Microsoft Office documents in a future version.

  20. David Green says:

    I would like to ‘save searches’ in Devonthink Pro and to be able to use them as ‘smart searches’. E.g. set up a search to capture ‘everything from the internet to do with sub-sahara africa but exclude computers and water supply’. This would be a small elaboration to reflect functionality I rely on in a Windows application called ‘Zoot’ (not a shameless promo!) when at work. Mac at home, of course.

  21. Do you plan to translate also the internal web server web pages into German? And perhaps can i change the weblayout with other css-files?

    Why are the PDF-Documents generated in DTPO so big (10x bigger that other)?

    Greetings, Torsten

  22. fm says:

    not directly linked to DTPO. When can we expect that DTO or DTPO can open multiple databases ?

  23. Thorsten: We may do this, yes. But we will not add the ability to use your own CSS stylesheets in DEVONthink. The PDF documents generated in DTPO are so large due to the IRIS OCR engine. We’ll try to add some of our own code to make the smaller.

  24. fm: In DEVONthink 2.0, due next year. This is a major change in the database structure, the UI, etc., not just adding plugins like with DTPO.

  25. […] I have been trying the new version of Devonthink Pro since it was released at the end of November. DEVONthink Professional Office is currently in beta testing, its full prince will be US$ 139.95, and its main features include: […]

  26. […] have been trying the new version of Devonthink Pro since it was released at the end of November. DEVONthink Professional Office is currently in beta testing, its full prince will be US$ 139.95, […]

  27. David says:

    I agree re the size of OCR. You should change the engine. No reason an OCR’d pdf should be 10x larger than the original.

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