Executive Summary

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-08-26 Print this article Print

: Asksam 5.0"> Executive Summary: Asksam 5.0

Usability Good
Capability Good
Performance Good
Interoperability Fair
Manageability Poor
Scalability Fair
Security Fair
AskSams templates provide a way to impose a structure on large collections of documents or spreadsheets, making it a good tool for searching for data in these kinds of files. Its less useful as a data entry tool, lacking many features found in desktop databases.


At $150 or $395 (with faster operation being the main difference between the two versions), AskSam is an inexpensive purchase. The hidden cost will be the ongoing management of data stored in AskSam databases—data that wont be accessible to other database systems or reporting tools.

(+) Now imports data from Acrobat PDF files; imports e-mail documents from several popular desktop e-mail programs; Version 5.0 makes it easier to change the format of existing forms in an AskSam database; can link to or embed original documents at import time for reference; new programming API.

(-) Lacks standard data validation tools found in databases, making data entry errors more likely; lacks graphing and charting in its reports; cannot import e-mail data from Notes or Exchange servers; no standard data access API for external software packages.

  • FileMakers FileMaker Pro
  • Any of the big relational databases (all include full-text search engines now)
  • Portals such as Plumtree Software Inc.s Plumtree Corporate Portal
  • www.asksam.com/brochure.asp

    Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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