: Asksam 5.0"> Executive Summary: Asksam 5.0
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 databasesdata 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. EVALUATION SHORT LIST
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