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ROCK HILL, SC, October 15, 1998 - For Immediate Release

Life Before the Spectrum Imaging System

Q. As an application developer, why do I need Spectrum?

A. CRT Systems did not set out to create Spectrum as a product for use by other application developers. Rather, since 1984, CRT Systems has been involved deploying V/BOSS, a leading Veterinary Medical and Business Vertical Application. V/BOSS was originally developed as a character oriented UNIX® based application.

In 1996, V/BOSS was ported to the Windows 95® environment. During the course of development and the Beta testing process, several images such as pictures of patients, and X-ray images were requested by our end users and incorporated into the product. During each version’s introduction, user interest in the graphical objects featured in the product was very high. In fact, more interest was shown for the images than the Graphical User Interface (GUI) features we were incorporating into the product.

The problems and impediments of coding the graphical objects directly into the product were great. The first obstacle of course was that source code needed to be generated in each part of the application where graphical objects were to be displayed. Also the design of the screens and windows needed to take into account that objects were to be displayed.

A more severe problem, however was that the application is used extensively by computer operators who have little of no computer expertise. Although we at CRT Systems were always successful in capturing an image, when an image was to be incorporated into the system by one of our end-users, the following inefficiencies were soon uncovered:

  1. An application needed to be launched external to V/BOSS to capture the image. Since various applications are distributed with various cameras, scanners and other devices, no "standards" could be established. Training and documentation was very difficult.
  2. It was difficult to insure that the operator would perform the necessary actions to insure that the proper size and resolution values were applied to the images.
  3. Different applications export different image types. JPG, BMP and TIF images are common, but others could be expected. Our development environment for V/BOSS only supported BMP images at that time, so conversions were necessary to insure that the resultant images were exported in the supported format.
  4. The most sever problem, however, was the naming of the resultant image. The operator needed to be cognizant of the naming convention our application required. It was virtually impossible to train the operators as to how to name an image in order for our application to find and display it.

If the acquisition and naming process was successful, many limitations still existed which were solved with Spectrum:

  1. Since various application use differing methods of applying annotations to the images (if at all), and the limited capabilities of our original COBOL environment, annotations were impossible.
  2. Search for keywords associated with the images did not exist.
  3. Using the images in Telemedicine environment required the use of still other external applications. Training and documentation became ever more difficult.

 

It soon became quite evident that we should remove the image processing from the main application and develop an external application that would perform all of tasks required by our users. Version 1 of Spectrum accomplished our requirements. Upon the successful introduction of that Spectrum release, developers of other applications (as well as our competitors) approached us, for resale of our imaging software. Release 2 was subsequently developed and deployed with a wide range of inter-program ("calling") interfaces to third party front-end applications. CRT Systems has done all of the work for you! Today, with Spectrum, a full-featured Object Database may be incorporated into virtually any development environment in a matter of a few hours.

Q. How about a real-world example of what Spectrum Imaging System can do for me?

A. Ok! You have an application requiring several different multimedia presentations for a Real Estate or time-share Application. You need to manage all aspects of a Condo’s Development, Marketing, Sales, and On-going Maintenance. The legal and sales team as well as the back office will use this integrated computer application. Your software already handles some of the demographic data and lead handling requirements, but needs a flashy imaging component. You must display the units’ floor plans as well as the building’s exterior and interior photos. Video Clips of happy owners enjoying the property’s tennis courts as well as sail boat race being contended in the near by cove will surely make the Sales Manager’s mouth water. Oh, yes! I forget to tell let you in on one tiny detail. To get your sale or budget approved, your application needs to be working on Friday afternoon! That’s when a buss load of foreign investors is dropping to view the property.

That’s what Spectrum does so well! Since your application passes information to Spectrum upon invocation, Spectrum appears to your end users as an integral part of YOUR application.

 

With the Spectrum Imaging System, you just decide on how the data should be organized. In this case, you might decide that the Interest-id (usually assigned to time share and condo properties) is the main key. Using your application or Spectrum’s "Judicial Point of View" as a front-end, start Spectrum. A myriad of features allowing the acquisition and capture of the various object (images, etc) are provided to easily associate the pictures and other objects to the Interest-id. Once the associations are made, these objects form our "virtual folder". On subsequent iterations of Spectrum, all of the objects forming the "virtual folders" are available for viewing, printing, mailing, etc.

Check out our Demo CD. Learn the POWER of Spectrum! You’ll be glad you did!

For additional information about Spectrum, please visit our Web Site http://www.spectrum.crtsys.com.

CRT Systems, Inc. • 742 North. Anderson Road • Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730

(803) 327-9030 • (800) 826-7740 • FAX (803) 327-9029 • www.spectrum.crtsys.com