ABBYY Europe, a member of the ABBYY Group and a leading provider of intelligent document recognition and linguistic technologies, today announced ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1, a new version of its software development platform and toolkit for building recognition capabilities into Windows applications. Version 7.1 breaks new ground by combining ABBYY OCR, ICR, OMR, and bar code recognition technologies with new support for processing fixed forms and semi-structured forms and documents, making it the most comprehensive software development kit (SDK) for data capture and document conversion currently available.
The Most Comprehensive SDK for Data Capture and Document Conversion
ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1 is a software development kit (SDK) for integrating ABBYY recognition technologies into new or existing applications. Unlike any other offering in this class, FineReader Engine 7.1 offers developers access to technologies in two major areas: document conversion and data capture - within a single environment:
1. Document Conversion
FineReader 7.1 Engine offers one of the widest ranges of technologies for analysing images and converting scanned documents or PDF files into editable and searchable text. Its strength is demonstrated in: Multiple Recognition Types and Languages: The FineReader Engine 7.1 platform covers the range of document print types and languages. It reads: machine print (OCR), handprint (ICR), check mark (OMR), and Barcodes (OBR). FineReaders extensive language support includes 186 machine print languages with special modules for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, 90 handprint languages in 22 handwriting styles, and 1D and 2D barcodes. It also supports the industrys first omnifont OCR solution for reading Fraktur, Schwabacher, and Gothic type fonts from the 17-20th centuries known as Black Letter scripts.
- Intelligent PDF Conversion: Advanced PDF conversion capabilities will open and process PDF files using an intelligent opening process that combines: recognition of the image layer, extraction of the text layer, and use of Adobe PDF Library technology. In addition to high PDF conversion accuracy, FineReader Engine supports conversion of files with special encoded fonts. PDF output capabilities include support for four formats and saving of edited PDF files and PDFs optimised for Web publishing.
- Input and Output Formats for All Types of Functions: FineReader Engine 7.1 supports a broad range of input and output formats to suit a variety of tasks. Input image formats include BMP, PCX, DCX, JPEG, PNG, TIF and PDF while document saving formats include DOC, RTF, PDF, HTML, PPT, TXT, XLS, DBF, and three types of XML (Native XML, ASCII XML, and MS Word XML).
- Sophisticated Image Pre-and-Post Processing: FineReader Engine offers a variety of image processing features including image deskewing, rotation, inversion, despeckling, and scaling, as well as page analysis functions such as auto-detection, page orientation, text blocks, tables, and vertical text.
- Superior Layout Analysis: FineReader Engine retains the exact look of the original documents. It recreates the layout and formatting, including columns, tables, vertical text, and font attributes. ABBYY's technologies ensure high accuracy even on documents with complex layouts, or text on low contrast backgrounds, and poor quality images. The precisely composed results can then be exported to formats like DOC, RTF or PDF for the future editing or archiving.
2. Data Capture
FineReader Engine 7.1 also supports automatic capture of data from forms and other documents for export into information management systems and databases. Its range of data capture capabilities include:
- Fixed Form Processing via ABBYY FormReader: The new Engine 7.1 works in conjunction with ABBYY FormReader, a form processing application that extracts data from fixed forms such as questionnaires, exams, bulletins, customer claim forms, etc. The developer can use the FormReader application to design a form from scratch (using ABBYYs FormDesigner application) or to create a template for existing forms (using the FormReader Template Editor), and then import the template into the recognition engine, extending the end application with fixed-form processing capabilities.
- Flexible Form Processing via ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio: FineReader Engine 7.1 also supports ABBYY FlexiCapture technology, an intelligent technology for processing semi-structured forms and documents. Engine 7.1 works with ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio, a tool that allows developers to create FlexiLayouts which describe the type of semi-structured forms/documents and define rules for locating the desired data.
- Document Analysis for Invoices: This special document analysis tool is designed as a pre-processing engine for converting special semi-structured documents such as invoices, payment drafts, checks, and transfers. The purpose of this pre-processing mode is to uncover as much text on documents (mentioned above) as possible, including characters and numbers even if text information is located within stamps, logos or in fine print areas. As a result, the maximum amount of information about the text, including its co-ordinates, is available for analysis, field-by-field processing, and parsing at subsequent processing stages by other systems.
Integrated and Modular Solution Suitable for a Variety of Markets
With its new feature set, FineReader Engine 7.1 has much more to offer for developers, VARS, Integrators, and corporate IT departments working on document management solutions. Its various functions support a full range of document conversion and data capture applications: archiving and document processing, control and verification systems, fax processing, invoice processing, form processing, digital mail room applications, Intranet archiving systems, and many more. As a result, developers can now address different corporate departments or markets, using a single platform and development environment.
FineReader Engines wide range of functionality can easily be customised to suit multiple tasks in different departments of one organisation or can be used by an outsourcing agency to serve multiple clients. The developer benefits from quicker development and training by working with one underlying technology. Plus, FineReader Engines functionality is offered in a modular structure, so that a developer need only choose the functions he or she needs.
ABBYY FineReader Engine 7.1 also offers a Network License Manager (NLM), a new tool which makes managing and distribution of licenses between stations in a network easier and more flexible. Developers can set up a single license in a network for several workstations, concurrent or non-concurrent, or establish a shared page counter for use by all workstations across a network.
According to Alexander Rylov, technology licensing manager for ABBYY, FineReader Engines new all-in-one offering is ideal for developers working with large corporations and service bureaus (such as business process outsourcing organisations BPOs). Data capture and document management processes are used by many different departments within an organisation for a variety of different tasks contract archiving, invoice processing, order processing, package tracking, to name a few, explained Rylov. Using FineReader Engine, developers can incorporate the required recognition technologies, all from a single environment. A company that starts with a document archiving application, can easily add invoice processing at a later date by simply adding a new FineReader Engine module. This makes their entire document processing system more efficient as a result.
Licensing Policy and Add-on Modules
FineReader Engine 7.1 is offered in Developer Licences and Runtime Licences. Developer Licences grant access to the FineReader Engine platform and programming interface for use in developing applications using FineReader technology. Runtime Licences are purchased for distribution of applications into which FineReader has been incorporated.
To make it easy for developers to purchase only the specific functionality that they need, Runtime Licences are offered in three pre-defined Licence Kits with a series of add-on modules with specific functionality. Developers can customise their FineReader Engine package by simply purchasing the corresponding add-on modules:
PDF opening and recognition
CJK (Chinese Japanese and Korean) OCR
2D-barcodes (PDF 417)
Document analysis for invoices
Fixed form matching via ABBYY FormReader
Flexible form matching via ABBYY FlexiCapture Studio
Recognition of special Black Letter or Fraktur scripts is available through a special Runtime Licence entitled FineReader XIX.