2002 Consensus Software Awards
MegaLex (Version 2.2)/eComPress
MegaLex is an electronic dictionary publishing system, which integrates all the aspects of a powerful electronic dictionary publication that is extremely fast and easy-to-use, with a publication that is permanently compressed, and uniquely encoded in an ideal manner to facilitate its secure online sale and delivery.
Eurofield Information Solutions Pty. Ltd.
Eurofield Information Solutions Pty Ltd, a proudly Australian-owned company based in Sydney, nominates for the 2002 Consensus Software Awards.
1. Brief Product Description
1.1 Eurofield Information Solutions has invested more than $2.5 million over the past nine years in the development of the EIS eComPress electronic publishing technology, which forms the basis for the EIS MegaLex electronic dictionary publishing system.
1.2 eComPress is a bit oriented data compression system that incorporates a unique encoding system, with an indexing system that indexes all the content in the compressed, encoded form. Each eComPress publication has a unique encoding algorithm to protect the integrity of the content in any electronic form. eComPress publications remain compressed at all times, and the indexing is exhaustive, indexing all words, numbers and alphanumerics.
1.3 MegaLex is a purpose-built application of the eComPress technology to a structured database used for a dictionary. MegaLex provides an ideal demonstration of the power of eComPress to compress data that does not respond to traditional compression techniques. MegaLex also provides an ideal environment to support the superiority of the eComPress technology to facilitate the efficient secure online sale and delivery of large reference works like dictionaries.
1.4 The MegaLex Macquarie Concise Dictionary is currently available by secure on-line sale and Internet download. Incorporating the Macquarie Concise Dictionary (3rd Edition), it provides more than 47,000 entries and 115,000 definitions. The MegaLex Macquarie Concise Dictionary always remains compressed to less than 4.5MB - enhancing its performance, and saving valuable disk space and online delivery time.
1.5 eComPress was selected by the Sydney 2000 Olympics Roundtable for the Australian Technology Showcase.
The ATS is an initiative of Australian governments to promote Australia as a source of innovative technology and advanced skills.
2.1.1 eComPress has been designed and developed to provide a powerful facility for users to analyse the contents of large reference works and readily use the results in e-mails and word processor documents. This functionality is complemented by a complete solution for the efficient and secure online sale and delivery of these publications over the Internet.
2.1.2 MegaLex is based on the EIS eComPress unique core software technology. This technology enables substantial dictionary publications to be readily utilised in conjunction with all MS Windows applications with extraordinary ease of use and speed, and to be securely sold and delivered over the Internet.
2.2 eComPress innovative features:
i) the compression is done at a bit level ii)
the compressed publication remains compressed at all times
iii) each publication is uniquely encoded at a bit level iv) eComPress publications are complete and include the viewer and index v) the indexing is not only smaller than competitors’ products, but is also exhaustive vi) eComPress publications include sophisticated integrated security vii) text and graphics publications can be mastered directly from MS Word
eComPress is ideal for structured data publications like dictionaries
2.3 Market Relevance
2.3.1 eComPress is a very important development for the publishing industry in Australia. Eurofield Information Solutions has produced an innovative core technology, which breaks down the distance handicap for the secure online sale and distribution of reference publications to global markets. The eComPress publishing system provides a superior alternative to various imported products, and an extraordinary opportunity for local publications to be sold transparently to the global market.
2.3.2 The Eurofield Information Solutions eComPress technology is ideal for the publication of ideographic language works, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The bit oriented nature of eComPress enables it to readily address the double byte characters, and the exhaustive indexing ensures that strings of characters involving common or trivial characters can be readily found using the built-in index. EIS is currently involved in dialogue with a prominent Japanese IT company and various potential Chinese partners.
2.4 Research & Development
2.4.1 All the research and development of the eComPress and MegaLex software was performed by the Eurofield Information Solutions development team in Australia.
2.4.2 In early 1999, Eurofield Information Solutions successfully obtained an R&D Start grant from the Federal Department of Industry Science and Resources to extend eComPress to operate in both the web server and user OS environment. Since that time, Eurofield Information Solutions has been developing Web eComPress to provide a platform independent publication environment to suit Web servers, Windows, Unix and various PDA tools and handheld appliances.
2.4.3 To ensure that the eComPress development team is aware of emerging trends within the information technology industry, a high emphasis is placed on the company and staff being members of a wide variety of technical forums, management and professional organisations, as well as attending related conferences.
3.1 eComPress Overview
The EIS eComPress Technology is a unique ATS Award Winning core technology developed by Eurofield Information Solutions in Australia to facilitate the secure electronic sale and delivery of publications electronically on disk, email or WWW download. The technology consists of five highly integrated modules: compression, encoding, indexing, security and authoring.
3.1.1 Compression - The eComPress technology incorporates a highly sophisticated and efficient bit compression system, where the publication remains compressed at all times. This feature provides considerable benefit by substantially reducing the size of the publication, there-by minimizing the time it takes to deliver a publication on-line, and the disk space it consumes on the users local hard disk or network server.
3.1.2 Encoding - The eComPress encoding system uniquely encodes each publication at a bit level. The uniquely encoded publication cannot be changed in any electronic form, and guarantees the integrity of the information in perpetuity.
3.1.3 Indexing - The eComPress bit compression and encoding are complemented by the eComPress indexing system. The publishing system indexes all words, numbers and alpha-numerics in the compressed, encoded form. All eComPress publications support logical searching and string searching, with any number of single (?) or multiple (*) character wild cards.
3.1.4 Security - The eComPress security protects the integrity of the information in transit using a 32 bit embedded CRC. eComPress also incorporates a secure locking
facility to provide for an eight hexadecimal character Authorisation Key to unlock the publication for eCommerce purposes. Various copyright protection solutions have been incorporated with eComPress publications, and can be tailored to the publishers’ requirements.
3.1.5 Authoring - The eComPress authoring system enables text and graphic publications to be readily processed directly from the RTF format saved from any MS Word document and most desktop publishing systems. There is no need to create a key-word list, as all words are indexed and searchable. eComPress also supports hypertext links and revision marks directly from your MS Word documents.
3.2 eComPress Achievements
3.2.1 EIS has provided eComPress electronic publications that have been delivered to millions of users for organisations including CPA Australia, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of NZ, Financial Planning Association, Department of Treasury, NSW Office of State Revenue, WA Treasury, NCCH, Shell, Zurich, Engineers Australia, CCH, CCH Asia, Prentice Hall and Macmillan.
3.2.2 The technology lends itself extremely well to handling double byte ideographic languages like Chinese and Japanese. eComPress is used by the Singapore based CCH ASIA for their bilingual traditional Chinese/English publications for the Hong Kong/China Market.
3.2.3 eComPress is ideal for the delivery of standards, professional association handbooks, tax guides, textbooks, legislation, statutory publications, manuals, prospectuses, annual reports and dictionaries. The Institution of Engineers Australia is selling their Rainfall and Runoff Standard from their website www.engaust.com.au. This publication uses the EIS eComPress technology and EIS facilitates the secure payment and delivery of this publication over the Internet.
3.3 MegaLex Overview
3.3.1The MegaLex Drag-on icon (shown at right) is a highly innovative and powerful user interface, that interfaces with all Windows based applications, including word processors and Internet browsers. Simply drag the word you wish to look up onto the MegaLex Drag-on, and the meaning of the word is instantly displayed.
3.3.2 MegaLex dictionaries also support dragging text out of the dictionary to other Windows applications; and between the Definitions and Headword search boxes, and from the definitions to these search boxes. The user can easily analyse words and their meanings in every way imaginable.
3.3.3 Powerful searching facility, enables searches for headwords or for words appearing within a definition (reverse dictionary).
3.3.4 Boolean and wildcard searching (by using an * or ?), allows searches for words you can’t spell, or to solve those difficult word games or crosswords like “TA????ADA?”.
3.3.5 Search for Australian colloquial meanings by specifying "colloq*" in the Definition Search box, to find the meaning of words such as "arvo", "you-beaut" and "jumbuck".
3.3.6 Phonetical pronunciations of words are spelt out using common words with MegaLex's ‘mouse over’ pronunciation assistant.
3.3.7 The eComPress technology used to compress the MegaLex Macquarie Concise Dictionary means that it occupies very minimal space, and inherently provides extremely efficient resource usage for very fast performance when installed on a LAN server, as well as a local hard drive.
3.4 MegaLex Achievements:
3.4.1 MegaLex Macquarie dictionaries have been successfully installed in many schools including Sydney's Pymble Ladies College, SCEGGS and Loreto Convent. It has also been installed in the Commonwealth Bureau Of Statistics throughout Australia, and the Gold Coast City Library.
3.4.2 Eurofield Information Solutions published the first MegaLex dictionary in 1994. This was a DOS based small Macquarie Dictionary published on one floppy disk. EIS sold more than 4,500 units of this publication through bookshops and Harvey Norman.
3.4.3 EIS is an Australian Government Endorsed Supplier for the MegaLex Macquarie Dictionary publications.
3.5 System Requirements:
MegaLex dictionaries are compatible with all PCs using any Windows operating system, from Windows 3.1 through to the newly released Windows XP. Individual or multiple users (LAN network or site licenses) are also available.
3.6 Secure on-line Sale & Delivery:
EIS currently offers the Concise MegaLex through the secure product web site, located at http://www.megalex.com.au; fully automated and secure, the MegaLex Web Site will provide customers with the product instantly through a download, and will email their product Authorisation Key and tax invoice following the order processing. The MegaLex Macquarie Concise Dictionary and the Mini MegaLex Macquarie Dictionary are available for secure on-line sale and download at $44.95 and $24.95 respectively, inclusive of GST.
4.1 Marketing Strategy
4.1.1 The new MegaLex Macquarie dictionaries with the Drag-on interface are being launched to Australian educational institutions in 2002. The objective is to license 1000 schools and libraries to use the product in either network or site license configurations this year. This will be followed up with marketing initiatives to license the MegaLex publications to government, professional and corporate organisations.
4.1.2 The Internet strategy is principally focused on selling the publications through affiliate partnerships with other strategic websites. EIS has established affiliate partnerships with macquariedictionary.com.au, emailcash.com.au and australia.edu. We are also in negotiations with Dick Smith Electronics (dse.com.au) to become an affiliate partner. This strategy also extends to encouraging schools to become affiliate partners and promote the product to their students with the benefit of being able to obtain a margin on the product sold through their web site.
4.1.3 The strategy also includes initiatives to obtain the rights to various other dictionaries that have both local and international appeal.
4.2 MegaLex Technical Summary
4.2.1 MegaLex is an ideal dictionary solution for every Windows-based PC, with any Windows based applications.
4.2.2 The technology has been designed to run with all Windows-based PCs from Windows 3.1 through 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP. MegaLex also interfaces directly with all Windows-based applications that support the drag-and-drop feature, including all Microsoft applications, Netscape and WordPerfect. Provided you can highlight a word in the application and drag it to the MegaLex Drag-on icon, the meaning can be displayed instantly.
4.2.3 The small MegaLex Drag-on icon can be configured to automatically be launched on power up of the PC system, and remain on top of the desktop for instant access to the meaning of words from any Windows application. The MegaLex Drag-on icon can be maintained permanently on the desk-top, where it can be conveniently positioned to ensure that it does not interfere with other applications.
4.2.4 The MegaLex publication is so small and so fast that it does not interfere with other applications, and also supports large numbers of users in a network environment. This provides an extremely cost-effective solution to provide universal access for users on local area networks to fast access to a dictionary.
4.2.5 eComPress publications can be compressed to a small fraction of their original size. The Macquarie Concise Dictionary is more than 30 MB of raw data including index, the eComPress MegaLex Macquarie Concise Dictionary publication including viewer and index is permanently compressed to less than 4.5Mb.
4.3 MegaLex Future Development
Enhancements to include:
Integrated thesaurus capability
PDA and electronic handheld appliance capability
Future product developments:
Application to other English and foreign language dictionaries
Application to bilingual dictionaries
Application to specialised technical dictionaries
5. Other information
5.1 Eurofield Information Solutions Pty Ltd, a proudly Australian-owned company with its headquarters in Sydney, has developed an innovative new electronic publishing system, that can be readily applied to any language internationally, and is ideal for the secure online sale and delivery of large reference publications on any medium including the Internet.
5.2 Eurofield Information Solutions started trading in Sydney in 1992, and has delivered millions of publications utilising the eComPress technology to users throughout Australia and overseas.
5.3 EIS‘s ability to develop highly sophisticated core software technology is embodied in our highly qualified and experienced development team. The development team has more than 50 years experience in software development, that includes in-depth skills ranging from assembler, through C/C++ to Java. This broad skill base coupled with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, has enabled EIS to keep all software development in-house, including the user interfaces for the Asian publications.
5.4 Eurofield Information Solutions is well placed to become a major player in providing complete electronic publishing solutions that are ideal for the secure online sale and delivery on the Internet.
EIS is committed to provide our client's commercial advantage, through the licensing of innovative technology for the electronic publication and distribution of reference information.
MegaLex (Version 2.2)/eComPress
Eurofield Information Solutions Pty. Ltd.
ABN 91 003 383 506
Level 3, 8 Help Street (PO Box 5607),
Chatswood NSW 2067 AUSTRALIA
Phone: (02) 9411 3711
Fax: (02) 9411 3777
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Dr Robert Minard
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