Elecat e-paper product catalog software
Elepub profits from an older brother called Elecat, and they both understand one another perfectly! Elecat was designed and developed to make existing paper product catalogs electronically usable both locally installed on a PC and in HTML on the Internet.
Elecat presents pages visually the way there are on paper but with intelligent page components, which can be automatically linked to the integrated database. It is based on CDF, the Catalog Data Format, which is a one file format containing all possible data types and which also supports an automatic update system.
Although Elecat specially supports the electronic use of existing paper catalogs, which originally were not designed for electronic use, it also fully supports catalogs, which were generated by Elepub. Otherwise they could not be called real brothers, could they?
Elecat feature overview
Elecat is the unique e-paper product catalog software and the elder brother of Elepub:
- Elecat is a unique page-based electronic product catalog system with integrated database
- makes existing paper catalogs intelligently usable on a PC and on the Internet
- distributes paper catalogs imported from DTP formats or PDF and/or from Elepub
- offers a reader software for electronic paper catalogs
- with an included order processing system
- was developed to also distribute pages generated by Elepub
- can generate catalogs into HTML fully preserving the original layout
- is based on CDF, the unique, intelligent Catalog Data Format capable of containing all data types
- and offers an electronic update system over the Internet.
Elecat interprets page object behavior
Elecat is especially capable of interpreting the behavior attributes, which can be added to page objects by Elepub. This enables new types of applications where catalog pages, which were originally designed for paper, can be used on a PC or on the Internet with all the advantages of modern IT and especially of databases.
Elecat supports Internet and CD-ROM and hybrid systems
With Elecat you will not have to decide between CD-ROM or the Internet for distributing your data, because Elecat supports both media - and especially mixed hybrid solutions.
Hybrid solutions are especially useful where permanent fast and cheap access to the Internet is not always available - and that is the case for the vast majority of PC users even in highly industrialized countries. In many or rather most cases they many have Internet access but not for every PC, not permanently, not fast enough for data-heavy real-time applications and not for free - but rather at very high costs.
Permanent, fast and cheap Internet access is still rather rare, while CD-ROM drives are available in about 99% of all PCs!
Therefore, it often makes sense to distribute initial large volume and rather static data on CD-ROM and to recommend the Internet for small and regular updates. This is exactly what Elecat supports to the best possible!
Please refer to www.elecat.com for further details.
The Elecat import process
The process of importing catalogs into Elecat is very simple and straightforward:
1a) Typically PDF is imported
PDF can be created by absolutely any DTP, graphics or word processing software and any application. Elecat reads PDF files and converts this data into CDF, the Catalog Data Format inherent to Elecat. After the import article numbers and page numbers contained on pages are automatically converted to article links to the integrated database or to page links. This is normally fully automatic. The result of the import process is a CDF file (Catalog Data Format), which is used for distribution on CD-ROM or over the Internet.
1b) Paper can also be scanned
In very rare cases where PDF is not available we can also scan plain paper and use this instead of PDF.
2) Generate HTML
The CDF can be used to generate HTML, which has the same layout as the original paper pages. Article number links and page links can also be converted into links to a database web server (there is a compatible application available) and to page links.
3) Distribute CDF
The CDF file can be distributed to users on CD-ROM or via the Internet. CDF files, which were generated as update files, are typically always downloaded over the Internet and they automatically update locally installed data. This creates the perfect hybrid system with locally installed data, which is relatively static, and a permanent automatic update system. Alternatively, the local client application can also load all catalog data always over the Internet.