Document Center Inc. UPDATE Vol. 1 No. 1, April 1995 - President's Message
Welcome to Document Center Inc.'s newsletter, Update.
As a leader in the electronic dissemination of Standards information, Document Center is proud to share our recent achievements with you. We hope that you will learn something about the new electronic environment as well.
With recent royalty agreements with the International standards bodies, ISO and IEC, and with our server now on the Internet for the last year and a half, our business is rapidly expanding.
Also, we were pleased to get National press attention with the inclusion of Document Center in a Forbes Magazine article this year.
In the ANSI committee working on setting up a standards network, the SDSC -- Standards and Data Services Committee, Document Center has been an advocate of the use of the Internet to promote standards and standards activities.
Enjoy reading about our work as a standards distributor and as a standards advocate. Our staff is available to you to answer any additional questions that you might have. Contact myself or my sales staff at 650-591-7600, fax: 650-591-7617, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claudia Bach, President
Document Center Inc. The Silicon Valley specifications and standards service
Document Center is a hard copy document delivery service based in Silicon Valley. There are over 500,000 documents warehoused at our headquarters location. We service customers located worldwide, with ordering available using phone, fax, email, and the web.
Document Center sells government and industry specifications, both U.S. and non-U.S. The government documents range from U.S. Federal regulations to EC Directives. Industry documentation covers the spectrum, from ANSI, IEEE, ASTM, and other U.S. organizations to ISO, IEC, EU, BSI, and other national, regional and international standards bodies.
Document Center's in-house collection includes a complete set of current military specifications and standards, as well as an extensive collection of obsolete mil-specs and standards. The government collections also include all federal specifications and standards, DESC drawings, DOD standards, manuals, instructions and directives, various documents from the services and from the federal agencies. Document Center also provides GPO and NTIS documents.
Document Center has royalty agreements with the following organizations: ASTM, SAE, EIA, AIIM, API, the European Union, ISO, and IEC. Additionally, Document Center Inc. has a distribution agreement with IPC. This means that Document Center has complete collections of standards from these organizations available for immediate shipment.
Document Center also stocks a wide variety of other standards and technical material. Price and availability are available upon demand, either from our staff or from our Internet server.
Document Center's strengths are low prices, personal service, same day shipment, attention to detail, and knowledgeable sales staff. Call us for more information.
Document Center Inc. featured in Forbes Magazine: Document Center's Internet work highlighted in an ASAP Supplement article
Document Center Inc. was featured in the February 27th issue of Forbes Magazine.The article, which was included in the Forbes ASAP technology supplement, is titled "I-Way Entrepreneurs." Document Center is the first of three companies featured for their groundbreaking work on the Internet.
States author Janah, "...[I]n an increasingly global manufacturing market, [Document Center's] on-line presence is helping to attract and keep what Bach calls the 'next tier of customer down' -- midsize and small manufacturers world-wide that need the product standards to do business globally."
Document Center signs agreements with ISO and IEC: Sales of International Standards are vigorous
Document Center Inc. was delighted to successfully conclude negotiations with ISO (the International Organization for Standards) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) during the summer of 1994.
These agreements have provided Document Center with complete collections of each organization's standards. Document Center has the right to duplicate the standards for the purposes of resale. For each copy sold, a royalty fee is paid to the copyright holder.
Document Center has had such agreements with major U.S. standards organizations for some time now. But these two new agreements underline the increasing importance of the International information.
"As the need for military documentation has slowed, the impact has been offset by a steady rise in the need for International, Regional, and other non-U.S. standards," states President Claudia Bach. "This increased activity has enabled Document Center to continue to post strong growth during the recent economic ups and downs."
Noteworthy Recent Releases:
ANSI-Y14.5M and ANSI-Y14.5.1M - $159.95 set New 1994 edition of Dimensioning and Tolerancing
IPC-A-610 Revision B due April 1, 1995 Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies
ISO-9000 Compendium 5th Edition available now
Phone 650-591-7500, Fax 650-591-7617, email email@example.com to order
Our Internet Server What it does (and doesn't)
Document Center has been on the 'Net now since September of 1993. Because there is so much interest in the electronic dissemination of standards, it is natural to wonder, does this product delivery electronic standards now?
Document Center realizes that although much of the technology is ready to electronic document delivery, there are still a number of major human issues to be faced, primarily regarding Copyright protection.
Our current server allows anyone with Internet access, world-side, to browse our database of bibliographic information about specific documents. This is probably best understood as access to a catalog of catalogs.
When you access the server you are first introduced to Document Center itself -- our products and services. The Internet is a very useful communications tool, that can be used like any other marketing medium.
Then, you may choose to do a search. You can search our database using either keywords or the document number you are interested in. The server uses the WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) search engine to carry out the search. A "hit list" is brought back for you to review. It may have only a couple of documents or up to 200, depending on your criteria and the client you are using.
This hit list is not like a catalog. It is a selection of documents from many sources. You then choose which bibliographic records you want to view. Each record contains information on the title, source organization, latest revision level and price and availability from Document Center Inc.
Once you have found the document that meets your needs, you order the document in paper (hard copy) format from Document Center by using the order form, email, phone, fax, letter, or in person.
Document Center maintains information on approximately 175,000 standards and other technical documents. Our sources for this information are the actual documents themselves and various catalogs. Because the database is interactive, it does not replace the hard copy catalogs which we also sell.
FYI, Document Center is actively seeking organizations who are interested in providing us with cataloging information in electronic format for inclusion in our database.
The Internet server provides access to standards information to interested parties the world over. Document Center has had requests for standards from Latvia, West Africa, Australia, South Korea, and many other international locations. This service is available at no charge.
Providing the world with information about standards benefits not only Document Center, but also the many standards organizations whose information Document Center resells. In today's world, encouraging the use of standards on a global basis is a necessary component of good trade practices.
Further, this information is available using a variety of clients (software at the customer's site). As you can see in the box below, access if possible via WorldWideWeb (as in Mosaic, for example), gopher (like the server now available from ITU -- the International Telecommunications Union), or WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) -- the search functionality only.
Each kind of server available allows different kinds of customers to reach the Document Center information. Reaching out to as many users as possible was a top priority in the development of this server.
Additionally, the interactive nature of the search engine makes this server one of the most interesting Standards servers available. With the breadth of information stored in the server, its usefulness is unmatched.
One thing that you can't do yet on our Internet server is purchase electronic documents. There is one sample electronic document available on the server, as a demonstration that the technology is in place to make electronic delivery feasible.
The Internet standards community has been providing itself with the Internet standards electronically for some time. These standards, known as RFC's, are available as text files from a number of sites. They are extremely easy to download and are available at no charge.
However, Document Center knows that free standards are not likely from the mainstream standards community. The reason? Sales of standards support many other standards activities.
So the questions remain. Users would like fully functional electronic documents to allow for full integration into manufacturing processes and procedures. Standards providers would like to meet customer demands, but are concerned about issues of copyright, legality of copy content, security and revenue.
In the meantime, the Internet is here now, allowing for many kinds of electronic dissemination of information. What is an information provider to do?
Document Center has chosen to make its database and other promotional information available on the Internet now at no charge. This has enabled Document Center to get used to working in the electronic medium. Also, it has helped Document Center to understand what parts of its customer base are on the Internet, and which aren't.
Additionally, it has allowed Document Center to reach out to the Internet community and become active in various Internet standards activities.
In our view, computer-aided communications are not pervasive at the present time. But there are a great many advantages to becoming involved with this new medium while it is still in its developing stages.
How to Access Our Internet Server
Via the Web: http://www.doccenter.com (Now www.document-center.com)
Via Gopher: gopher gopher.doccenter.com
Via WAIS: The WAIS source is host - doccenter.com, port - 1220, database - document_center_catalog
Note: There is no charge to access the Document Center Server, Available 24 hours a day worldwide
Specification and Standards Column moves to Intercom: Society for Technical Communication changes the Journal format
President Claudia Bach's column, Specifications and Standards, which appears quarterly in the Journal of the Society for Technical Communication, will move, along with many other columns and articles, to an expanded publication, Intercom, which appears 10 times a year.
In the column, Ms. Bach provides the technical writing community with a review of documents that have been recently revised. And very frequently, she will add an article on some topic of interest either to the standards community or to the technical writing community. For example, she frequently writes on CALS and SGML issues.
Also look for another of Ms. Bach's articles, "The Standards Process: Evolution or Revolution?" to appear in the March 1995 issue of StandardView, the publication of the Association for Computing Machinery.
An Online Strategy: Issues faced by the Standards Community
As Standards Developing Organizations (SDO's) struggle to adapt to the evolving world of Compute-Aided Communications, the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) SDSC -- Standards and Data Services Committee -- is providing a forum for discussion of the issues and the potential solutions by both users and developers of Standards. Additionally, there are some interesting activities taking place within a number of SDO's as well.
Since Document Center Inc. has already moved into the online realm with its Internet server, we have the following observations to make:
1. Companies are currently successfully using the Internet for promotional and information distribution purposes.
Document Center judges that the Internet is a prototype of precursor of a new communication medium, which we call Computer-Aided Communications as a pleasant change from the overused Information Superhighway phrase.
As such, we find the medium very personal and a first-rate means of two-way communications. Not only are our customers able to browse our holdings, but they are also able to order, ask questions, and send us suggestions. Our staff is able to communicate easily with customers the world over.
The attention that the server gets us Internationally is very positive. We have customers who work with us in the traditional ways (phone and fax), but who have found out about us thanks to our server. These customers come from all parts of the globe.
2. The Internet is very useful for committee work.
Since much of SDO activity can be classified as committee work, the benefits of a communication medium based on wide access to written information is of considerable benefit.
Distribution of small bits of mail (useful ideas to move work forward) as well as large documents can be made both individual to individual or individual to group. The work of a committee can move forward much quicker and with fewer face-to-face meetings.
3. The Internet/Information Technology communities are busy working to solve the Intellectual Properties issues necessary for secure transmission of authorized documents (including standards) and for secure financial transactions.
Our need as information distributors are at the forefront of the technological work being done today. It is hard to pick up a magazine that deals with networking without finding articles on security, financial transaction schemes, date-stamping, and other validation methodologies that we will need to provide legally binding and financially sound information distribution.
However, waiting for the medium to be distribution-ready prior to involving yourself and your organization in this meta-networking environment is to be overlooking the benefits of experience and of outreach to your user community. Standards are too important to our global economy for our SDO's to sit on the sidelines. SDO's that are taking an active role in assessing approaches to the new medium include ISO, IEC, ITU, ANSI, BSI, IEEE, ASTM, SAE, ISA, SEMI, and ASME, to name a few. Participation in the SDSC is a good starting point for involvement.