[Main topics] [Navigation]

Seybold Reports - a major source

The following texts are excerpts from the «Seybold Report on Publishing Systems» (and a few from «Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing»). You can find the original texts when searching in www.seyboldreports.com for framemaker. About 100 files were found today (2004– 08– 04). I did not consider all in this summary, because some are just talking about commercial issues.

See also en.wikipedia.org for a brief summary of the history of Frame Technology Inc.

1989     1990     1991     1992     1993     1994     1995     1996    newer

1989-01-05: Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing, Volume 06, Number 9

Frame to enter CALS ring. Licenses Exoterica engine

Frame Technology announced that it intends to make its FrameMaker software comply with the CALS initiative by early 1990 through the use of Software Exoterica's XGML Engine, an SGML parser, validator and correction aid.

The annnouncement is significant for both companies. For Exoterica, it is the third such OEM agreement (following ArborText and DocuPro), but it is the first with a company that has broad penetration in the Unix market. For Frame, the announcement ends it long-standing silence on when it would enter the CALS publishing fray. Though it will be late in joining, its use of the Exoterica engine could prove a distinct competitive advantage. The XGML engine will provide interactive, as-you-go validation for writers and editors as they work on a document – as opposed to the batch validation approach currently used by most vendors.

Frame says that a CALS-compliant version of FrameMaker will be available in early 1990. Pricing was not disclosed.

1989-11-13: Volume 19, Number 5

Hell has COSY enhancements
Within this concept, one can also use FrameMaker 2.0 as the interactive WYSIWYG editor. A COSY file can be input into Frame, where it will be converted into Frame format and displayed on screen. It is possible also to take a Frame file into the COSY database, but it can't be edited on a COSY terminal because it is stored in Frame format.

1989-06-26: Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing, Volume 06, Number 9

Frame to let OEMs port its software

Frame Technology has announced the FrameMaker 1.3-X Porting Kit, a software tool with which Unix vendors may port the X-Window FrameMaker to their own hardware systems. Frame claims to be the first publishing vendor to offer its software on the OEM market with a porting kit.

Separately, Frame said that customers who purchase the Next computer directly from Next or through Businessland stores will get a free prerelease copy of FrameMaker 2.0. We hope to conduct an in-depth review of the new release, which has an array of impressive features, when it becomes available.

1990-02-12: Volume 19, Number 10

Frame restructures under new president. Kirsch steps down as growth spurts

Frame Technology announced that it has hired Paul Robichaux as president, chief executive officer and chariman of the board at Frame. Robichaux was formerly executive vice president and chief operating officer at Boole & Babbage, a supplier of IBM mainframe software. He fills the role recently vacated by Steve Kirsch, when Kirsch decided a few months ago to step down from the top spot and become a vice president.

The decision to hire someone else to run the company Kirsch founded is a familiar scenario among high-tech start-ups. If a new company succeeds, at some point the founder inevitably finds him or herself much more involved with the business of running a company than with developing new products. Few entrepeneurs relish the daily grind of business decisions that accompany a company's growth. Often, the burden of playing president and CEO leaves the founder yearning to return to the creative atmosphere of the research lab. Such was the case for Kirsch.

«I felt that at the level of decisions that I was making and the magnitude of the decisions that there were people with more experience,» said Kirsch. «I'm not as familiar with sales or marketing operations as someone in this position ought to be. I felt that, in the best interest of the company, I should step aside and let someone better qualified make these decisions.»

Kirsch is now serving as Frame's vice president of new products, where he will examine new business and product opportunities. Current development is led by David Murray, VP of product development. Charles Corfield, who wrote the original Frame software, remains the company's chief scientist. Robichaux joins Kirsch, Murray and Corfield as insiders on Frame's board.

In the three years since it introduced FrameMaker, Frame has experienced rocketing growth. Although Frame remains a private company, Kirsch disclosed that the company grew at an annual rate of over 100% until last year, when sales grew by 75%. Last year's sales are estimated at more than $15 million by sources close to the firm. The company says it has now sold more than 14,000 licenses of FrameMaker worldwide.

The key issue now is managing this growth, according to Murray, which meant putting an experienced financial person in senior management and having technologically oriented people work on new business opportunities.

Jim Wood is serving as chief financial officer and VP of operations. Dana Gosney, VP of engineering, is managing the engineering process (resources, quality control and documentation). Corfield and Murray report to Gosney.

Frame reported that Bruce Mitchell, vice president of marketing, has left the company after a brief tenure. Sales and marketing have been merged under Steve Clann, former VP of sales and marketing at Interleaf.

1990-03-12: Volume 19, Number 12

Japanese FrameMaker under way. Frame Technology and Matsushita have signed a joint partnership agreement to develop a Japanese version of FrameMaker. The pact, valued at more than $10 million, allows Matsushita to license Frame's source code and gives it exclusive marketing rights to distribute a customized version for Sun, Solbourne and Matsushita BE workstations. Availability is planned for June.

1990-04-09: Volume 19, Number 14

Frame demonstrated an OSF/Motif version of FrameMaker 2.0 running, ironically, on a Sparcstation. Motif is based on X Window, so this version of FrameMaker is essentially a user-interface change for Frame, which already licenses FrameMaker on X for more than a dozen different computers.

The Motif version was announced for HP 9000 Series, all Apollo and IBM Series 6000 workstations. The HP and Apollo versions will be available from Frame this summer; the IBM version is slated for fall release. Frame reports that most of its OEM partners have also committed to porting FrameMaker 2.0-X Motif to their platforms in 1990.

Currently, Frame is shipping FrameMaker 2.0 for the Next cube and Sun and Solbourne workstations (under SunView). The price for all 2.0 versions is $2,500.


1990-07-23: Volume 19, Number 21

Verity develops FrameMaker interface. Joint marketing, development

Verity and Frame Technology have entered into a joint marketing and development agreement that will enable customers to retrieve and view FrameMaker documents through Verity's Topic retrieval system.

As part of the agreement, Verity has developed an interface linking Topic to all versions of FrameMaker running on Unix workstations. Verity says the interface is available immediately.

Topic is a network-based content retrieval package that extends full-text retrieval technology to include searches by «topics.».

In addition to product development, the two companies will jointly promote each other's products. Pricing for Topic ranges from $15,000 to $150,000, depending on the computers and number of users.

1990-08-20: Volume 19, Number 22

TriSoft's DeltaP blends DEC's RDB with SGML
DeltaP retrieves document elements and creates the publication by mapping its structure to composition tag names and a style template. At this time, DECwrite and Interleaf TPS templates are directly supported. However, DeltaP supports Digital's Document Interchange Format (DDIF), from which documents may be translated to most Digital-based composition systems that support generic tagging, including DECwrite, Interleaf TPS, Datalogics' Pager, Xyvision Parlance and Frame's FrameMaker.

1990-09-24: Volume 20, Number 02

Blueberry ships Frame/Interleaf filters. Blueberry Software has completed its bidirectional filter between Interleaf software, versions 3.1, 3.5, 3.6 and 4.0, and FrameMaker, versions 1.3, 2.0 and 2.1. It is sold as an upgrade to the base product, which allows importing 25 formats into both Interleaf and Frame documents and exporting popular formats. The product is priced at $795, including support for all formats.

Frame offers 1-2-3 filter. Frame Technology has released a filter for importing data from Lotus 1-2-3 files into FrameMaker 2.1, running on Sun, IBM and DEC platforms. The suggested list price is $380 for a single node license.

1990-10-08: Volume 20, Number 03

Interleaf faced several problems. First, its unique combination of a fast WYSIWYG text editor and superior graphics editors were no longer sufficient differentiators in the market. Its workstation software sales remained strong, but the competition in the PC and Mac markets foreshadowed rising competition on the Unix front. As FrameMaker, Ventura and other competitors advanced from the low end, Interleaf needed a product that was immediately recognizable as more advanced than its competition. At the same time, its advanced features had to be valuable to customers.

1990-10-29: Volume 20, Number 04

FrameMaker on Open Look. Frame gave a preview of what its software might look like when released for Open Look next year.

1991-01-07: Volume 20, Number 08

Frame sites in Europe. Frame announced that it intends to open two new operations in Europe during 1991 as a way of strengthening its commitment to the European market. The company feels that Europe will be one of its highest-growth markets. It says that European FrameMaker sales provide about 17% of the company's revenue today, a figure the company expects to rise at an increasing rate over the next few years. Frame said that opening operational sites in Europe was essential to meeting the needs of this market.

The first facility is a European Support Operation designed to handle local service and support as well as manufacturing and development needs. The facility selected for this purpose – located in Ireland – is pending approval of the Irish government.

Activities that Frame is planning for this unit include translation into European languages of its products, complete with multilingual documentation, packaging and online help into. FrameMaker currently is available in French and German. The company plans to offer Dutch, Swedish, Italian and Spanish versions (no specific dates for the translations were announced).

Another interesting service is the design and creation of new features specifically for the European market. Most interesting is Frame's intention to provide porting assistance for European hardware companies that may want to offer FrameMaker on their platforms.

The second new site will house marketing and sales staff working with European distributors with a specific focus on that market. Frame did not say where that facility would be located, but it said that the new operations are expected to create 50 new jobs in Europe by 1993. The company currently distributes its products through independent dealers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, plus Australia.

International FrameMaker. To demonstrate its European appeal and capabilities, Frame also announced International FrameMaker 2.1-X, running under the X Window system and OSF/Motif on six different hardware platforms. The product is now available on Apollo, DEC, HP, IBM and Sun workstations. Frame said that it will be available soon on SCO's OpenDesktop and that it is compatible with the Mac and Next versions of FrameMaker.

Aside from the fact that the software can run on multiple platforms, it can be equipped with what Frame calls «localized» interfaces, in the appropriate language for where it is being used. French and German versions of FrameMaker 2.1 for SunView are already being shipped; Frame announced that it is working on French and German interfaces for the Mac platform. Others are planned, including Swedish and Kanji for 1991.

In addition, the product has multilingual spelling checking and hyphenation for 11 languages: French, German, Dutch, Italian, UK English, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian) and U.S. English. You can mix languages within documents, although spelling is checked on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis and languages can be mixed only paragraph by paragraph – a distinct limitation compared to Interleaf's capabilities. (Umberto Eco would love this program.)

Other international customization includes support for European paper sizes and measurement systems (metric, pica, point, cicero, didot and inch). European time and date conventions are accommodated, as are periods and commas as decimal separators.

Future directions. Frame even talked a little bit about how FrameMaker will change in both the near and distant future. Table support is an important new feature that Frame expects to add «soon,» along with additional filters, conditional text and OpenLook capability. Long-term goals include CALS/ SGML support, handling of additional foreign languages, porting to more hardware platforms and, finally, electronic delivery of all documents.

1991-03-11: Volume 20, Number 12

Frame, SoftQuad show tables. Frame planned to unveil FrameMaker 3.0, which includes its new table editing and composition module as well as other features. SoftQuad expected to unveil a new package for creating tables with SGML markup.

1991-04-15: Volume 20, Number 14

Frame offers tables, conditional text

Frame demonstrated its brand-new version of FrameMaker, called 3.0, which includes a comprehensive, easy-to-use program for composing tables. Although it lacks a few functions that are available on some traditional systems, it provides some features that aren't found elsewhere and its user interface should be attractive to anyone who has ever produced tables the hard way: by typing massive strings of codes.

Also part of the release are improved import/export filters and support for conditional text– a means of creating a document that can be used in multiple versions by selecting only certain parts of the data for each version.

Release 3.0, which will become the standard version of FrameMaker, was demonstrated on the Macintosh (where it sells for $995), but it will be available with the same functionality on other machines Frame supports. Initial shipments are targeted for the second quarter for the Macintosh, the Sun-3 and 4 (and Sparc compatibles), and Sun386i workstations under SunView; the third quarter for Next computers, X OSF/Motif workstations from Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard/Apollo, IBM and Sun, and '386-and '486-based OpenDesktop 1.1 systems; and the fourth quarter for Open Look/News machines.

Users with version 2.1 will be able to upgrade free if they subscribe to Frame's support program, or for a modest fee if they don't. Files created in version 2.1 will automatically be converted for use in 3.0, with all formatting preserved.

Tables. Frame has included most of the features that are found in the best of the tabular programs we have used. There are a few key exceptions, such as fine rotation of text (currently only 90° increments), vertical justification, an easy means of hanging a punctuation sign or other character outside of the regular text in a column (although decimal alignment is supported), and the ability to scale an entire table in the same fashion that Docupro does. But it supports most of the other features useful in producing tables, such as good means of sizing columns and convenient ways to handle straddle items, multipage tables and h&j'ed text within tables.

Moreover, it should be easy for almost any user to pick up the technique for creating and editing tables.

Here are some of the key features:

 Sizing and manipulating columns. In the initial setup, the operator can type the longest entry in each column and ask the system to apportion the table width automatically to balance the space available among all the columns. It is also possible to select any or all columns of data after they have been filled in and ask the system to rescale the table to achieve the optimum distribution of space among them. The operator can select some columns, assign widths to the unselected ones, and ask the program to divide the rest proportionally. Columns also can be resized by grabbing their handles and dragging them.

 Gutters and rules. The user can specify the size of the gutter and the types of rules that should be used in gutters, both between rows and outside the table. Individual rules can be customized manually. If a global change later is made to the table's format, customized rules remain in effect unless the operator asks to remove them.

 Margins and indents. There are nice facilities for handling the spacing of text within cells. Each column has a margin, set up through a table, that can control its relationship to nearby elements. The system also supports indents that can be used to create other effects, such as a hanging indent to move turnover lines of text in with respect to the first line.

 Straddles. Horizontal and vertical straddles are handled by selecting an item and assigning it a number of columns or rows to straddle.

 Alignment within cells. Text within cells can be located in any of nine positions within a cell: centered vertically and horizontally, flush left horizontally and top-aligned vertically, flush right horizontally and bottom-aligned vertically, etc. This feature is used in conjunction with the margin and indent commands already mentioned.

 H&j. As text is h&j'ed within a cell, which happens any time the text is changed, the cell automatically grows vertically when text wraps to a new line.

 Title position. The operator can employ a simple command to control the placement of a table's title above or below the table, with the amount of gap specified. The title's appearance is based on the formatting in effect.

 Graphics. Graphics can be inserted into cells in the same manner in which they are used anywhere on a page. Each cell grows to the appropriate size of its graphic.

 Multipage tables. When a table extends to another page, the system automatically generates a continuation title (with the word «continued» or «sheet two of two,» etc., automatically inserted). The user has control over how much of the table must be carried to a second page.

 Automatic numbering. Tabular copy can be numbered in the same manner as regular (nontabular) text. An additional feature for tables is the ability to have numbers sequenced in any way within multiple columns, such as jumping from a left column to a right column.

 Integration. The tabular program is well integrated into the composition/pagination program, with full support for the spelling checker, search/replace routine and pagination functions. It supports the same footnote facilities as the main program.

However, this also means that multicolumn tables suffer the same problem as other multicolumn elements. Because Frame's pagination program can't handle automatically anything that straddles more than one column, the operator has to adjust the size of the adjacent frame to prevent text and the table from overlaying each other in the same frame.

Conditional text. The conditional text feature is used to prepare one document for use in a variety of situations in which many parts of the document are the same, but some parts are specific to certain versions. Possible examples are user manuals in which different models or options apply, textbooks that have different versions for the teacher and student, price lists with domestic and international listings, and editorial materials in which notes or comments are included in some versions and not in others.

The user designates elements for a specific version by assigning them an attribute, such as a color or strikethrough, underline or overline display. Assignments are made by clicking in boxes using the typical Frame procedures. The different versions can be displayed one at a time or in combinations.

In a table, individual items or a whole row or column of data can be tagged to appear only in certain versions.

For some operations, the keyboard can be used instead of the mouse. The set of available keyboard shortcuts depends on the platform being used.

The system's search function can be used to locate conditional elements. Items that are hidden leave in the file a marker that can be located by the search program.

If an operation to delete a block of text would delete conditional text that is hidden, the system warns the operator.

When an index or a table of contents is being generated, hidden elements are not incorporated into it.

Filters. Version 3.0 will include the basic FilterPak that Frame announced in December. It expands the capabilities for importing and exporting text and graphics to and from word processors and graphics programs. Among the new formats that can be imported, exported or both are troff, DCA, CGM, CCITT Group 4, IGES, HPGL, DXF and CalComp 960.

Other enhancements. Among the other new items in version 3.0 are support for output of process color using the Open Prepress Interface, faster performance, batch book building, document formatting control, hypertext, and international hyphenation and spelling support. We'll discuss some of these areas after we have tested the program.

1991-04-29: Volume 20, Number 15

Introduced last fall, Workgroup Technologies' Configuration Management System was shown in conjunction with FrameMaker in the Sun Microsystems booth. Although it was shown with a publishing application (and Workgroup has customers using it with FrameMaker), CMS operates independently of applications. It might be used to manage documents created in several different applications, for example.

Working with CMS. CMS creates a unique workspace in which users check in and check out files. When you check out a file, it is moved by CMS into your home directory (or wherever you designate files should go).

You may retrieve files by name, of course, but with CMS you may also retrieve by query, using classes or attributes. Frequently used queries may be named and later recalled by name. Checking out a file makes it available from within your application, FrameMaker in this case.

In the past, checking out a file made its name show up in the FrameMaker «Open File» directory, but unless FrameMaker was running, you had no visual clue that a file was checked into your work area. Under OpenWindows, CMS puts an icon of the document into your home directory. This not only shows you that you've checked it out; double-clicking on the icon automatically opens the file and launches FrameMaker. Workgroup plans to release its OpenWindows version by the end of April.

1991-08-23: Volume 20, Number 22

Frame Technology. FrameMaker 3.0 was released this summer. Frame will demonstrate its sophisticated facilities for creating and editing tables. It also supports conditional text, enabling selective parts of a document to be output alternately by command, which is useful in producing different versions of a document from the same data file. FrameMaker runs on the Macintosh with the standard Macintosh user interface.

1991-09-11: Volume 21, Number 01

Frame Technology announced that its FrameMaker publishing software has been chosen as the documentation standard for the U.S. Army's new light helicopter development program, the RAH-66 Comanche. This contract was recently awarded to the Boeing Defense & Space Group's Helicopters Division and United Technologies' Sikorsky Aircraft Division. In the first seven-year phase of the project, FrameMaker will be used to document all embedded weapon system software for the Comanche in accordance with rigid contract requirements.

The joint project was won by Boeing and Sikorsky after a six-year competition with other bidders. The Boeing Sikorsky bid is one of Frame's first major JIAWG (Joint Integrated Avionics Working Group) compliant projects. Additional subcontractors involved in the project include Boeing Electronic Systems, CAE-Link Flight Corp., General Electric Armament Systems, Hamilton Standard, Harris Corp., Kaiser Electronics, Martin Marietta Electronics Systems Division, MBB Helicopter, TRW Military & Avionics Division and Westinghouse Electric Company. All subcontractors developing embedded software for Comanche will use FrameMaker to document their software designs, generate software testing reports, integrate into a common software engineering environment and distribute final electronic documentation online.

1991-12-07: Volume 21, Number 07

Frame Technology's FrameMaker and FrameViewer publishing software products have been selected as the documentation products for the Flight Analysis and Design System (FADS). Control Data Corp. (CDC), the computer system integrator that was awarded the contract, selected Frame's software for the creation and online distribution of technical documentation for the project.

Frame's software will run on platforms from MIPS, a Frame OEM and supplier to large manufacturers such as CDC.

The $6.5-million FADS contract, headed by Loral Space Information Systems, will modernize mission planning for the space shuttle program in order to accommodate increased numbers of shuttle flights.

1991-12-30: Volume 21, Number 08

Frame: SGML in 1992

Frame Technology announced that it intends to release by the end of 1992 a FrameMaker editing and composition product that has underlying support for SGML built into it. Frame said the new product will be able to read FrameMaker 3.0 documents.

Frame made its announcement at CALS Expo to underscore its commitment to that application, but the firm made it clear that it is targeting a wider audience. Company officials repeatedly stressed the benefits of SGML in general, rather than just CALS in particular, during the press conference.

Frame's emphasis reflects the firm's recognition that structure-based editing is a natural market response to the increasing importance that technical information is playing within corporations. As Paul Robichaux, Frame's president, noted, «We are now witnessing major changes in the way people create and use documents. What we have referred to as `technical documentation' is evolving into `technical information management.' Instead of simply writing documents, people are creating information that can be reused in many forms over many years.»

Frame declined to reveal how it intends to add this capability, although we do know that it licensed the Exoterica XGML Engine several years ago and has yet to make use of that license in a commercial product. Frame indicated that it intends to integrate structured editing into the base FrameMaker product in the future, but it also hinted that the initial release would probably be as a separate product.

In the meantime, Frame has added bidirectional filters for the three CALS graphics formats to its current FrameMaker 3.0 product.

The importance of the announcement is that Frame is far enough along in its development to commit to a time frame for product introduction. Several years ago it made noises about entering the CALS market, only to turn suspiciously quiet afterward. At the time, it may have been unclear to Frame what form its support for SGML and CALS should take (such as whether it should support just one DTD or many), leaving it unsure how many development resources it should pour into the project.

Now, Frame says, it believes SGML is the way a good portion of the market is moving, and it has hired staff with SGML expertise in order to develop a proper implementation. Having baited its audience with a promise, Frame has also raised expectations that the result will be worth the wait.

1992-02-14: Volume 21, Number 10

Frame prospectus published. IPO disclosure reveals financial picture

In our last issue, we reported that Frame Technology is in the process of filing an initial public offering of common stock. We have since received the preliminary prospectus and thought we would share some of the information, previously not available to the public.

First, we should note that Frame recently introduced a Windows version of FrameMaker 3.0 for IBM-compatible pcs. The February 1992 issue of our sister publication, The Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing, contains a story with our initial reaction to the product.

But back to the prospectus. Of most interest to many readers will be the financial picture, which the prospectus discloses in detail. Frame has been profitable every year but one since its inception in 1986, although Frame's profits have not risen in proportion to sales, which in that time rocketed from $3 million to nearly $42 million last year.

The prospectus also reveals that Frame has sold more than 50,000 licenses of FrameMaker and claims an installed base of more than 100,000 users via site licensing and Frame's floating licensing. That confirms our suspicions that FrameMaker has been overtaking Interleaf as the market leader in unit sales of workstation publishing software.

International sales have remained steady – between 14% and 17% – for the past three years.

The prospectus notes the sale of «a license and certain limited rights to Digital Equipment Corp. with respect to FrameMaker 1.0,» confirming rumors that Digital's DECwrite is based on earlier versions of FrameMaker.

What was not as well known is that DECpresent also contains code derived from Frame. DEC has been paying royalties to Frame from sales of both DECwrite and DECpresent.

In August 1991, DEC paid Frame $4.6 million in lieu of future royalty payments on DECwrite. Counting both royalties and the lump payment, Digital accounted for 17% of Frame's 1991 net revenues.

Frame expects that it may receive $3.7 million more this year from Digital in lieu of royalties for DECpresent.

Siemens and Mitsui have also purchased limited source code licenses.

In 1991, sales of Unix-based licenses accounted for 92% of the company's revenues. Of that 92%, 71% are licenses for Sun workstations. The Sun figure is a steep decline from previous years (in 1989, it represented 100% of Unix license revenues). Even so, it is an indication of Sun's leadership in the Unix-based technical publishing market.

Currently, Frame is spending about one-fourth of its revenues on research and development. More than one-third of its employees (135 out of 303 at the end of 1991) are engaged in r&d.

Primary beneficiaries of the offering will be Frame's directors and founders. Charles Corfield, who wrote the original FrameMaker code and remains chief technical officer, is selling 20,000 shares but will still own more than 2 million shares, or 22.37% of the company, after the offering.

Cofounders Steve Kirsch and David Murray are cashing in large portions of their shares. After the offering, they will own 14.7% and 5.1% of the company respectively.

Directors H. Dubose Montgomery of Menlo Ventures (6.89%) and Cristina Morgan of Hambrecht and Quist (4.00%) will retain significant stakes in the firm, as will investment firm Chancellor Capital Management Inc. (5.62%).

As we reported in our February issue of the Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing, Frame recently acquired from Informix the rights to use the Wingz charting software in a future Frame product.

Frame is also in discussions with an undisclosed firm regarding the possible acquisition of complementary software technology.

1992-01-13: Volume 21, Number 14

Other ISGI news. ISGI is handling the old Cosy, Diacos, PKS, AdOne, PageOne (based on FrameMaker 2, with a 3.0 version not due until 1993) systems. At Imprinta, there were a number of other interesting items on the ISGI stand. One was the new Monigraaf product, now called the IPS-PC product line, which will be sold by the ISGI organization.

1992-06-19: Volume 21, Number 19

Frame offers personal Unix licenses
Ships DEC/Motif and Sun/Open Look versions of FrameViewer 3.1

Frame Technology is now offering a personal license of its Unix-based FrameMaker product that will make it easier for individual users to install and run the software without delay. The personal license includes a user password in the shrink-wrapped product. Previously, FrameMaker users were required to contact Frame for a password before they could access the software.

The personal license complements Frame´s original fixed and floating licenses, which are designed for multiple-seat accounts. A fixed license grants a set number of licenses; a floating license server enables up to 20 corporate users to share a pool of five licenses that reside on a network.

The personal license is granted to a user, not a workstation, which enables the registered user to run the software on different machines. The personal license is available for the Open Look and X/Motif interfaces on Sun Microsystems workstations. Personal licenses for other Unix platforms will be available this summer.

Frame also announced that it has released OSF/Motif and Open Look versions of FrameMaker and FrameViewer 3.1. These versions for DEC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun workstations are binary compatible with the 3.1 versions available for Next and Macintosh computers.

1992-08-10: Volume 21, Number 21

Frame, Datalogics tie knot for $17 million. Brown gets his price and his reward
In a surprise move that creates unexpected bedfellows, Frame Technology has acquired Datalogics for about $17 million. The acquisition calls for 1 million shares of Datalogics stock to be converted to 1 million shares of Frame stock. On July 30, the day of the announcement, Frame´s stock closed unchanged at $17.50.
Schneider was recruited from Hewlett-Packard to lead Frame´s development of sgml-based publishing software. His duties have since been expanded to include overseeing all of Frame´s Unix-based products (FrameMaker and FrameViewer) and managing Frame´s budding consulting group.

Frame says it will continue to develop this group to service the needs of Frame users who want help in tailoring their publishing systems. The Datalogics line will be reserved for large customers with very demanding problems. ...

Synergy? The press announcement indicated Frame´s desire to use FrameMaker as a front end to a Datalogics system. We presume this refers to Frame´s future sgml product, which might be used to author documents that would be managed by TPE and possibly composed by DL Pager.

With Frame´s current product, which is not sgml-based, we´re a little skeptical of the claimed synergy between these product lines. Most Frame customers choose FrameMaker because of its combination of wysiwyg authoring and formatting, not as a straight authoring tool. Although DL will benefit from being able to offer new authoring tools, historically it has not been bound to WriterStation. We´re not sure how much leeway Frame will allow DL in selecting solutions that involve products that compete with FrameMaker.

Both companies expressed hope that Datalogics would be better able to serve as a prime contractor on $4Ð8 million jobs because of the size of the overall organization. We do not equate size with stability. Datalogics has been one of the most stable firms in the industry. Frame? It may be too soon to tell. But since Frame is not providing any system integration expertise, we are not sure Datalogics will be any better equipped to handle such contracts than before – even though it may be in a better position to win them.

Another area of concern is how much pressure will be put on Datalogics to service potential Frame business. In the past, Datalogics has been very selective about the types of projects on which it bid. It bid only on jobs it wanted to take and felt confident it could handle. Its solutions are for the most part expensive, but they also provide an extraordinary amount of automation. The firm has very few dissatisified customers.

Frame is obviously interested in having Datalogics help it win some of the larger contracts it has lost to Interleaf, and possibly even to sgml solution suppliers. How many jobs that it might otherwise have turned down will Datalogics now have to take? How much pressure will there be to grow its service business along the same scale as Frame has been targeting for its shrink-wrap sales?

Only time will tell. But despite Frame´s assurances that Datalogics will remain intact, if history is any guide, what emerges will likely be anything but the quiet presence Datalogics has been over the past quarter-century.

1992-08-26: Volume 21, Number 22

Frame Technology reported a 59% increase in revenues for its second quarter over the same period in 1991. Revenues topped $14 million, with earnings of $0.05 per share. Net income rose to $630,000, up from $27,000 for the same quarter in ´91.

Frame attributes the upswing to many factors including shipping FrameMaker for Windows in May, signing a number of technology agreements, issuing a secondary stock offering and creating the Unix Systems and Desktop Products divisions.

1992-09-07: Volume 22, Number 1

A year and a half ago, Novell´s documentation group began exploring its next-generation electronic document delivery system. It used an evaluation process similar to the one it had gone through several years before, when it selected FrameMaker running on multiple platforms as its primary authoring and page composition system.
Novell obviously could have selected a less complicated method by using FrameViewer, the viewing companion product for FrameMaker. But Novell found that a page-based method couldn´t be optimized for the variety of computer displays Novell needed to support.

SGI´s documentation is authored primarily in FrameMaker. With very little effort, SGI could have begun delivering these documents on cd-rom using FrameViewer. A FrameViewer solution might have been all right for SGI and isvs that use FrameMaker, but it would have made it more difficult for isvs that don´t use Frame to take advantage of SGI´s delivery platform.

1992-10-30: Volume 22, Number 4

Frame: document editing process

At a press conference/party at Seybold San Francisco, Frame discussed evolutionary changes in both the Frame organization and its products.

The organizational changes were brought on by the conflicting tensions of fourth-wave computing. On the one hand, there are large numbers of small customers who want to buy FrameMaker as a complete solution off the shelf. Cost is an important factor in their buying decision. On the other hand, smaller numbers of large customers want to use FrameMaker as an off-the-shelf component that can be integrated with other products into to a sophisticated, customized whole. Though cost is important to these customers as well, many other issues typically loom as large (or larger) in their decision. Frame has had a hard time responding appropriately to both types through a single organization.

In response to this tension, Frame has divided itself into two groups: the Desktop Products Division and the System Solutions Division. The former will produce and market shrink-wrapped, retail products, while the latter will address integration and customization issues in larger organizations. One of the first tasks of the System Solutions Division is to recruit system companies into its ´System Integrators Program.´ The program already has its first member: Datalogics, which was acquired by Frame a few months ago.

FrameBuilder. On the product side, the big news is the introduction of FrameBuilder, an editor for heirarchically structured documents. This product gives the user visual feedback on the structure of the document and the current editing location within the structure, via its ´structural view.´ It lets the user know if something has been done that violates the structural rules for the document (such as a heading within a footnote). The feedback is immediate, so that the error can be corrected right away. An ´Element Advisor´ window helps the writer determine how to fix structural errors.

Document structures are created using a special package, ´FrameBuilder Developer Edition.´ This package also supports several other features, including customization of FrameMaker menus to suit the application, development of api connections to other applications and a translation-filter toolkit for import and export of sgml files.

Sgml support. FrameBuilder doesn´t support sgml automatically. But you could use FrameBuilder´s Developer Edition to construct a hierarchy based on an sgml Document Type Definition so that only documents satisfying the dtd would be permitted. Most of sgml could be duplicated in this way. The major exception is that FrameBuilder does not have the sgml concept of ´attributes.´ In sgml, attributes are generally used for information that describes how parts of the document will be used. For example, attributes can be used to govern the level of security applied to a section of a document, or determine which versions of the document a section is considered part of.

Frame plans to deal with some kinds of attributes by mapping them into the corresponding FrameBuilder data types. For example, the dimensions of graphics could be handled interactively within FrameBuilder (dragging objects to resize them), whereas the dimensions might have to be entered as numerical attribute values in a text-based sgml editor.

Frame handles other kinds of attributes as subelements. In either case, the data would be expressly written into a mif file when exported, from where it could be converted into sgml. But FrameBuilder cannot check the values of attributes to see if they are legal. A full sgml parser could do this.

A number of important sgml applications (including cals, the application developed by the U.S. Department of Defense) make use of attributes. In these applications, FrameBuilder will not be able to check documents for full sgml compliance. Eventually, we expect Frame will have to add support for attributes. And we know sgml users would appreciate a tool to convert an sgml dtd automatically into a FrameBuilder hierarchy.

These criticisms aside, we think FrameBuilder is a powerful tool for working with structured documents, and the user interface is particularly well implemented.

FrameBuilder will be available in the fourth quarter of 1992. It will be offered on the Sun/Motif platform initially. The price for a single-user license is $1,995, or $3,995 for a shared license. The corresponding prices for the Developer Edition are $2,995 and $4,995. Starting in the second quarter of 1993, Frame will be releasing ports to other platforms, including other Unix environments, Windows and the Macintosh.

1992-11-30: Volume 22, Number 6

ISGI in transition over architecture. The page makeup and editing applications use a highly modified version of FrameMaker for editorial page design. It is linked to the advertising page plan from the IPS Planning module, and for interactive page assembly.

1992-12-21: Volume 22, Number 7

Cymbolic Sciences International, Richmond, BC, Canada:
«FrameMaker is so inexpensive compared to most Unix applications that customers often buy the program without going through a formal evaluation process. If they already have a Sun workstation and the engineer wants something more interactive than troff or vi, then Frame´s products are a low-risk investment. . . .»

1993-01-14: Volume 22, Number 8

Frame offers HyperGen. Frame Technology has announced the availability of HyperGen for FrameMaker, which automatically creates hypertext links in FrameMaker documents. Using standard Unix utilities, it scans book files and automatically inserts FrameMaker hypertext markets on all table of contents and index entries. It also makes all cross-references hot links. Developed and sold by Frank Stearns & Associates, it costs $495. Call (206) 892-3970.

1993-01-25: Volume 22, Number 9

Acquisition binge continues. In another aggressive move in its campaign to become a dominant supplier of publishing-related software and services, Frame Technology has signed a letter of intent to acquire Verity.

The terms of the acquisition call for Frame to issue approximately 3.5 million new shares of common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of Verity, a privately held company. Based on the price of Frame´s stock at the time of the announcement (about $15), Verity stockholders will be receiving about $50 million worth of Frame stock.

The investment community reacted positively to the news, as Frame´s stock rose slightly on the announcement.

Adding to the family. In the last year, Frame has been moving quickly to establish itself as a leading supplier of complete document information management solutions. Increasingly, it is concentrating on content-driven applications and trying to contrast itself with suppliers of page makeup programs for graphic arts applications (Aldus, Quark).

It views Interleaf as its chief competitor, and sees itself providing software in four main areas:

1. Authoring. FrameMaker and FrameBuilder are its mainstays; it also has the WriterStation products acquired with Datalogics.

2. Electronic delivery. FrameViewer, which displays Frame-format files, is the key product, but Frame may work with Adobe at certain large Datalogics accounts, according to Paul Robichaux, Frame´s ceo and president.

3. Electronic retrieval. The Verity acquisition is seen as a way to get both end-user solutions core technologies based on Verity´s Topic software.

4. Editorial document management. Datalogics provides custom solutions in this area, but Frame is clearly interested in adding a more off-the-shelf product that would be strongly identified with its other products (and give it something to counter Interleaf´s RDM). It currently has an equity interest in Boss Logic, and a FrameMaker-complementary version of Boss Document Manager is expected later this year, according to Frame.

In response to a question during the announcement, Robichaux asserted that ´we will do whatever is necessary to make Boss Logic a highly successful company.´ Robichaux admitted that that might even include acquiring Boss Logic.

Nice fit. The Verity acquisition adds a new dimension to Frame as a supplier. As with the Datalogics deal, Frame has not only bought technology, it has also bought a direct sales force, an installed base of corporate accounts and system integration expertise.

Verity was founded in 1988 to provide solutions in online retrieval of documents from both internal and external sources across an enterprise.

The company originally did most of its work for the U.S. government, but a commercial effort launched several years ago has been extremely successful.

Verity still does 40% of its business with the federal government, and its sales reps will now be selling FrameMaker and Viewer as well as Topic, an interesting opportunity for Frame to expand into a new market. (Frame sells 94% of its software in the commercial market.)

Verity complements Frame´s organization rather nicely. Frame is focused primarily on volume sales through 250 vars and 1,200 dealers served by master distributors, such as Merisel. Verity sells primarily through a direct sales force that targets large accounts.

Verity also has a group of consultants and system integrators that should help strengthen Frame´s capabilities in those areas. Verity derives 20% of revenues from services; Frame but 5%.

Client/server systems is another area in which Frame expects Verity to help it.

Organizationally, Verity will be run as a wholly owned subsidiary, operating as a new, third business unit that will retain Verity´s focus on document retrieval.

Michael Pliner, Verity president and ceo, will serve as an ´executive consultant´ to Robichaux during the transition.

Last year, Frame reorganized itself into two divisions: the Desktop Division, which focuses on selling FrameMaker and FrameViewer as shrink-wrapped applications, and the Systems Solutions division, which focuses on creating customized solutions.

FrameBuilder, a development environment more than a shrink-wrapped product, falls under the custom group, as does Datalogics, acquired last September.

What about oems? One area of concern is the oem business that Verity operated. Because of several high-profile agreements, most notably ones with Adobe and Lotus, we were surprised to hear Pliner say that oem sales account for only 8% of Verity´s business. Pliner said Verity had no organization devoted to oem sales.

Despite the fact that Frame competes with Adobe and Lotus to a limited extent, both Verity and Frame said that Verity´s oems support the acquisition.

Robichaux affirmed Frame´s commitment to open systems and said Frame will allow Verity to continue working with other firms on an oem basis.

However, Pliner admitted that it would be up to Adobe to determine what changes, if any, it might make with regard to using Verity technology in Acrobat (formerly called Carousel). We were unable to get a comment from Adobe before going to press.

DL. In response to a question regarding the impact that the Datalogics acquisition has had on Frame, Robichaux revealed that FrameMaker is now being considered as a potential replacement for ArborText´s editor in the jcals contract – a direct result of its acquisition of DL, which is also involved in that project.

Robichaux also mentioned the Datalogics account at Ford, which is considering switching to FrameMaker for authoring, and noted that Datalogics has introduced Frame to the pharmaceutical market at Merck.

1993-02-08: Volume 22, Number 10

DP/Publisher accompanies many orders for Intergraph´s other software products, but that is about to change, as Intergraph announced that it will adopt Frame Technology´s FrameMaker and FrameViewer as its preferred electronic document publishing solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Intergraph will market and support FrameMaker and FrameViewer and integrate the two products into the publishing solutions it provides. Primarily, these solutions will be in-house publishing applications related to Intergraph´s business in computer-aided engineering, design, manufacturing, earth science and telecommunications.

Frame has ported FrameMaker 3.1 and FrameViewer to Intergraph workstations, and Intergraph is in the process of certifiying the software.

Intergraph will add filters for Intergraph graphics formats, DP/Publisher and DP/Layout (the precursor to DP/Publisher).

Looking for value. According to Buchheim, the decision was driven by a recognition that the DP/Publisher development effort was not bringing sufficient added value to Intergraph´s solutions. «We want to focus on adding value, rather than building things that already exist», he commented. Buchheim acknowledged the considerable duplication in functionality between the two products and pointed out that Frame´s development staff for FrameMaker is larger than Intergraph´s; it´s not hard to imagine that were Intergraph to continue developing DP/Publisher it would be hard-pressed to keep the product competitive.
Frame´s products will be viewed in a similar light. The group that will be working with the product – the federal and industrial contracts group led by Robin Tomlin – does not have its own sales force, and most of the group´s efforts are in meeting publishing requirements of Intergraph contracts for other applications. The group has been strengthened recently with the addition of several ex-Datalogics employees, including Tomlin, Ray Stachowiak, John Dick and Beth Micksch.

Succumbing to standards. From Frame´s vantage, the endorsement is yet another outlet for FrameMaker and FrameViewer. Frame has been steadily increasing its market penetration by courting a variety of distributors.

This will be the first time that FrameMaker is available for Intergraph workstations. The move is feasible in part because of Intergraph´s growing commitment to industry standards. Intergraph workstations, which at one time ran only software written for those machines, have evolved in their use of standards such as Unix and Motif. Intergraph workstations are based on Intergraph´s Clipper microprocessor, so there is a port for Frame to make, but that port (and subsequent updates) should be made easier by Intergraph´s changes in its operating environment.

Frame has ported its 3.1 release of FrameMaker to Intergraph workstations; the software is expected to be available to customers shortly.

Furthermore, Intergraph expects Frame to evolve FrameMaker to make it more open to third-party improvements, thereby making it easier for resellers such as Intergraph to add value.

1993-02-22: Volume 22, Number 11

Observations from Japan: The JAGAT Page '93 Conference

To support our conclusion that desktop products have had much less of an impact in Japan than in the U.S., we noted only one dealer showing Ventura Publisher, none with PageMaker, one with FrameMaker and a few with Xpress. And, shockingly, we saw only one exhibitor running a Windows program.

1993-03-08: Volume 22, Number 12

The problem. One of the nation´s leading sources of health care information products and services, HCIA Inc. (Baltimore, MD) produces analysis, publications, reports and online services for strategic business decisions. Its databases merge detailed clinical, financial and operating data, gathered from public and private sources.

HCIA has been using Frame Technology´s FrameMaker to paginate long documents since last summer. For the most part, it has worked well. Among the accomplishments are a 200-page book consisting mostly of tables and a 1,700-page directory of nursing home facilities. In both cases, data was extracted from a database in ascii format with Frame codes intact.

Some HCIA employees with typographic backgrounds have suggested strengthening FrameMaker´s typography, such as enabling condensing and expanding type, allowing facing pages to run long or short by a user-defined amount, and prohibiting hyphenation on the last full line of a paragraph. So far, they have been able to work around most of FrameMaker´s problems. However, one has been particularly frustrating: Frame´s implementation of the "freeze pagination" command.

For readers not familiar with the concept of freezing pagination, we´ll explain it as the function that prevents editing changes made to one page from "rippling" across multiple pages. It usually applies to pages that were created using a batch pagination program, but later are edited interactively.

To prevent changes from rippling, each page is locked in place as it was broken, giving the operator freedom to work on any page without jeopardizing earlier pagination decisions. After interactive editing has concluded, the freeze can be removed to allow the batch program to run again.

That´s the way it is supposed to work. However, we got a call from Joanne Wiedemann-Parks of HCIA, who complained that Frame´s implementation of freezing pagination "creates more problems than it solves." Joanne noted that it works all right when the last line of a page is the last line of a paragraph, ending in code that quads the text left.

However, if the last line on the page is a justified line within a paragraph, Frame´s means of freezing the page is to split the paragraph into two at the page break, which causes the last line to be flushed left.

This has two consequences. First, if the page is printed or viewed on the screen while pagination is frozen, the last line will be flushed left rather than justified, although it isn´t at the end of the paragraph and it may end in the middle of a sentence.

Second, if the next page is printed or displayed, the first line of text - namely the latter portion of the paragraph that spans the two pages – will have an indent, if the paragraph style calls for a first-line indent.

The problem is exacerbated when pagination is "unfrozen." It would seem logical that Frame would merge its two "paragraphs" back together when the freeze command is released. However, that isn´t the case. FrameMaker leaves the two as separate paragraphs, causing many page breaks to be tarnished.

Frame´s response. We called David Murray, vice president of product design at Frame, to see if Joanne´s problems were, indeed, the way FrameMaker is known to function. David agreed that Joanne had hit on two problems – the implementation of "freeze pagination" and the way unfreezing is handled.

The former problem, David said, is a design error that is explained in Frame´s release notes. There is no current solution, but Frame is working on the problem, he said. The problem is traced to the fact that FrameMaker doesn´t have a "force justify" command to cause the line to extend the full column width.

With the latter problem, though, David said that version 2.0 of FrameMaker had handled unfreezing correctly – that is, to merge the two pieces together. It was only in 3.0 that a bug crept in and caused the program not to perform the necessary merging.

So, Frame is aware of the problem and will fix it as soon as it can, David said. Meanwhile, the temporary fix is to delete the codes manually – a tedious job indeed.

Epilogue. As you might expect, Joanne isn´t ready to issue any plaudits for Frame´s response to the problem. She´ll be glad to get the bug fix, but she´d like to see some haste in getting the other part of the problem attended to as well. If a fix depends mostly on having a force justify command in the system design, it would be worth adding, not only to fix the freeze pagination function, but it also would come in handy at other times. We´ll see how quickly Frame addresses these questions and report the progress when it happens.


Datalogics´ parent, Frame Technology, was on hand in the DL booth to demonstrate FrameMaker and discuss how its products might be used for creating and publishing pharmaceutical-related documents. FrameMaker´s wysiwyg, easy-to-use functionality has particular appeal for label-related materials, which are not nearly as voluminous as submissions and often have more irregular formatting and layout requirements.

Interleaf, which also has targeted pharmaceuticals as a key vertical market, was on hand to show how its software might be used for creating, managing and delivering ndas. It showed Interleaf 5, Relational Document Manager and WorldView. No product changes have happened since we reported on version 2.0 of RDM last fall (Vol. 22, No. 4), but the company has been very busy in the pharmaceutical market. Wellcome Ltd., ICI and Mallinckrodt are all current customers, and Mallinckrodt used WorldView to deliver one of its submissions electronically.

1993-09-15 Volume 23 Number 2

Frame introduces FrameMaker 4

API tops list of new features. In its first major upgrade to FrameMaker since adding a table editor in the spring of 1991, Frame Technology introduced FrameMaker 4 this week at the Windows Solutions Conference in San Jose, CA.

The new version includes “more than 100” new features, but an application programming interface (API) for connecting FrameMaker to other applications may be the most significant addition.

FrameMaker 4 is being released simultaneously on Mac, Windows and Unix Motif platforms. Most of the new features work the same in all three environments, although some—filters and user interface conventions—are platform specific.

General improvements. Among the general improvements are:
A Webster thesaurus, from Proximity;
Detailed document comparison reports on the differences between two documents or books; and
Improved locks. The locking mechanism, which we criticized in our review of FrameMaker 2.0 and was not fixed in the level 3 products, has finally been changed to allow a user to open a locked document for viewing or to open a copy for editing.

Updated user interface. Frame has redesigned many of the dialog boxes, and renamed and regrouped menus in order to make the product easier to use.

Because the menus have gotten long, to keep the program easy to use Frame has made two levels of menus: “quick” (where page layout and formatting functions are hidden) and “complete.” More importantly, users of FrameMaker 4 on Unix and Windows can load custom menus by editing the configuration file. Unix users can add keyboard macros to menus via this configuration file.

Graphics and color. Keeping up with Xpress and PageMaker, FrameMaker 4 rotates text and graphics in increments of.001 degree. Objects may be rotated by dragging their handles or by keying in values in a dialog box. Text may still be edited in its rotated state.

On the graphics side, Frame has expanded its dashed-line patterns to eight, any of which may be combined with arrowheads, and provided a way to import custom dashed-line patterns.

Support for color has been substantially improved. FrameMaker 4 users can create spot colors using four color models: RGB, HLS, CMYK and Pantone. Preseparated files can be passed through as separations or printed as composites on PostScript color printers. The program does not make process color separations on its own.

Formatting improvements. Frame has added automatic side heads and lead-in heads as paragraph styles—a welcome improvement. But it hasn’t rewritten its pagination algorithm, which means it still will not compete with Interleaf, Xyvision and Datalogics for Mil-Spec and other complex, multiple-column book work.

The other improvements in formatting are primarily cosmetic.

International. Frame has added new dictionaries for Canadian French, Swiss-German, Catalan and Nynorsk, bringing its spelling checking and hyphenation language total to 17. The thesaurus is available in 10 of those.

API. Precise details on the API were not available at press time, but depending on how extensive it is, it could make FrameMaker much more appealing as a building block for creating a complete publishing system. Frame has the API available for Unix and intends to release Mac and Windows developers’ kits by the end of the year.

Frame expects one of the first API clients to be introduced to be a database access client from Brio.

We have received a beta version of FrameMaker 4 and plan to provide more detail on the product and the API in an upcoming issue of the Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing.

1993-11-08: Volume 23 Number 6

Klaus installs new management team after loss of $10.8 million for quarter.The hemorrhaging at Frame Technology finally may have stopped, but not before the company suffered its second consecutive substantial quarterly loss and initiated its second workforce reduction—this time by 20%—in as many quarters.

The layoff of 60 employees and 40 contractors follows the elimination of about 45 positions in June and reduces Frame’s overall payroll to 425 employees, about 70% of its size six months ago. This time, we understand that administrative areas at Datalogics and Frame’s Ireland office were among the offices hit hardest. The reductions in June were primarily administrative and engineering positions at Frame’s headquarters in San Jose, CA.

million loss. Frame’s sales for the quarter actually turned upward, from $12 million to $13.1 million, primarily due to software sales, but otherwise the numbers were disappointing. On top of an operating loss of more than $1 million, it incurred pretax restructuring charges of $9.8 million—a phenomenal amount for a restructuring with layoffs of this size.

For the nine months ended September 30, Frame has lost $34 million ($2.56 per share). Last quarter it lost nearly $6 million on operations and took $13 million in restructuring costs associated with the layoffs. Despite dipping into some of its reserves, however, the company still has $34 million in cash and more than $60 million in assets.

According to Frame spokesperson Carol Kaplan, this quarter’s write-offs included excess facilities and other contingencies. The published balance sheets did not disclose how much of the nonrecurring charges were unrelated to layoffs.

Frame reported $18 million in sales for this quarter a year ago. After peaking last fall, sales have slumped, and, even with the upswing last quarter, they are still well below previous levels.

1994-02-21:Volume 23 Number 12

Ex-Interleaf executive replaces founder as general manager at Datalogics.After 20 years of running Datalogics, Steve Brown will be leaving Chicago to become the VP of corporate product strategy at Frame Technology. Brown’s new charter is to oversee Frame’s development of document management technology.

1994-05-30: Volume 23 Number 17

Published API. For the most part, however, developing interfaces to specific applications has been performed by Xyvision as custom software development projects. For example, Xyvision has prototyped an entire Frame environment for those who want to use FrameMaker as a creation or editing module and as an output page formatter. Other custom development has been performed for specific situations.

1994-07-20: Volume 23 Number 20

Frame Technology’s first quarter (ended March 31, 1994) indicated that the company may be on its way to overcoming the difficulties it experienced in 1993. First quarter revenues were $16.1 million, compared with $15.9 million a year ago. Net income for the quarter was $1.5 million, compared with a net loss of $3.9 million in the first quarter of 1993.

1994-08-15: Volume 23 Number 22

Steve Sherman has been promoted to VP of engineering at Frame Technology. Sherman joined Frame about eight months ago as VP of core technology. Jeff Young, who had filled the top engineering spot for a year, relinquished his executive duties to return to software engineering. Also at Frame, Kate Lynch has been appointed director of corporate/marketing communications, reporting to Frame’s senior VP of marketing, Bill Pieser.

1994-09-09: Volume 24 Number 1

Frame Technology is bouncing back to profitability, posting its fourth consecutive quarter in which both revenues and earnings have grown. Revenue for the second quarter was $17.2 million, an increase of 43% over the second quarter a year ago. Net income for the second quarter was $2.1 million, compared to a whopping loss that exceeded $19 million when Frame restructured a year ago.

For the past six months (ending June 30), Frame posted net revenues of $33.3 million, compared to $28 million during the same period a year ago. Net income for the six-month period was $3.6 million ($0.24 per share) compared to a net loss of $23.3 million (-$1.75 per share) a year ago.

The company attributes much of its improved performance to increased demand for its products, including FrameMaker 4 for Windows. In addition, its Unix business remains strong and contributed 72% of product revenues for the second quarter. Macintosh software revenues increased 54% during the quarter as a result of the availability of FrameMaker 4 for the Power Mac platform.

1994-11-17: Volume 24 Number 5

IPS Press. The system developed by ISGI, called IPS Press, is a client-server system using Informix database software running on Hewlett-Packard Unix workstations. (In the future, ISGI will support Siemens Nixdorf workstations using MIPS R4000-series processors. Oracle will serve as a database option. Clients will run under Unix or Windows.)

The Unix workstations use elements of FrameMaker software for editorial and pagination functions. There is a reduced-function, single-story-only version called IPS Editor Plus. The ad makeup workstation is AdOne, originally developed by Nokia in Finland, but ISGI has since taken over the source software.

1994-12-31: Volume 24 Number 8

Back-end document management piece complements Curo acquisition. Putting into place the remaining major piece of its document management strategy, Frame Technology has signed an OEM agreement with Saros under which Frame will sell a Frame-branded document management product based on Saros Mezzanine.

Earlier this year, Frame acquired Curo, the company that makes a front-end graphical user interface for Mezzanine. At press time we had not yet heard if Frame will interface Curo to other back ends.

With the new pact, Saros and Frame will have to cooperate in order to avoid stepping on each other’s toes. Saros continues to sell its document management systems to major accounts, OEMs and system integrators. Frame will be selling a similar product through its various sales channels.

Saros has sold more than 250,000 licenses of its Mezzanine Enterprise Library Services (ELS). Its Document Manager is a prepackaged Windows application of ELS.

1995-02-27: Volume 24 Number 12

Desktop Technology in Bloom at Page ’95 in Japan

Long documents. There is in place in Japan a Unix-oriented publishing infrastructure, associated largely with high-technology companies and their technical-documentation needs. Several booths exhibited CAP systems (computer-aided publishing, an old name for publishing systems, often applied to systems for producing long documents) incorporating software such as FrameMaker or Interleaf Publisher.

1995-07-21: Volume 24 Number 21

Adobe acquires Frame, plans full takeover
Seeks expansion into corporate, Unix, tech-doc publishing markets

Adobe has made yet another move toward becoming a one-stop shop for publishing solutions, announcing last month its intention to acquire Frame Technology.

The purchase, to be voted on by Frame shareholders in September, would give each Frame shareholder .52 shares of Adobe stock for each common share of Frame stock.

The overall transaction was valued at about $500 million when it was announced on June 22. Although financial analysts saw positive aspects of the merger, many thought the price was too high. Following the news, Adobe’s stock was knocked down about 10%, from $65 to the upper $50s, where it has remained since then.

The acquisition does not require approval by Adobe shareholders. Frame shareholders are expected to approve the sale, assuming Adobe’s stock price holds until the vote in September.

Frame to be folded in. It appears that Frame, now nine years old, will cease to exist as a separate entity. In a follow-up phone interview, Adobe chairman John Warnock suggested that Adobe would fold Frame’s operations into Adobe’s, coinciding with Adobe’s move next July from its present headquarters in Mountain View, CA, to a new facility being built across the street from Frame’s headquarters in San Jose, CA.

Another indication of Adobe’s intent is that no Frame executives were named to key posts. Frame CEO George Klaus is expected to retire, and no one from Frame will be on Adobe’s board of directors. Of the Frame founders, only Charles Corfield, the original author of FrameMaker, remains.

Great synergy? Warnock stressed the synergy that he sees resulting from the merger. It falls into four areas, some of which are stronger than others, in our estimation.

Covering the Unix market. PageMaker is strong in the Mac and PC markets; FrameMaker is the leading publishing program for Unix workstations. Warnock, admitting that “we have done miserably in Unix,” sees Frame’s established distribution channel and sales force helping Adobe penetrate that market. Adobe already offers Illustrator and Photoshop for Unix, but we suspect that it is Acrobat that Warnock sees as a good piggyback to Frame’s success in the Unix market.

Boosting FrameMaker’s retail sales. The flip side is whether Adobe can make FrameMaker successful in the PC and Mac retail markets. Warnock was also upbeat about this potential: “We will aggressively try to promote Frame to help them increase market share. . . . Our channels and branding can be a great help to them.” There’s no question that Adobe has a better track record at doing this than Frame; we’re just not sure FrameMaker is the product the retail market wants.

Covering structured documents. Frame targets long, structured documents, a weakness of PageMaker, so the thinking is that this gives Adobe an option for those producing books or manuals. While it is true that Frame is used by many who create proposals, reports and manuals, it is also true that its success is partly because of its versatility for a variety of documents in which authors handle page composition. Frame has never excelled in production environments, and it is unclear if or how Adobe will address batch composition of books. On the plus side, Frame offers a product for SGML authoring and has been developing a strategy for managing structured documents, growth areas in which Adobe has little expertise.

Making corporate sales. Frame works hard at selling to government and corporate purchasers, markets in which Adobe wants to play. This may be the area of greatest potential synergy. Adobe has found that Acrobat is a corporate-wide sale, not a retail product, and the Acrobat sales force is calling on many of the same customers as Frame. Adobe should benefit from Frame’s experience in selling to this market.

We see one caveat, however. Increasingly, government and corporate MIS purchasers are driven toward mass-market leaders. Frame will not make Adobe a pile of money from the corporate market unless FrameMaker also succeeds as a mass-market product, something that it has been struggling with for several years.

Frame product implications. Clearly, FrameMaker remains, and development on the product continues. Version 5 was shipped just a few weeks ago, so the development team has some time to react to any change requests that come from Adobe.

FrameViewer also remains, at least for now. As Warnock politely put it, “Acrobat has much more going for it.” Indeed, between the two similar products, Acrobat has the obvious great advantage of supporting many more application programs and commanding much larger market share. FrameViewer’s one distinction is that it reads live files instead of frozen snapshots. Mark Hamilton, a Frame marketing manager, said Frame will continue to enhance the product’s annotation features and is looking at how best to incorporate viewing of other data types.

FrameMaker SGML continues, but it remains a niche product for now. Warnock acknowledged that the standard plays a role among many of Adobe’s customers, particularly larger corporate or commercial publishing accounts. “I’m not sure whether it will ever be a volume market, but I would characterize it as an important and vocal market,” Warnock said, adding that Frame’s expertise will help Adobe in that area.

1995-10-09: Volume 25, Number 3

Frame gets it right. Frame’s new FrameMaker+SGML provides an excellent environment for developing and working with SGML documents in a WYSIWYG composition environment. It looks a lot like its predecessor (FrameBuilder with the SGML Toolkit) but provides a number of important extra features. This appears to be the product we were hoping for when FrameBuilder was introduced three years ago.

1996-11-20: Volume 25, Number 5

On Oct. 30, Adobe Systems announced that it had completed its acquisition of Frame Technology, following approval by Frame shareholders at a meeting held on Oct. 26. At the same time, Adobe announced plans to reduce its worldwide staff by 7%, or about 150 employees.

The Frame acquisition completes a deal first announced on June 22. Adobe exchanged .52 shares of its common stock for each share of Frame common stock. Based on approximately 16.3 million shares of outstanding Frame stock and Adobe’s closing price on Oct. 27, the transaction is valued at about $460 million.

Under the new organization, Frame Technology will cease to exist as a company, but some of its trademarked brand names, such as FrameMaker, may still be used. Specific product name changes haven’t been determined and won’t be announced until they’re introduced to the market.

Staff will be trimmed in both Frame and Adobe organizations, primarily in sales and administrative functions. As of last week, Frame employed about 475 people and Adobe employed about 1,800.

In a telephone interview, Adobe president Chuck Geschke declined to be more specific about the layoffs, other than to say that both the Chicago (Datalogics) and Seattle (Aldus) offices will remain open.

Geschke remarked that there will be “many analogies between this merger and the way [Adobe] handled Aldus.”

Geschke confirmed that Adobe will continue to use Frame’s headquarters offices in San Jose, which are literally across the street from Adobe’s new headquarters, due for completion in mid-1996. Adobe also recently leased additional space in downtown San Jose, anticipating that it will have outgrown the space of its new facility before it even opens.

1996-02-29: Volume 25, Number 11

Adobe ships release 5 of FrameViewer
Little change in page-turner that reads only Frame documents

Adobe has released FrameViewer 5, an update that corresponds to FrameMaker 5 and FrameMaker+SGML, both of which were shipped last year. Adobe also released FrameMaker 5 on three additional Unix platforms.

The new version features a new wrap-to-window option; an icon toolbar that complements the dropdown menus; and a lower price. As with previous versions, there is an optional Verity-based full-text retrieval component. The overall product also may be customized via an API that is available in a developer’s kit.

The new FluidView viewing option presents tagged text in a single scrolling column, wrapped on the fly to the viewing window, instead of preformatted.

In contrast with the FrameMaker composition product, which changed substantially in release 5, this version of FrameViewer does little to improve the product’s sagging image. FrameViewer is a fine page-turner, one with above-average annotation features, but its restriction to reading Frame binaries limits its utility to all-Frame shops. Increasingly, the market is gravitating toward viewers that read multiple document formats.

FrameViewer costs $29 for Mac and Windows and a whopping $195 for Unix (volume and OEM discounts are available). The viewer’s retrieval tools (the indexing part) cost $4,000 for the Power Mac and Windows and $5,000 for Unix.

At the same time, FrameMaker 5 was released for Digital Unix, IBM AIX and Silicon Graphics Irix platforms. The functionality is the same as that of the Windows, Mac and Solaris versions, which were completed last year. However, for these three new platforms, FrameMaker 5 requires 32 MB and even 64 MB of RAM.

The new products are the first that Frame has shipped with Adobe labels on them. However, virtually all of the development took place before the acquisition.

1996-06-30: Volume 25, Number 19

Interest in Adobe FrameMaker+SGML

Adobe reports that sales of FrameMaker+SGML are strong and that they have been back-ordered since Adobe began shipping the product last year. Adobe estimates that at least 20% of the Frame market is considering FrameMaker+SGML. The current marketing policy doesn’t include any overtures to Frame customers. In the opinion of Lani Hajagos, senior product marketing manager, Adobe doesn’t need to market it right now; enough users in the customer base have decided on their own that they need it.

Adobe said that FrameMaker+SGML will be available in German and French on all platforms in July.

Newer reports

After this time it became silent about FrameMaker in the Seybold Reports. Checking the index files on www.seyboldreports.com/SRPS/about.html (back issues) revealed only the following (issue number, page). Reading these needs a subscription.

September 1996 - August 1997 (volume 26)
Adobe Systems: FrameMaker+SGML integration with Chrystal Astoria, no 19 p40
Xyvision: SGML Conductor, FrameMaker+SGML plug-in, no 4 p36

September 1997 - August 1998 (volume 27)
Xyvision: SGML Conductor, FrameMaker+SGML plug-in, no 5 p36

September 1998 - August 1999 (volume 28)
Datalogics: DL Formatter: uses FrameMaker for variable-data printing, no 2 p 11

September 1999 - August 2000 (volume 29)
Adobe Systems: FrameMaker 6.0, improvements, no 18 p 36
Finite Matters: tools, services based on FrameMaker, no 4 p 29
Quadralay: WebWorks Publisher 2000, links FrameMaker to Web, no 4 p 33

September 2000 - August 2001 (volume 30)
- nothing found -

The new reports "Analyzing Publishing Technologies" which are the follow up of "Report on Publishing Systems" do not contain any refernce to Frame to FrameMaker until today (2004-08-05).

[Main topics] [Navigation]
 URL:  Created: 2004-08-04  Updated:
© Docu+Design Daube, Zürich    
  Business of Docu + Design Daube Documentation issues Sharing information Klaus Daube's personal opinions Guests on this site Home of Docu + Design Daube To main page in this category To first page in series To previous page in series To next page in series To bottom of page To top of page Search this site Site map Mail to webmaster To bottom of page To top of page