Corel Unwraps Smart Graphics Studio

Corel Wednesday took
the wraps off its new suite for
connecting data with interactive Web graphics, which is designed to let
application developers add visual interfaces to their structured
or semi-structured applications.

The Ottawa, Canada firm’s Smart
Graphics Studio
relies on the World Wide Web Consortium-certified Scalabale Vector Graphics schema for
visualizing information using XML . SVG, some say, is
comparable to Macromedia’s Flash technology in functionality, and is
supported by Microsoft, Adobe and other large companies.

Ian LeGrow, executive vice president of new ventures at Corel, said his firm
used SVG because there is a critical gap between complex data, business
application logic and the distributed methods to interact with them. Using
SVG, the “smart graphics” approach helps developers get more out of Web
services .

Some analysts, such as ZapThink Senior
Analyst Ronald Schmelzer, see the value in Corel’s Smart Graphics Studio as
a unique approach in a sea of Web services strategies geared to link
applications together.

Schmelzer told the product combines the descriptive
power of XML with the publishing and presentation capabilities of Corel’s
flagship product line.

“In essence, by adding SVG to the mix, Corel is focusing on an underserved
market: companies and individuals looking to value-add their semi-structured
content and structured information by providing potent visualization
capabilities on top of their data. Operating somewhere between business
intelligence and data aggregation, the Smart Graphics product is filling a
void that is unmet by existing vendors,” he said.

At a time when vendors like Microsoft, IBM and others are aiming to create
as much info as possible in XML format, business intelligence and analytics
vendors are looking to make greater use of structured content.

“Smart Graphics sits between, and enhances, both of these markets by
providing a means by which companies can leverage their
increasing repositories of XML-formatted data and present the information in
a way that can be consumed by business intelligence, analytics, portal, or
enterprise applications of all types,” Schmelzer said.

Smart Graphics Studio has four components: Corel Developer SG, Corel Process
Builder, Corel Server
SG and Corel SVG Viewer.

Corel Developer SG features a Design Window to create design client
interfaces while working in a visual development environment, a Template
Builder for preparing SVG documents with dynamic objects for data mappings
and a Data Mapper to define the connections between the inputs of an SVG
template and an XML source.

Corel Process Builder lets developers build processes for binding data
sources and generating graphics on the fly without complex hand coding.
Corel Server SG manages and transforms application data and images.

Lastly, Corel SVG Viewer is a Web browser plug-in that lets developers view
and interact with the SVG graphics as they create their application
interface. It features an ActiveX control for integration with enterprise

Corel Smart Graphics Studio is sold in a box for $1199 or as a download for
$1049. Pricing for Corel Server SG starts at
$3,999 and server modules to support Web services, imaging, and run-time
conversion will be available for additional costs ranging from $999 to
$5999. Server pricing is per CPU.

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