Hynet Relaunches Directive

December 17, 1998

Liora Alschuler and Mark Walter

The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing
Vol. 3, No. 2

Last fall, Hynet entered the long-document-management market with its Digital Library System. This year, with new funding and a new name, it "relaunched" the product as Directive 2.0. Directive is a tool for managing long documents at the component level, primarily for the purpose of publishing them in different formats. Hynet has gotten $4.1 million in venture-capital funding for Directive so far.

Although the name has changed, the emphasis remains much the same. With Directive, Hynet is exploiting the benefits of XML as a neutral format. It manages chunks of documents ("minimum reusable units,"or mrus). The mrus are converted to XML and stored in an odbc database (now called the "Xml Information Warehouse"). Any odbc-compliant database can be used, but Hynet bundles Sql Server with the product. Mrus can be combined in different ways to create "Editions," which are specific publications. An Edition may be published on paper, on cd, or on the Web, or any combination of these, but html output is now the greater focus.

Directive is particularly appropriate for settings where FrameMaker and Microsoft Word are used for authoring, since it provides tools for breaking these formats down into components, and for getting the components back into these packages for additional editing.

Hynet continues to emphasize the technical-document market, and it is also targeting financial and regulatory markets. The system is appropriate for the publication of training manuals, marketing collateral, policy and procedure manuals, regulatory documents, and technical manuals. The company has landed key early accounts in each market: Hewlett-Packard and Novellus in technical documentation, and Charles Schwab in finance. The Asian market should provide an opportunity for Hynet, since Directive supports Japanese, Korean, and both versions of written Chinese. But so far, the company has only one Asian installation, at Commonwealth magazine in Taiwan. Commonwealth, a monthly business magazine, is also one of Hynet's early investors.

Among the features that Hynet plans to add to Directive are context-sensitive text searching, link management (for Web-page publication), dynamic publication of custom documents on a per-user basis, incremental updating of mrus from a Web client, and support for major European languages.