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Folio Corporation (later NextPage)

1987

Folio Corporation was founded and quickly became the leader in publishing content on CD ROM. The first product, NFolio 1.2, was shipped in September 1988 as part of Novell NetWare. Users typing "help" at any DOS prompt on a Novell network were presented with the online NetWare manuals in Folio Infobase format. Over the years, Folio was propagated as part of Novell's NetWare, to an estimated 25 million desktops. (from a NextPage press release dated July 9, 2004)

NFolio was renamed to Folio Views, and Folio View 2.1 was a DOS program.

1992(?)

Folio Corp. sold to LEXIS-NEXIS (Reed Elsevier Group ), business and government information solutions.

June 1996

Folio released Web Retreiver 2.0, to import web content into infobase indexed documents.

As its technology continued to improve, Folio's Web Retriever later became known Folio SiteDirector, then Folio LivePublish, then NextPage NXT.

September 1996

Folio Corp. released Folio 4, replacing the latest version of Folio Bound Views, 3.11.2.

Folio Builder was a product "tool set" for building the infobases at the core of Folio 4. Folio Builder indexed and compiled ASCII, Word, WordPerfect, FrameMaker, and Folio flat files into an infobase and provides a developer with encryption, compression, and security options. Folio Builder was previously called the Infobase Production Kit. The Folio product line included Folio SiteDirector, Folio Views, Folio Builder, Folio Publisher, Folio Integrator, Folio 4, LivePublish and SecurePublish.

February 1997

Folio Corp. was sold to Open Market, for $45 million. Two weeks before, Open Market bought WayPoint, a business solution designed to create Internet-based business-to-business catalogs by retrieving complex product information from databases.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Open Market retained Folio's 190 employees at Folio's Provo, Utah, headquarters. Folio was to operate as a division of Open Market under Folio president Bill Bennett.

Open Market would combine Folio's document management software with its own e-commerce transaction management package (OM-Transact) to provide new products for companies selling information-based services.

The merger was to result in products that combined Open Market's server-based "back-end" transaction management and security technologies with Folio's information databases, server-based "front-end" management, and search-retrieval software. Products featuring the combined technologies were expected by the end of June 1997.

In February 1998, Open Market anounced that Folio would make use of the new standrads XML for content, and XSL for style. (source)

Many of the standards that are now established, such as XML, were not well developed at the time, let alone accepted by users. As it turned out, Folio, with its roots in CD-ROM publishing, was entirely unsuitable for ecommerce web sites and web content management, and proved to be difficult for Open Market to integrate. In a later bankruptcy court hearing, one of the statements shows that "Folio was more designed for multimedia distribution. It was not really focused on the Web. Making a conversion of that product over to the Web was actually going to be more costly than [initially thought]".

Mid 1998

Open Market licensed Folio technology to ITM Products for that company's new Fusion technology to bridge between Lotus Notes databases to Folio infobases. (The Fusion product sold for about $15,000 for a 300-seat license.) (Information Week On Line, June 1, 1998)

October 1998

Folio 4.2 was released by Open Market. At the same time, Open Market released LivePublish to replace the earlier Folio SiteDirector. (A SiteDirector license was priced at $4,995)

SiteDirector was developed as a way for companies to publish information previously available only in LAN-based versions of Folio's software. Several companies that use Folio's products internally were adding SiteDirector to sell access to their private repositories on the Web.

Newspapers were realizing that they had potential revenue in their archives. One of the users was Tribune Solutions, a unit of Salt Lake City newspaper publisher Kearns-Tribune. The company's newspapers used SiteDirector to sell access to their archives, which were stored in Folio's infobase file format.

"Infobase files store text, word processor documents, and multimedia data in a highly compressed format that includes a full index of the file's contents. The SiteDirector server instantly converts infobase files to HTML format when a browser requests a Web page. SiteDirector's search engine lets users search all the text in a multi-gigabyte infobase file in less than a second." (Information Week OnLine, December 8, 1997)

"Open Market's first quarter 1999 revenue of $12.6 million for its e-commerce products grew 116 percent over the same period of the previous year. Folio product sales tallied only $3 million for the same quarter." (InternetWeek.com, June 10, 1999)

July 1, 1999

Open Market ceased to sell Folio's products and instead licensed them to a company known then as ABSB, led by one of Folio's founders. ABSB, later known as NextPage, and Open Market completed an agreement giving NextPage exclusive rights to the future development, marketing, sales and support of Open Market's Folio product line.

Open Market was quick to distinguish its recent acquisition FutureTense from Folio. Where Folio was well-suited to delivering large collections of reference material, it lacked a personalization engine and tools for collaborative authoring, along with design and production tools that would appeal to most businesses. FutureTense technology was better suited for the ecommerce business that Open Market had decided to focus on, rather than the document management technology that Folio was focused on. FutureTense failed to save Open Market as a company, and they declared bankruptcy in August 2003. In 2004 FutureTense, and associated Open Market technologies were part of FatWire Software Corporation, owners of UpdateEngine, a Java-based content management solution.

On the July 1, 1999 date, all of Open Market's Folio-related contracts, partnerships and licenses were transferred to ABSB (NextPage). In addition, nearly all of Open Market's 90 Folio employees were retained to work in the new company that was to be headquartered in Provo, Utah.

Under the terms of the deal, ABSB L.C. (later known as NextPage) would resell the Folio products exclusively for a three-year period. ABSB would also have non-exclusive rights to resell Open Market's commerce products. Open Market was to receive guaranteed royalties of $14 million for the Folio products, and another $14 million in license fees for its commerce tools.

ABSB announced that it would launch the new Folio product for its document distribution business under a new name, NextPage.

Bradley D. Pelo, a co-founder of the original Folio Corporation, was named president and CEO of the new company. Folio was founded by Pelo and Curt Allen, whose brother Paul Allen, co-created Infobases. (Brad Pelo and Paul Allen are also brothers-in-law.) From 1993-1995, Pelo was head of business development for LEXIS/NEXIS, who had bought control of Folio in 1992, and from 1995 to 1999, he was president of publisher Bookcraft, Inc. Pelo left Bookcraft in 1999 when the company was purchased by its competitor Desert Book. Pelo formed NextPage along with three other private investors, including Alan Ashton, one of the founders of WordPerfect. Pelo gave testimony about the advantages of peer-to-peer networking technology before the U.S. Senate's October 2000 hearings on the negative impacts of Napster. Nextpage's technology was given a generic name of Peer-To-Peer Content Network, but later the name was chnaged to e-Content Network.

Brad Pelo, along with Alan Ashton of WordPerfect, was a co-founder of Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, a combined business, residential, and recreation development in Lehi, Utah. NextPage has its corporate offices at Thanksgiving Point.

While still a teenager, Pelo launched his first successful business and was labeled a "teen tycoon" in stories appearing in many national publications, including The New York Times, Success, and McCalls. He founded and sucessfully headed both Folio Corporation and NextPage, Inc. Brad Pelo was one of the executive producers, and presumably an investor in the film, The Legend of Johnny Lingo.

NextPage technology was promoted as eliminating traditional barriers of intranets, extranets and the Internet by providing users a single point of access to information from dispersed sources and different data types, such as XML, HTML, Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF files and database repositories. Their promotional literature states that once these sources are linked together in a Peer-to-Peer Content Network, they become a single, virtual repository.

Folio products would not be upgraded or improved, just supported with bug fixes (as of mid 2004, they were up to Folio 4.5). All development activities would be pointed to NextPage LivePublish, now known as NextPage NXT, which indexed Word, HTML, XML, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, and Folio 4.x infobase formatted documents. The next release of LivePublish was in its 6.0 version, but with a new name: NextPage LivePublish 2.0. With its upcoming release, Folio LivePublish 5.0 was informally renamed as NextPage LivePublish 1.0, and in September 2000, NextPage LivePublish 2.0 was replaced by LivePublish 3.0, but renamed to NextPage NXT 3, using the same technology. (At its launch in January 2001, NXT 3 was priced at $85,000 for 250 users.)

March 2001

Folio was sold to NextPage, for the stated amount of $6.6 million. Open Market had licensed the Folio technology to NextPage in July 1999. Included in the March 2001 sale was the building and facilities, which NextPage had only leased from Open Market after the initial deal in 1999.

September 1, 2004

NextPage, Inc. announced that Fast Search and Transfer (FAST), a Norwegian-based leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, had agreed to purchase the technology, product lines, and the over 500 customers and partners of NextPage's publishing applications business unit, including NXT, Folio, LivePublish, and GetSmart. NextPage's document management services, Chrome, was to remain with the company. (source)

In January 2006, FAST announced the release of ProPublish 4.1, "designed specifically for premium content providers whose research-oriented users demand complex search and navigation capabilities." The relationship of the old Folio format, to this newer ProPublish format in not known, but the news release shows that ProPublish included "Enhanced support for Folio and NXT content types. " (source)

April 25, 2008

FAST, A Microsoft Subsidiary -- On April 25, 2008, Microsoft completed its acquisition of FAST Search and Transfer, opening a new chapter in the ongoing evolution of search." (source1) (source2)

December 2, 2009

On December 2, 2009, Rocket Software acquired Folio and NXT from Microsoft. Rocket Software is a software development firm that builds and services Enterprise Infrastructure products in the areas of database, business intelligence, storage, networks and telecom, terminal emulation and FTP, integration, modernization and SOA, and security. Rocket Software is based in Newton, Massachusetts. (source)

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