Only the really educated MFP document scanning buyers understand that there are two types of MFP software operating environments. Even fewer people know what are the advantages and disadvantages.
The first development environment to hit the market was embedded Java, which is what Canon, Ricoh and Lexmark MFPs use today to support document scanning and other MFP software applications. The other is Web services, which is used by all the other major MFP manufacturers, including Konica Minolta, HP, Xerox, Sharp, Toshiba and Fuji Xerox.
Why is this important? Both environments have significant advantages and disadvantages that you will want to understand before you make an important investment, especially if your implementation involves custom software development.
Embedded Java is a widely used and powerful programming language. One or more MFP software applications can reside within the device, although the application may also require a server.
The Web Services approach leverages international Web standards, like XML, HTML and AJAX to create applications and link them together. It is typically less demanding and complex than developing in Java. Earlier this week, Nuance announced its first version of eCopy ShareScan available for the Konica Minolta bEST platform, a Web services environment. Read the press release here.
If you are considering developing custom applications or integrations for MFP scanning, you should look more deeply into these two different approaches. I hope this post will get you started.