Agent technology boosts search and retrieval systems

Fulcrum Technologies, supplier of retrieval technology, has two products in the pipeline.

It is releasing an "agent" technology system at the end of September based on the idea of a personal helper automatically retrieving information as it appears on the Internet or internal files which is of interest to the user. It works from a profile of the user's interests and records the type of information retrieved most often, improving the accuracy as it is used.

Richard Susskind, special IT adviser to Masons, said in principle agent technology was an exciting development for lawyers. "Its power will depend on the degree to which you can actually specify the profiles accurately," he added.

This autumn the company is launching its Information Centre – a common search facility that allows users to search the Web, CD-Roms and internal electronic files using one search command. The system can be integrated with any interface and costs from £5,000.

Stephen Cole, Fulcrum's UK managing director, said: "This product will allow a user to search a CD-Rom in a local drive and, using the same interface, a Web site on the other side of the world."

Fulcrum's search and retrieval software is often supplied embedded in other products and is also available 'off the shelf'.