Offline and hybrid systems

Despite the great hype of the recent years the Internet as a medium is not the panacea that many people first believed it to be. Both paper and locally installed (i. e. offline systems) are here to stay for a long time and very often offer substantial advantages to pure online and HTML based systems.

In contrast to most in the industry we primarily see the Internet as just another WAN (Wide Area Network) capable of cheaply and quickly transferring data and connecting people in a new way. For us the Internet is much more a pipe system and far less a new media. In fact, as long as the use of the Internet is primarily based on something as simple as HTML it's practical usability for sophisticated applications will remain very limited. HTML was not intended for such usage.

Paper is first for Elepub, not neglecting HTML and "new media"

This is why Elepub supports paper in the first place with HTML and CDF based systems (or PDF) to follow with the same emphasis and the same importance. Also, generating pages for paper is typically far more complicated than generating HTML - for many reasons, because the expectations and requirements of paper users are so much higher compared to an Internet surfer and generating pages for a DTP software is a far more challenging task than creating relatively simple HTML pages.

As a side remark: for sophisticated database driven applications we recommend CDF, Elecat's unique intelligent Catalog Data Format. This is often an interesting alternative offering many new and unique capabilities lacking in all of today's data formats.

Electronic product catalogs

We distinguish here between two types of electronic product catalogs both of which are fully supported by Elepub:

  • database only
  • page based with additional database.

Elecat is available in both versions depending on whether you want to distribute formatted pages where components are linked to the integrated database, or a software using the database only. Please refer to the Elecat documentation and web site for further details.

Elecat - CDF based electronic paper catalog

Most great ideas are simple. And so is the basic idea behind Elecat: use paper in the PC or on the Internet with all the advantages of modern electronics, while voluntarily maintaining the existing paper layout.

"Paper" here includes any type of product publication, that is any kind of printed matter containing article and product data. In most cases the contents of these publications are connected to the database, which is an integral part of Elecat. Catalogs are used in the PC with all conceivable search techniques. Once a product is selected, a mouse click on the article number opens this specific record in the database for further processing (orders and so forth).

Elecat is the elder brother of Elepub. Of course, any publication created by Elepub can be exported to the CDF file format and used by the Elecat software. The CDF files also include the article data needed by Elecat. Please refer to the Elecat documentation and web site for further details.

PDF electronic paper documents

If viewing and printing your publications is sufficient and it needs neither further processing nor article data to be distributed alongside, you might consider distributing your documents in the PDF format. This can be read by the free Adobe Acrobat reader software, which is widely distributed and available from the web site.

Of course, Elepub can print its documents to a file, from which PDF can be generated. Creating PDF from Elepub is therefore the easiest task - although what results from it is not really an application but just an electronic paper publication.

It you want more functionality for your output than just reading and printing you should consider either Elecat or any tailor made application software for processing your data.

Please read this page for details or refer to

CD-ROM based systems

Elepub fully supports CD-ROM based systems and applications. Please read this page for details.

Elecat automatic update system

Elepub fully supports the automatic update system for e-paper catalogs inherent to Elecat, the e-paper catalog software, a sister application to Elepub. Please read this page for details or refer to