This week, Kofax decided to enhance its SDK with the acquisition of Atalasoft, Nuance upgrades to OmniPage 18, Microsoft tells us why Office 365 is good for Mac, First to File extends patent document management reach and Google looks set to introduce Google Docs Offline this summer -- again.

Kofax Buys Atalasoft

Document and business process automation vendor Kofax (news, site) this week announced that it is buying imaging software developer Atalsoft, with which it hopes to enhance its SDK and offer it for use with its Capture and Transformation modules software by the end of this year.

After the recent flurry around LinkedIn and Skype, the sums involved are relatively small, with Kofax taking all of Atalsoft’s (news, site) stock for US$ 5.5 million in cash, with US$ 4.7 million to be paid on closing of the transaction and US$ 0.8 million to be paid one year from closing, subject to terms and conditions.

In addition, Kofax may pay an additional US$ 4.2 million in cash to be made during the next two-and-a-half years, subject to the achievement of specific annual revenue growth; in other words, if Atalasoft performs, it will pay the money out then. The acquisition is to close by the end of May.

The combined product will enable users to capture portal and Internet browser-based applications and extend their capture solutions beyond firewalls to include line-of-business applications accessible over the web.

Atalasoft’s flagship product DotImage is one of the better SDKs for document scanning, viewing, annotating and processing in Microsoft .NET environments with over 2,500 end users. Interested in more?

Nuance Upgrades OmniPage

If you missed it during the week, we wondered what Nuance (news, site) could add to OmniPage that it hasn't crammed into any of the 17 previous editions.

Nuance offers a Windows-based document scanning and management solution, with each iteration refining the product for those that are always on the lookout for something new.

OmniPage 18 is no different, with the addition of a cloud connector to allow saving and conversion in any of the popular cloud services.

It also offers improved scanning, claiming to save 15 minutes a page in user time thanks to a 67% increase in layout accuracy and an 18% character accuracy improvement when converting a page into editable documents. Check it out here.

Office 365 is for Mac, Too

In all the hoopla around the release of Office 365 and all the great things that it will be able to do, Mac and the use of Office 365 for Mac users got a bit lost in all the writeups.

However, this week on the Office 365 blog Andrew Kisslo, Group Manager, Office 365, took time to show us how it will work and where it won’t.

While this is not document management in the strictest sense of the word, for those working with documents on the Mac, the outline is interesting.

So what will Mac users be able to do? According to Kisslo, quite a lot. End  users will still get a “phenomenal” experience across the Mac, Safari or iPhone so they can more easily work with co-workers on PCs.

Some of the interesting possibilities include enabling Outlook for Mac 2011 users to connect to the cloud service and get rich messaging features, the ability to check calendar free/busy status and manage tasks and contacts. Microsoft Entourage for Mac 2008 users can gain access to email and calendars as well.

People who are using Word for Mac 2011, PowerPoint for Mac 2011 and Excel for Mac 2011 (SP1 required) will be able to open, save and upload files to and from SharePoint Online as well as co-author from within Word for Mac 2011 and PowerPoint for Mac 2011 using SharePoint Online.

Users with Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac SP2 will also be able to connect to SharePoint Online through Document Connection 2008.

Users of documents via Office Web Apps will be able to make light edits on-the-go from SharePoint online or view a PowerPoint Broadcast. You need Safari 4 on the Mac.

There is also iPhone functionality where you can have access to documents and view attachments using a mobile browser and Office Web Apps.

Also of interest in the blog post is a list of questions from users that suggest wider concerns with Office 365 than just use with the Mac. One user wanted to know about connection to SharePoint Online, another about connection to Lync Online. There’s also a lot more functionality here for the Mac, so it's well worth a look.

FTF Extends Document Patents

Meanwhile, First to File (news, site), which recently announced that it had raised US$ 2 million in venture capital, keeps the ball rolling with the announcement that it has introduced Electronic File Room for Trademarks (EFR), a SaaS-based trademark document management solution.

The new product complements FTF's existing EFR for Patents document management solution.

EFR-TM centralizes the storage of all documents related to the prosecution and maintenance of trademarks for jurisdictions around the world, enabling rapid access, sharing and ease of management. It also integrates  with customers' existing docketing solutions and an increasing number of global trademark offices.

EFR for Trademarks works with FTF's workflow management and agent access modules, and can be purchased in combination with, or separately from, EFR for Patents.

Google Docs to Go Offline

From Google this week comes the news that it is expecting to re-activate its Google Docs offline capabilities. There is still no definitive date for it yet, but reports across the Web suggest that it will be sometime over the course of the summer.

You might recall that it was introduced in 2008 and later withdrawn, but Google says that it has been using it internally again for a while and is set for a general release soon.

It’s not clear how much interest there will be in this, as Google cited low interest and uptake as one of the reasons for the withdrawal of the initial offering. There’s not a lot more on this at the moment, but as soon as we know, so will you.