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Running the Document Viewing Marathon

by | Apr 15, 2013

For Bostonians, there is a palpable buzz of electricity in the air this morning. Today marks the 117th Boston Marathon. In a city rich with history and long-standing traditions the marathon, which takes place on the third Monday in April every year, may be its most iconic. Many Massachusetts residents will spend the day lining Comm. Ave and the rest of the course to cheer on the thousands of runners. Even for those of us in the office at work, it is tough not to get caught up in some of the excitement.

Snowbound hasn’t been around for 100+ years like the Boston Marathon, but we approach our software development and support with a similar long distance outlook. In 1996, Snowbound was founded during the snowiest winter in Boston history and five years later we released the first version of our web-based document viewer, which was then known as Snapplet. At the time, this initial version of our viewer was only available as a Java-based applet and lacked sophisticated functionality.

Over the years, Snowbound has devoted much of our time and energy into building and enhancing this web viewer. Along the way, we’ve passed many important mile markers, continually adding functionality and greater performance to our suite of products. Today, the web viewer is known as VirtualViewer—a HTML5, Zero Footprint document viewer that does not require a download or client installation. Over the past few years, we’ve added a myriad of features to provide our customers with the best possible viewing and conversion technology. We’ve incorporated tablet and mobile support, add-on compatibility for ECM systems like Documentum, FileNet and SharePoint, and powerful annotation and redaction capabilities—just to name a few.

This isn’t to say we haven’t encountered our share of Heartbreak Hills along the way. There have been uphill battles: stretching the limits of Java and web viewing technology, challenges by multiple competitors, and needing to go the extra mile for our valued customers. However, we’ve continued to press onward and upward. In fact, in 2012 Snowbound recorded our best year in 17 years while satisfying some of the largest corporations and government agencies on the planet.

The analogy between the marathon and Snowbound isn’t quite perfect, though. There is no Boylston Street finish line on the horizon for Snowbound. Every year we plan to continue to enhance our products and grow in new, exciting directions. But like all of the runners out there today, we certainly understand the difference between a sprint and a marathon. We expect to be here for you for a long time to come.