Teleshuttle Integrated Folio VIEWS Plug-ins

Note: Teleshuttle's proprietary software and online operations services are no longer marketed.
Please view the consulting information on the Teleshuttle home page.
The information shown dates from 1996 or earlier, and remains relevant to the history of CD/online/Web hybrid technology.

Online Updates for VIEWS Infobases

The Teleshuttle Folio VIEWS Plug-ins are extensions which fully pre-integrate with VIEWS 3.1 to fetch infobase updates via modem. The plug-ins seamlessly update infobases which have previously been distributed on CD-ROM or disk. They work within the VIEWS user interface and exploit Folio VIEWS version 3.1's latest "shadow file" features to provide a simple and powerful update capability. The plug-ins use the standard Teleshuttle transporter module.

The combination of VIEWS 3.1 with the Teleshuttle Plug-in extension provides a powerful facility for electronically updatable information products. Folio VIEWS infobase management products reside on more than 30 million desktops and are the delivery mechanism for more than one thousand commercial information titles. Folio Corporation (Provo, UT) is a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier.

The plug-ins can be distributed as a separate upgrade on diskette to allow retrofitting of VIEWS 3.1 infobases which have already been published and distributed without provision for such capability.

Folio Business Partners and Publishers can use the plug-ins with Teleshuttle's own back-end service, or can license the server and operate it themselves.

Teleshuttle also makes the source code available as part of a Developer's Kit for publishers and developers who wish to develop customized versions. An unlimited variety of update schemes and information-on-demand applications can be enabled in this manner. The standard Plug-in is just one example.

The Teleshuttle transporter module is independent of VIEWS and can be used with any search engine and user interface.

The Teleshuttle transporter can also send responses back from users to the server. Inquiry, order-entry and other response-oriented applications can be built as custom extensions to VIEWS Plug-ins.

The Release 1 VIEWS Plug-in is featured in Vista InterMedia's CD-ROM of the World Health Organization's International Digest of Health Legislation.

Features and Interface

The Teleshuttle plug-ins fit cleanly within the VIEWS user interface and provide seamless searching of updated infobases using the VIEWS shadow file function. Basic controls are located in the Teleshuttle menu, which is added to the standard VIEWS menu bar (using an SDK extension DLL), as shown below:

The update process itself is accomplished by simply selecting Update from this menu. This causes the Teleshuttle transporter to dial the pre-designated server, and retrieve the latest cumulative update file to the hard disk. The update is automatically decompressed and opened as a shadow file to the original infobase, and control is returned to the user. The user is left viewing the shadow file, with complete access to the seamlessly updated infobase, including the ability to browse, follow links, and do searches across the entire infobase.

As an aid to the user, an Update Status screen is made available from the Teleshuttle menu, as shown above. This provides a list of update files already received and a list of files scheduled to be available. This information is updated on each call to the central server. A message area for current service advisories, and other messages such as promotional bulletins from the publisher, is also provided. (Prior cumulative update shadow files are retained in case the user wants to keep personal modifications.)

A Setup screen provides for entry of basic configuration and control information by the user, such as communications port, modem type and speed, and User ID and password. A Help facility is included to guide the user in setup, operation, and any necessary troubleshooting. The user need not have any awareness of the actual process of modem initialization, dialing, signing on to the server, locating the update files, selecting protocols, checking space, specifying destinations, decompressing, or opening the new shadow file.

Any kind of file may be retrieved, including .NFOs, patches to .NFOs, as well as non-VIEWS files.

Teleshuttle Service Operations

To make new update shadow files or advisory messages available, the publisher simply uploads them to the server, or mails them to Teleshuttle

Teleshuttle's total server operations and support service is key to making use simple and economical, and to putting this technology within reach of any publisher. The Teleshuttle service centralizes the special skills of supporting real-time communications and server operations, and of staffing a hotline for technical support to end-users.

While most publishers and developers wish to outsource these tasks, some technically sophisticated organizations prefer to manage these functions in-house. Teleshuttle offers licensing options for both client and server software. This option can also be exploited by qualified Folio developers who wish to operate as Teleshuttle service bureaus (with back-up support available from Teleshuttle as needed).

Low Cost and Flexibility

The economy of the Teleshuttle technology enables a unique business model based on flat one-time fees which can be included in the initial price of the product. There is no need for complex subscription or usage-based charging schemes, nor the administrative costs they impose. Costs to a publisher or vendor may be as low as $3-5 per user, for a year of service, depending primarily on the number of users and the total volume of data made available for transport.

Customer charging models may take a variety of forms. Simplest is a "free" service, built into the product purchase price, which offers a set number of updates for a set period of time. Use of ordinary phone lines, where users pay any long distance charges, enables minimal fees. Also attractive is pay-per-call access using 900-numbers. For commercial applications, or catalogs or other sponsored services, toll-free lines or national public data networks may be used.

Technically, the Teleshuttle will extend to cover a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and network technologies. The first version supports Windows, and direct dial or X.25 communications. Versions are planned for Macintosh, DOS, and other platforms, and for Internet, wireless, and cable TV networks.


Platform: Windows 3.1 or Windows 95; Macintosh and DOS planned.

Interface: Extension DLL to VIEWS 3.1/Bound VIEWS 3.1.

Disk requirements: approx. 250K (plus update files and transient workspace during transmission).

Communications: modem, 2.4-28.8 Kbps.

Enhancements and Extensions

The VIEWS Plug-in Incremental Version supports incremental update transmissions. This allows a series of updates to be provided, where each update transmission includes only the incremental changes to the update shadow file since the prior transmission. The set of updates is reassembled by the Teleshuttle Plug-in to produce a single cumulative update shadow file on the users hard disk. Please contact Teleshuttle for current information on availability for this, and for the Macintosh and DOS versions of the Plug-in.

An unlimited range of further extensions can be developed by Teleshuttle customers working directly with the underlying Teleshuttle transporter module which provides a simple, high level API - and drawing on our VIEWS Plug-in source code as desired. For example, information-on-demand applications can offer rich browsing and selection from continually updated catalogs of available items.


The Teleshuttle Folio VIEWS Plug-ins are currently offered at no charge to users of the Teleshuttle transporter. Please contact Teleshuttle for details.

Benefits of the Teleshuttle

Teleshuttle provides power with simplicity to both product developers and their customers. It shields the developer and the user from the complexities of communications. Additional benefits: