DEVONagent

This is the first of the features that I will be writing as part of the DEVONtechnologies sponsorship of my segment on The MacReviewCast.

Don’t forget that as a listener to the show, or a reader of this blog you can get 25% off any of their products – just look out for the link in the sidebar.

Just to be clear this is a feature not a review. As I have in effect been paid for this I am not giving you my opinion or the application a rating. I am giving you the information on the application so that you can make up your own mind.

About DEVONagent

With over 100 million websites up and running, it’s almost impossible to expect simple search sites like Google (or Yahoo, Ask.com, etc.) to help you make sense of this unbelievably huge mass of data.

DEVONagent can help. If you are tired of clicking through the hundreds of links delivered by Google (or Yahoo, Ask.com, etc.) just to find out that most of the links are outdated, broken, or lead to junk pages, you need DEVONagent. It communicates with search engines, digs through all the results for you, and gives you only those documents that are really worth reading.

Even better, it summarizes the accumulated knowledge and presents you with a list of the most important topics, as well as an interactive mind map to help make sense of the findings. Finding the information you need on the web has never been easier!

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Your Research Assistant

DEVONagent finds, collects, and organizes information with a powerful search architecture, a simple to use built-in archive, and perfect integration with DEVONthink. There are more than 130 plugins for popular search engines, databases, and search tools, predefined search sets, and a clean, familiar Mac user interface; all these features and more make DEVONagent the number one tool for finding information on the Web with a Mac.

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What Makes DEVONagent Unique

Professional Search Architecture

  • Set up search sets for quickly switching search parameters
  • More than 130 plugins for web search engines and databases
  • Savvy site crawler scans a list of URLs (“your private little Google”) for information
  • Filters and scanners sort through search results for items such as images or email links
  • High-end search operators like NEAR, BEFORE, NEXT, or AFTER (as well as parentheses) increase search accuracy
  • Searchable archive
  • Web browser with research-centric tools

Built-in Artificial Intelligence

  • Topics
  • Interactive topics map shows relations between topics graphically
  • Dynamic summarization adapts to selected topics
  • See also shows similar search results
  • Language detection

Extensions & Automation

  • Search sets can have attached actions, as well as be scheduled to run at more convenient times
  • AppleScript support
  • Automator actions
  • A lot of useful example scripts and workflows available for download
  • A tutorial shows how to write your own XML plugins

Using DEVONagent

It really is very simple to use DEVONagent:

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The preferences are pretty standard and hold no complications or fears.

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DEVONagent’s complex functionality hides behind a familiar, easy-to-use interface. Just select a search set from the loupe pop-up menu, enter a query, and click the Start button. It really is that simple.

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DEVONagent does not give you a simple list of links, but the actual data you are looking for. A list of topic words, a graphical topics map, and a summary that dynamically refocuses to selected topics help to the heart of every search.

If necessary, DEVONagent also lists all result pages. A blue blob marks unread results, just like in Apple Mail, and a text-only preview shows important text passages.

View pages, delete them, or add them to the archive or DEVONthink using the contextual menu.

The internal archive is the repository for your search results. Use it to store search results for further reference, or organize the archive with a group hierarchy (just like you would do in the Finder).

Use the supplied search sets, or, if necessary, create your own sets for your special research needs.

DEVONagent filters results (for example, for language), follows links, or scans a list of URLs. Use actions to run a script, or to send you email when a search run is done.

Use the built-in web browser to view result pages or as an alternative to Safari, Firefox, etc. DEVONagent even displays RSS feeds and provides access to your bookmarks.

Specialized tools like the objects drawer list all RSS feeds, links, email addresses, or images contained in a webpage.

DEVONagent at a Glance

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Price

DEVONagent costs $49.95

You can buy it as part of a bundle with DEVONthink Pro Office for $169.95 or DEVONthink Professional for $99.95

Interview With Developer

What was the inspiration behind the Devon Technologies applications?

On the technological side, the inpiration was to create a form of Artificial Intelligence that was actually ‘usable.’ On the application side, the goal was to use the AI for applications that help manage the daily data flood. While our computers get faster every day, they still fail to actually assist us in dealing with the enourmous amount of data they generate. Our applications were intended to do exactly this.

Assuming you had a life before development what did that entail, and why the move?

Before joining Christian Grunenberg, our head developer, at DEVONtechnologies, I worked as the editor-in-chief of Publishing Praxis, Germany’s #1 prepress magazine as well as for Macwelt magazine, the German branch of Macworld. Christian worked as a freelance writer for a number of magazines at that time, too, so our journalistic work definitely inspired the information management and researc focus of our applications.

You are based in Germany which isn’t necessarily seen a s ‘hotbed’ of Apple fans, what is the local Mac Scene like where you are?

While I am personally not that involved in the local scene, there are many MUGs around that meet regularly. Also the Mac shops often organize smaller gatherings, presentations, etc.

Elevator pitch time, what three words would you use to persuade people to buy your products.

Get organized, intelligently.

3 thoughts on “DEVONagent

  1. Dunks

    This seems very useful, if I am understanding it correctly! I find searching the internet increasingly time consuming at times and finding quality search results difficult.

    If this narrows and focuses the search results it could be a god send. I’m downloading the pro office demo to take a look at the whole system.

  2. Pingback: The Mac ReviewCast » The MacReviewCast #131

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