In the late eighties and early nineties, the era of the CD-ROM, Folio Views was one of the most powerful publishing platforms available. It was used extensively in the world of legal publishing, both in the public and private sectors. In legislatures, a very common use case for Folio was in publishing electronic statute books.
The popularity of Folio Views was based on a powerful, fast search feature and support for hyperlinking. Back in this period, the web browser was only emerging and tools like Folio Views, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Multimedia Viewer etc., all had their own built-in ‘browsers’.
Over time as the web continued to revolutionize the way we engage with content, the Folio product line added a web-based experience known as NXT. However, NXT very clearly shows its roots in CD-ROM publishing and the product has not kept pace with web publishing technology that has advanced very rapidly in recent years. Especially with respect to HTML 5 and responsive design methods of creating rich user experiences on mobile as well as desktop.
An unclear future
While Folio/NXT is still commercially supported by Rocket Software, its future roadmap is indeterminate. Its user numbers continue to diminish. As a consequence, the number of people with skills in Folio publishing is also dwindling.
Times have changed. User expectations of search and navigation are heavily influenced by the technology roadmaps of the GAMAM companies (Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft).
As states seek to promote public participation, the legislative website has become key in engaging with citizens of all ages and abilities. Undoubtedly, one of the most powerful impacts of the internet revolution is its ability to connect with citizens and provide transparency into legislative content. Key to that is ensuring accessibility, usability, and optimizing content for different devices. Doing that well today with Folio Views/NXT is problematic.
Streamlining conversions from Folio
In our 20+ years serving governments, legislatures, legal publishers as well as major accountancy companies, we at Propylon have worked extensively with Folio and NXT.
From Attorney General offices to Big Four firms and Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs), we have extensive experience publishing to the Folio/NXT platform from XML data sources and also de-commissioning Folio/NXT publishing systems with 100 percent content accuracy.
As your organization makes the inevitable move away from Folio Views, talk to us about ensuring a successful transition.