"Web Services"… Eclipse takes "Best of Breed" to the next level

Case Management software developer, Eclipse Legal Systems, has announced its plans to utilise “Web Services” technology for the ongoing development of its established Proclaim system.

Proclaim is in use by over 5,500 individuals throughout the UK, and has grown organically over 7 years to become one of the leading Case Management systems in the marketplace. Eclipse’s plans for the continuing development of the system embrace a technology being adopted by some of the world’s largest software houses, including IBM.

Web Services is essentially a system of software interfaces that allow applications to communicate with each other in a platform- and programming language-independent manner, using protocols based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) – rapidly becoming the principal language for software communications.

Web Services will enable users of Eclipse’s Proclaim system to integrate with a huge range of third party applications, facilitating new ‘Best of Breed’ options for law firms and commercial services organisations. Developers of law firm and third party systems will be provided with a software toolkit to enable them to access the Proclaim back-end business and database logic, allowing them to develop applications in a huge variety of languages.

Eclipse Sales Director, Russell Thomson, expands on the technology’s user-benefits:

“While ‘Best of Breed’ has always meant the plugging together of a rather narrow range of applications to enable ‘best fit’ solutions, our use of Web Services will dramatically open up the options for law firm leaders – be they running very large or very niche firms. Our research of the market indicates that the forthcoming MDPs (Multi Disciplinary Practices) environment will result in a) collections of firms amalgamating more and more, and b) organisations linking more frequently with third-party complementary outfits. Using Web Services, integrating groups of software systems will be a more straightforward and painless task, giving way to large-scale linked systems that run smoothly and without the traditional incompatibility ‘surprises’.”

Proclaim systems are already in use by many provider ‘chains’ including, for example, insurance firms linked with PI solicitors, who are in turn linked with medical agencies and costs drafting firms. Web Services will open up a huge range of opportunities for firms to expand these types of links and business relationships.

Eclipse’s Technical Director, Steve Ough, comments:

“Proclaim Web Services will provide a true software integration toolkit for law firm and third-party developers. This takes our ‘Open Systems Unions’ ethos to the next logical step, and will enable firms to link in with Proclaim using a variety of methodologies – dotnet, Java, XML, PHP, etc. In complex and fast-changing legal environments, this will allow clients to enjoy the benefits of single business systems infrastructures to truly facilitate competitive advantage in ever more demanding business environments.”

As part of its policy to empower clients with the latest technologies – and as with all new Proclaim developments – Eclipse will be providing Web Services functionality free of charge to existing Proclaim users and new clients.