Current solutions for providing access to electronic documents while away from the office do not meet the special needs of mobile document workers. We describe ”Satchel,“ a system that is designed specifically to support the distinctive features of mobile document work. Satchel is designed to meet the following five high-level design goals (1) easy access to document services; (2) timely document access; (3) streamlined user interface; (4) ubiquity; and (5)compliance with security policies. Our current prototype uses a Nokia 9000 Communicator as the mobile device; it communicates to the rest of the Satchel system using wireless communications, both infrared and radio. A fundamental Satchel concept is the use of tokens, or small secure references, to represent documents on the mobile device. The mobile client only transmits small tokens over te wireless channels, leaving the wired network to transmit the contents of documents when, and only when, they are required. Another fundmental Satchel concept is the highly speclized and context-sensitive user interface on the mobile device. The user's interactions ae streamlined because of this specialization and though the use of contextual information gained by uing infrared communications. We report the results of a trial of Satchel that was carried out within our own company, and discuss how well Satchel met our design goals. We call Satchel a ”document appliance” because it provides a streamlined soultion to the problem of remote document access—it aims to support only a limited set of activities, but supports them very well.
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