Web Technology

Having recognized the importance of the Web since it was first conceived and created, Ricoh engages in R&D while constantly monitoring the latest technology trends and provides Web-based experimental services and disseminates technology information via blogs.

Web Technology Initiatives

The technology for the World Wide Web was conceived in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee for use in the exchange of information among researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). MOSAIC, an easy-to-use GUI-based Web browser was developed in 1993 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) of Illinois University in the U.S. Over the years, Web technology has rapidly developed and spread, becoming infrastructure essential not only for business, but also in our daily lives.

Ricoh was quick to focus on the importance of Web technology. From the MOSAIC era onward, multiple Web servers have been autonomously launched and linked within Ricoh, primarily on the initiative of young researchers. With these young researchers playing a leading role, Ricoh's research operations launched a website in 1994 and then launched the Ricoh website in 1995.

Ricoh has subsequently engaged in research and development utilizing leading-edge Web technologies. In 1999 we formulated the Document Highway concept for an architectural platform based on Web technology, which we announced at Comdex Fall in the autumn of 2000. The Document Highway concept advocates the realization by means of Web technology of "a communication style where required information can be exchanged in the optimal form at any time, from anywhere and from various devices connected to the network." The first multifunctional devices based on the Document Highway concept were launched at the beginning of 2001, and since then we have continued to provide multifunctional equipment, software, and solutions suited to the Web era.

The "software surpassing the framework of a single device" approach expressed in the Web 2.0 concept that Ricoh began to advocate around 2004 accords fully with the world envisioned in the Document Highway concept. In the coming years devices, applications, and systems are likely to be seamlessly linked by means of Web technologies, and these technologies can be expected to grow in importance.

Aiming to Provide Products and Services Appropriate for the Web Era

Ricoh closely monitors the latest technology trends and continuously engages in R&D activities to provide products and services appropriate to the Web era. Ricoh hosted connection tests (Interop in Tokyo) of the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) jointly with NTT Communications in July 2007, and we are accelerating the implementation and dissemination of this advanced protocol. In October 2007 we became the first to prepare and publish a Japanese translation of the Atom Publishing Protocol (*1), an RFC document. In April 2008, we released a Japanese postal code search service, the first ricollab (*2) experimental service. This service has been favorably received, and we have received inquiries concerning its use in a mashup with Google Maps and as a commercial service.

  • (*1)An RFC is a technical specification standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Also, IETF standardized AtomPub, a communication protocol specification based on XML and HTTP, is a technology that is expected to become the next-generation Web API default standard.
  • (*2)The term "ricollab" expresses the concepts "Ricoh + laboratory" and "Ricoh + collaboration."

Figure 1: A screenshot of the ricollab postal code search service
Figure 1: A screenshot of the ricollab postal code search service

Ricoh launched blogs concerning Web technology (in Japanese) to actively engage in such new technologies and to disseminate information.

Figure 2: The ricollab Web Tech Blog, launched in January 2008
Figure 2: The ricollab Web Tech Blog, launched in January 2008

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