DEVONtechnologies has released DEVONsphere Express, a new application designed to make Mac users more productive by finding the hidden relationships between files, webpages, and more.

DEVONsphere Express constantly focuses on whatever the user is working on and provides him with related items: documents with similar content, emails and messages from the same contact, songs from the same artist, and so on. For the current webpage in Safari and most other modern browsers, DEVONsphere Express also shows other related webpages (e.g. more mango chutney recipes, other shops selling similar clothing) as well as local items.

DEVONsphere Express shows related documents and data when a file is selected in the Finder, when it receives text from other applications via the Services menu, and when files are selected in the Finder. The user can directly preview all results directly in the popover or via Quick Look, open them in other apps, and add web results to Safari’s reading list.

In addition, DEVONsphere Express is also a powerful tool for searching the Mac. It supports advanced Boolean operators, wildcards, ranges of characters, and parentheses to find anything the user has allowed it to index: from documents and email messages to contacts, bookmarks, images, songs, movies, programming code, and items in DEVONthink Pro databases (both currently open ones as well as ones indexed by Spotlight).

DEVONsphere Express runs as a menu extra showing all results in a menu-like pop-over window which can be also torn off and placed anywhere on the screen as a panel. A user-defined hot key makes it comfortable to quickly access DEVONsphere Express’ pop-over from the keyboard, and easy-to-understand preferences allow to tailor it to the user’s very needs, says Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann, president of DEVONtechnologies.

DEVONsphere Express requires OS X 10.6.6 or later and 2 GB of RAM. It is immediately available on the Mac App Store for an introductory price of US $4.99 (until the end of March).

DEVONtechnologies has also released DEVONsphere Server, a server application that indexes documents and websites and makes them searchable through a highly configurable web interface.

“DEVONsphere Server brings the unique technology behind DEVONthink, DEVONagent, and many of our other products, finally also to the server level,” says Volkmann. “Now researchers can build their own, specialized search engines concentrating the data from relevant websites, attorneys search their huge document collections, and publishers provide powerful search functions allowing their readers to find articles, books, blog posts, and white papers with yet unseen power. All on standard hardware, easy to integrate, and with super-flexible output options that accommodate even advanced integration needs.”

For searching the indexed data the server application supports advanced Boolean operators known only from high-end scientific databases (e.g. NEAR, BEFORE, AFTER, and OPT), wildcards, ranges, and an unlimited complexity of search terms. Fuzzy technology finds also words with typos. In addition DEVONsphere Server identifies, extracts, and indexes linked or embedded objects such as documents, PDF files, programming code snippets, email addresses, or RSS news feeds, and lets the user search and directly access them, too.

In addition DEVONsphere Server always delivers all search results (and not only the first few hundred), allows the user to sort and filter them in a number of ways, e.g. by language, and features DEVONtechnologies’ artificial intelligence technology. DEVONsphere Server lists e.g. more documents or pages content-wise related to already found results, like DEVONthink does on the desktop.

DEVONsphere Server supports HTML pages, plain and rich text files, Office documents, PDF, PostScript, RSS/RDF/RSD/Atom news feeds and, for local files, all file formats supported by Spotlight. So-called “scanners” recognize a wide range of logical content types such as linked audio or video files, embedded multimedia, thumbnail galleries, wallpapers, webcams, downloadable files, Office documents, TeX files, contacts (vCard), RSS feeds, and email addresses. DEVONsphere Server’s plug-in architecture allows to add more scanners without updating the main application.

DEVONsphere Server runs on standard Mac desktop hardware. It offers foutput options from HTML over RSS and XML/XSLT to JSON, supports Bonjour (ZeroConf), and uses up to 16 available CPUs for maximum performance on any hardware. On a current Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM DEVONsphere Server is able to index up to 2 million documents.

DEVONsphere Server is available only to pilot customers at the moment. Interested customers can contact DEVONtechnologies for details. Pricing hasn’t been announced.