The company docuFORM was founded in 2004 in Karlsruhe. The proximity to the Technical University of Karlsruhe and to SAP Walldorf helped the young, IT-driven company to gain competent employees. Those had been working on print and output management for more than 20 years. These employees with their technical expertise are still with docuFORM today.
The initial objective at that time was to develop suitable hardware and software solutions for a wide variety of printer manufacturers in order to connect their printing systems to the large-scale computer systems of that time. Since the different host systems generated different data formats, the core of the software solution was to develop conversion programs that unified the most diverse data streams in order to then output them to the respective printing systems.
The first OEM customers were companies such as Xerox USA, Epson, Siemens and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. They used the wide range of printing solutions from docuFORM worldwide.
With the advent of Microsoft Windows®, the demands on printing environments changed in the mid-90s. Demanded were more and more printing solutions for distributed computer systems. Due to the emerging Ethernet, the networks gained in speed and the new challenge was now to be able to output even complex applications with corresponding data volume on distributed printing systems.
Parallel to the controllers of the large printing systems, smaller interfaces for office printing systems were created, which were developed and produced by the company itself in close cooperation with the manufacturers. In the course of this, internal interfaces have also been developed for a wide variety of printer manufacturers. Later, docuFORM optimized and standardized the mainframe controller conversion solutions. This made it possible, in addition to the new Microsoft Office printing, to output also any host application in a standardized PCL format to office printing systems.
The combination of these two worlds, Microsoft Office and Host Printing, significantly reduced the cost of printing, since from now on all documents from centralized large-scale printing systems could easily be printed on the desired office printing systems.
Important German companies from production and service use these conversion boxes worldwide. As a result, companies such as Daimler, HUK Coburg, WMF, BMW, Mannesmann, Creditreform and Volkswagen ultimately achieved manufacturer independence through the unification of the data streams.
Due to the rapid increase in performance of modern PCs and printing systems, docuFORM ultimately decided not to develop hardware-based controller solutions in the future any more. The know-how, accumulated over decades, was used to develop a purely Microsoft-based software solution.
The new product idea consisted of being able to operate several printing systems in parallel and optimally with a Microsoft-based server solution, and to dispense with vulnerable box solutions on the devices themselves. DocuFORM was the first company in the world which consistently pursued the path of a manufacturer-independent print server architecture. Analogous to the pioneering achievements of NASA in space, docuFORM named its new product Mercury.