Case Study: Foray Technologies

December 5, 2013 Atalasoft General

 

Foray Technologies develops a comprehensive suite of sophisticated evidence management products

 

Foray Technologies develops a comprehensive suite of sophisticated evidence management products that provides physical property and evidence management, digital evidence management, custom imaging, and chain-of-custody solutions to law enforcement professionals.
Foray Technologies Logo Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., and with locations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Minneapolis and Seattle, Foray is a government sector ISV with passion and purpose—backed by some 20 technical and sales staff, and a deadly serious commitment to accuracy.

From the crime scene to the laboratory to the courtroom—at 150 investigative agencies ranging from the Ada County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Office to the Massachusetts Department of State Police to the U.S. Department of Justice—Foray puts is reputation on the line every day.

And powering Foray is Atalasoft and its flagship product DotImage, leading-edge .NET Imaging SDKs to view, capture, and annotate images. Add-on SDKs are available for barcode, CAD, DICOM, forms processing, ISIS, JBIG2, JPEG2000, OCR, PDF and TWAIN scanning. Imaging controls are available for Silverlight, AJAX/ASP.NET, WinForms and WPF.

"We're leaps and bounds ahead of our competition in terms of functionality [...] directly because of DotImage."

According to Mont Rothstein, Foray’s vice president of product development, DotImage helps ADAMS manage millions of images, from those taken with point-and-shoot cameras to shots captured with high-end glass. One homicide investigation might shoot thousands of images of a single scene, all of which can travel the Web fully resolved, fully annotated.

Fingerprints, too, come to life, with DotImage powering comparisons of prints taken at the scene of a crime, all of it annotated, all of it worldwide.

“The images our customers  are dealing with are huge. At least 2-8 MB, but commonly 20-40-100 MB per shot. They’re quite large. And because we work well with a wide variety of image formats, particularly RAW images, that’s a big deal. Customers know we’re not going to collapse under the strain,” Rothstein says.

According to Rothstein, more than 60 percent of Foray’s ADAMS uses DotImage. He says the product name originally stood for Authenticated Digital Asset Management System—though, he adds, the company has since grown beyond that definition.

Heading into 2012, it’s certainly light-years beyond the state of the industry even as recently as the mid-2000s, when to many investigators image management meant throwing photos onto CDs and DVDs, and the disks into desk drawers.

“By 2007, when we outgrew an earlier tool for viewing RAW images, we’d reached the limitations of management [inherent in the local .NET platform.] Implementing DotImage was smooth. We swapped out what we’d been doing with no major hiccups or hurdles. It was refreshing, given the nature of most software providers we work with,” Rothstein says.

And now? According to Rothstein, Foray Technologies is the largest player in the digital evidence space, which he characterizes as small, vertical and “extremely competitive.”
 
“Having Atalasoft allows us to focus on value, and add features specific to our client base. We’re leaps and bounds ahead of our competition in terms of functionality—absolutely unmatched by any of our competitors, directly because of DotImage. As a business, we win more scraps than we lose,” he says.

Foray provides a year of free software phone support, Internet-based remote diagnostics and ADAMS software updates and new version upgrades with new product investment—and offers a wealth of tools and tutorials, from finding funding to creating a killer court exhibit.

Many on staff are expert in forensic digital image processing and AFIS technologies, with extensive backgrounds in software development, systems installation and integration, technical support and training.


ADAMS on the job

Foray Technology’s ADAMS is on the job everywhere men and women put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect, and is the lifeblood of successful criminal investigations and prosecutions. The platform consists of:

  • Property and evidence, for managing the collection and storage of physical evidence;
  • Crime scene photo and video, for the managing the downloading, storage, and processing of photos, video, and other digital evidence;
  • Bag and tag, to document evidence, electronically, at the crime scene; and
  • Latent and ACE-V, in which investigators analyze, process, and manage latent prints and document the ACE-V process.
Foray Technologies Screenshot

Latent case management and latent print annotations are particular strongholds of DotImage, according to Foray, allowing the company to bring order and efficiency to forensic laboratories. Here, detectives leverage ADAMS for documentation and process management, pattern removal, AFIS integration, Photoshop integration, processing history and chain of custody.

To that end, the SDK allows ADAMS:

  • Accuracy. The software accounts for the investigator’s camera metadata, making accuracy the unquestioned backbone of evidence. For example, without metadata, photos taken by medical examiner can make wounds look more or less severe. Metadata provides the objectivity that ensures the accurate prosecution of a case.
  • Conversion. ADAMS allows viewing in a wide variety of formats, and can convert images into widely accessible JPGs and TIFFs—so no one on the prosecution or defense needs to use specialized software to read the evidence.
  • Annotation functionality for Web. Helping the latent print examiner connect a fingerprint from glass, duct tape, or a weapon, analyze a match list, and pair the match side-by-side to those of suspects, the emphasis here is on accurately identifying a print’s uniqueness, its “minutia points,” thereby documenting the scientific process so it’s irrefutable in court.

‘A great tool for comparison work…’

Foray posts on its site, www.foray.com, valuable links to its products, services, community support and client testimonials—which themselves tell a glowing story of analog to digital changeovers; increased productivity; shortened time spent in the photo lab; massive amounts of physical space freed up; latent prints photographed straight into a case, calibrating them 1:1, printing them out the same for comparison purposes and sending them through the network to an AFIS terminal to search.


“This system has allowed our agency to take better quality images through digital technology, store them, make them accessible on our network and audit any- and everything done to them—while saving us time and money,” one crime lab reports.


Another describes how ADAMS lets investigators “capture and manage every photograph taken by our CSIs out in the field, our detectives, and all photographs the crime lab submits. The new system even separates the photographs into sets when acquiring them, allowing us to see how many people have contributed photos to one case… [It] tracks every tool we use in Adobe Photoshop, down to the time at which it was done [and] is a great tool for comparison work.”

Working with Atalasoft

For nearly 10 years, Easthampton, Mass.,-based Atalasoft has provided imaging libraries to help .NET software developers such as Foray Technologies build document scanning, viewing, and processing into their applications by reducing development time, and eliminating expenses by offering fixed-price, royalty-free licensing. The company specializes in zero-footprint imaging technologies, allowing applications to be more competitive, easier to use, and 100 percent Web-based.


Its flagship product, DotImage, powers more than 2,000 document management, ECM, and EMR applications built by ISVs, system integrators, and enterprises deployed to millions of end users worldwide. Industries that Atalasoft serve include healthcare, financial services, legal, government, education, and manufacturing.

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