Onfolio's application is what JJ Allaire calls a search-information manager. Once installed, Onfolio embeds itself in the Web browser and lets the user collect, organize, and share search results and browsing activity so that information resources can be used repeatedly without performing duplicate searches. It combines one-click buttons on the browser address toolbar, tabs, and the Explorer-style file system familiar to Windows users to create a simple information-management interface. Browsing and search activities can be quickly captured with one of the one-click buttons, then organized and customized within the Onfolio file structure. A professional edition also allows for rapid publishing of collected information to a Web site or as RSS syndication feeds.
Allaire started working on the Onfolio technology soon after the sale of Allaire Corp. to Macromedia. While his brother, Jeremy, and other Allaire execs--including Adam Berrey, co-founder and president of Onfolio--stayed on at Macromedia, JJ Allaire took some time off, then got the idea for Onfolio while working on another project. "I was doing a ton of research using Google and was finding it to be an annoying experience to manage all this stuff," Allaire says. "It struck me that this is not something that's limited to savvy technical users."
Onfolio is designed for use in both business and personal settings, and Burton Group senior analyst Peter O'Kelly says that diversity is part of what makes Onfolio the first important new productivity application in years--one he expects will relieve widespread frustration when it comes to Web-based research. "It's nice to see someone who's focused on solving a real-world business problem," O'Kelly says. He also says the product is further elevated by the team Allaire has assembled, which includes an assortment of experienced staff from companies such as Macromedia and IBM Lotus Software. The company is self-funded and has not sought any venture backing to date. "This is not your average startup," O'Kelly says.
Onfolio will be available for download only on the Onfolio site when it goes live, and a 30-day free trial is being offered for a limited time. After the trial, the standard edition will sell for $30, while the professional edition will be priced at $80, although Allaire plans to raise the prices once adoption of the tool spreads.