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Review

CT Summation iBlaze Version 2.7.1

By Kim Plonsky

March/April 2006 Table of Contents

 

Since it pioneered litigation support software in 1988, Summation has emerged as the de facto standard for electronic case management. CT Summation iBlaze Version 2.7.1 raises the bar yet again, and shows why Sum­mation continues to prevail as one of the top case management software programs of choice for litigators.

CT Summation Blaze is available in three different configurations (Blaze LG, Blaze LG Gold and iBlaze), ranging from approximately $1,000 to $2,500, and multinode network packages also are available. Buyers can pay for only needed feature groups, putting Summation in reach of smaller firms.

The latest  version of iBlaze provides more than just the ability to search, organize and analyze case information. My favorite feature is the ability to load e-mails and attachments from Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes. By downloading and installing the Petrification Toolset at info.summation.com/petrify, you can convert electronic documents and e-mails into image format.

Also, iBlaze users can remotely access external databases in Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, allowing collaboration with co-counsel on a master case database. You also can create searchable, full-text versions of images in your databases, thanks to iBlaze’s built-in optical character recognition engine. I also like that images easily can be added to the database by dragging and dropping them from Windows Explorer directly onto the program’s Image Viewer.

With all that iBlaze has to offer litigators, there simply isn’t much to dislike about it. As complex and sophisticated as the program is, it’s still fairly user-friendly, especially compared to similar software. The user interface can be confusing because of the different viewing options, but the more you use it, the easier this becomes.

My only real disappointment with iBlaze is that it doesn’t print condensed deposition transcripts or a concordance (word list) from a single deposition transcript. This would be handy when a transcript on disk is all that is available and a hard copy is needed (for example, to attach a transcript as an exhibit to a pleading). Also, I dislike that the only “Help” feature available is online, and find that its information is too broad, forcing me to make multiple searches.

Overall, iBlaze is fabulous, and worthy of praise. Buyers can rest assured knowing this product was 17 years in the making and is still growing. IBlaze is on the cutting edge and preeminent in the case management software field. You can download a demo version of iBlaze at info.summation.com/demo.

 

 

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