Japan Business Machine and Information
System Industries Association
BMLinkS Project Committee
- BMLinkS is the registered trademark of the Japan
Business Machine and Information System Industries
- The Japan Business Machine and Information System
Industries Association holds the copyright of this
document. All rights reserved.
- • No part of this document may be reproduced or copied
in any form without written permission of the copyright
Clearly stated intent of activities
conducted up to now.
Charter of BMLinkS activities
The BMLinkS* Project Committee aims to improve the
convenience and intellectual productivity of users operating
office equipment, thereby contributing to the overall growth
of the business machine and information system industries.
For this purpose, the Committee aims to realize integrated
interface that remarkably enhances convenience of office
equipment in network environment and to promote its
introduction into office equipment, by conducting activities
such as BMLinkS specifications study and development,
software development, feasibility testing, information
exchange, and promotion activities.
*Business Machine Linkage Service
With remarkable development of information industry and
rapid shift toward a borderless world, people working in the
office face a variety of problems. They must meet the
challenge of extracting the necessary and correct knowledge
(or information) from the onslaught of information, for
creative utilization to solve daily problems.
Intellectual production activities mean that people (1)
study, (2) think, and (3) create achievement in order to
reach the goals that they desire. In an organization formed
either statically or dynamically, intellectual producers
collaborate with each other, combining and complementing
each of their activities to create much bigger achievement.
This process demands that knowledge required for creation is
exchanged, shared, or re-used (i.e. knowledge circulation).
Because each person (or intellectual producer) belongs to
organizations created either statically or dynamically
(family, business, community, or country), more flexibility
is required in terms of the time and place where the
intellectual production activities are performed. Therefore,
it is necessary that knowledge be circulated in a way not
dependent on the time and place.
2. Roles of office equipment in intellectual production
For intellectual producers to create achievements, the
role of office equipment and the software utilizing the
equipment in intellectual production activities is to
provide functions that allow circulation (i.e. exchange,
share, re-use) of knowledge (or information) by way of
bridging between paper documents and electronic documents in
a variety of network and IT service environments, securely
and efficiently at any time and any place, thereby assisting
intellectual producers in solving their problems.
Therefore, office equipment must meet the following
- Handling knowledge with universal structure not
dependent on time and place of use
- Search for office equipment that allows input or
output of knowledge, as well as its location
- Secure distribution (exchange, share, and re-use) of
- Efficient distribution of knowledge
Vendors of office equipment have the responsibility to
continuously provide office equipment meeting these
requirements to the society. Then, aggregated network of
this type of office equipment should be called the Document
Distribution Infrastructure that supports circulation of
3. What BMLinkS is aiming for
3.1. Direction of activities
Intellectual production operations that users perform to
achieve their business purposes, using network-connected
office equipment, include
- Generating electronic documents from paper documents,
- Converting electronic documents into paper documents,
- Re-using electronic documents.
Today, users' workplace is extending beyond the limits of
their own office (department), to include, for example,
other departments or conference rooms located in the same
building, other sites visited during business trips, or even
a public area; or physically, from just outside their office
room up to a place completely outside the company. On the
other hand, because multiple office equipment vendors are
promoting their business, the user must use and deal with
different models of office equipment from different vendors.
Furthermore, available office equipment tends to change over
time with product upgrade, replacement, or addition.
Based on the understanding of this situation, the BMLinkS
Project Committee defines usage scenarios indicated below
and aims at making them happen. The environment where those
usage scenarios are realized shall be the Document
3.1.1. BMLinkS usage scenario A: mobile workers
This scenario corresponds to users working outside their own
office. In this case, the usage flow is as follows:
- The print device in front of the user can be used to
(a) Data on the PC of the user can be printed using the
print device in front of the user.
memory (such as USB memory) can be mounted directly on
the print device in front of the user, so that data on
the external memory can be printed using the print
(c) Data in the document management system
the user regularly uses can be specified and then
printed from the print device in front of the user.
- A scan device in front of the user is used to scan
documents for storage at a location specified by the user.
(a) Document can be scanned by the scan device in front of
the user, and the data is stored on the PC of the user.
(b) Document can be scanned by the scan device in front of
the user, and the data is stored in the document management
system the user regularly uses.
(c) Document can be
scanned by the scan device in front of the user, and the
data is stored on external memory.
Figure 1: The case
where users are working outside their own office
Here are some specific examples.
- The user takes his or her notebook PC to a conference
room within the same business location but away from the
user's desk, and uses a print device (in front of the
user) in the conference room to print data stored on the
PC of the user ... 1-(a)
- From another department within the same business
location but away from the user's desk, the user uses a
print device (in front of the user) in the department to
print data stored in the document management system in
the office of the user ... 1-(c)
- The user takes his notebook PC to another business
location within the same company, and uses a scan device
(in front of the user) located nearby to scan document
for storing on the PC of the user ... 2-(a)
3.1.2 BMLinkS usage scenario B:
This scenario corresponds to users working in their own
office. In this case, the usage flow is as follows:
- A print device in another location can be used to
(a) Data on the PC of the user can be printed using a
print device in another location.
(b) Document can be scanned by the scan device in front
of the user, and the data is printed using a print
device in another location.
- Data can be transferred to a specified storage
(a) Data can be transferred to
the PC or document management system in that location.
(b) Data can be transferred to
the external memory (USB memory, etc.) of the print
device in that location.
Figure 2: The case
where users are working within their own office
Here is a specific example.
- From his or her office, the user can use a print
device located on a project site (another location)
outside the company to print data stored on the PC of
the user. ... 1-(a)
3.1.3. Requirements to support usage scenarios
To improve intellectual productivity in using office
equipment, in setting up the office equipment for such use,
and in developing the equipment, the following issues exist.
- Issues related to searching equipment
- Issues related to format of data sent and received by
- Issues related to control of equipment
- Issues related to procedure on operating the equipment
Also, the specifications must be well received by system
administrators who are in charge of deploying and
maintaining systems that address these issues.
- Issues related to system management
Furthermore, specifications must be created with the
consideration that systems developed according to the
specifications can be used securely during actual operation.
- Issues related to security
Based on understanding of these issues, the conditions to
make usage scenarios A and B mentioned earlier possible are
- Device can be specified (search).
- Data can be specified (data stored in document
management system or on external memory such as
- Security (in data itself as well as in path used
in sending data)
- User can be identified and authenticated (can be
- Can be set up and managed
- Common operation is possible.
3.2. Standardization on the specifications
and common implementations
As is the case with internet technologies for example, with
widespread use of the technologies defined by the
standardization organization and thus increasing impact on
the society, not only the core specifications of the
technologies but also complementary specifications for their
peripheral technologies are demanded. The technology areas
handled by activities of this Project Committee include
standardization of common implementation in addition to
standardization of technical specifications.
The technologies to enable office equipment and software
from different vendors to work together are considered as
target for standardization of technical specifications.
The technologies to bring benefits to users by enabling
common operation of office equipment and software from
different vendors are considered as target for
standardization of common implementation.
3.2.1. Direction of activities in standardization of
The Project Committee standardizes
technical specification in technology areas that complement
existing standardization activities, and the resulting
technology specifications are documented as Standard
Functions and mechanisms already specified as results of
other standardization activities, shall not be reinvented
with alternative specifications in the Committee. In other
words, the Committee concentrates on specification for
technologies not specified by other standards and if such
stipulation is considered necessary. In particular, the
Project Committee takes initiative of standardization in
areas where no effective standards exist pertaining to
functions or attributes of office equipment.
3.2.2. Direction of activities in standardizing common
The principle of activities is the same as that of
standardization activities on technical specifications, and
resulting work in this area of activities is documented as
Guidelines. Also, for the purpose of letting the BMLinkS
technologies widely adopted, the Project Committee develops
applications and software libraries as an implementation of
the Standard Specifications.
3.3. Structure of the Document
The BMLinkS Project Committee aims for building the Document
Distribution Infrastructure through standardization on
technical specifications and on common implementations.
The Document Distribution Infrastructure advocated by the
BMLinkS Project Committee is an environment that enables
office equipment and office software from member companies
adopting the BMLinkS platform to be inter-connected via
network (Internet or online mode) or memory media (USB
memory or offline mode), so that knowledge resulted from
activities of intellectual producers can be distributed.
With (1) activities to promote standardization by the
BMLinkS Project Committee and (2) widespread adoption of
BMLinkS compliant office equipment and office software
creatively developed by each member company, the Document
Distribution Infrastructure can be built and enriched, which
is expected to contribute significantly to supporting
activities for the intellectual producers.
Figure 3 shows the structure of the Document Distribution
Infrastructure as well as the relevant stakeholders.
Figure 3: Structure of
Document Distribution Infrastructure and its
As shown in figure 3, the positioning of the BMLinkS
platform and Document Distribution Infrastructure are as
The BMLinkS Project Committee [A] provides development
infrastructure (*1) for technology specifications,
certification system, and common software. Office equipment
vendor [B] can utilize this development infrastructure (*1)
to develop and provide BMLinkS compliant devices (*2). The
development infrastructure (*1) and BMLinkS compliant
devices (*2) are together called the BMLinkS platform (*3).
Office equipment vendor/SIer/ASP/ISP [C] utilizes this
BMLinkS platform (*3) to make it possible to create BMLinkS
compliant application services (*4).
End user/IT administrator [D] utilizes the system made up
of *3 and *4 as Document Distribution Infrastructure (*5),
and can perform intellectual productivity activities
efficiently even in a multi-vendor environment.
The expected roles of each of the stakeholders are as
A. BMLinkS Project Committee
- The BMLinkS Project Committee creates the standard
specifications and guidelines regarding the
technological issues addressed in BMLinkS, and provides
development infrastructure to support BMLinkS platform
development by office equipment vendors. This
development infrastructure is constituted of common
software to support platform building activities of the
vendors and the certification system of BMLinkS
- The BMLinkS platform is a group of products providing
office services that are compliant with the BMLinkS
Standard Specifications, and that are not dependent on
vendors. Office services are either provided as services
embedded in office equipment supplied by office
equipment vendors, or as software running on the
general-purpose operating system of computers.
- The BMLinkS Project Committee may provide common
software to support development of BMLinkS compliant
products. The common software includes software such as
Integrated Driver and Document Viewer to enable end
users to access BMLinkS in a simple way, as well as
reference implementations or library modules for office
services and client. Common software facilitates
development and achieves high level of connectivity.
- Products implementing office services can be assured
interconnectivity, by passing the certification test
provided by the BMLinkS Project Committee.
B. Office equipment vendors and office service vendors
- Office equipment vendors and office service vendors
build the BMLinkS platform, by providing to the market
their products compliant with the BMLinkS specifications
- As various compliant application services are
developed and thus constructed as infrastructure, the
BMLinkS platform explained earlier will have new
commercial value for the office equipment and software.
Because BMLinkS compliant products from multiple vendors
can be inter-connected, this leads to revitalized use of
such equipment and services.
C. BMLinkS compliant application service developers
- The proliferation of office services and offering of
common software such as client and library enable
simplified development of new applications and services
supporting office equipment and office services from
multiple vendors. Utilizing the BMLinkS platform, these
new applications and services can be developed by
SIer/ASP/ISP as well as office equipment vendors
- BMLinkS compliant application service providers can
propose to customers a variety of solutions supporting
the office equipment from multiple vendors.
D. Intellectual production activities by end users and IT
- Leveraging the Document Distribution Infrastructure
aimed for by BMLinkS, end users can use office equipment
beyond its simple print, scan, and copy functions. By
using the easy-to-use BMLinkS compliant office equipment
in combination with applications utilizing the
equipment, intellectual production activities can be
performed with much freedom and flexibility.
- Furthermore, IT administrators can unify management of
office equipment from multiple vendors.
4. BMLinkS marketing and planning activities
The BMLinkS Project Committee clearly defines the
requirements of office services and office equipment that
constitute Document Distribution Infrastructure aimed for by
BMLinkS. These requirements shall be input in establishing
the BMLinkS standard specifications.
These requirements guide the Committee in organizing
activities to promote standardization of technical
specification and common implementation that meet the needs
of users, thereby improving ease of use and intellectual
5. BMLinkS certification system and logo
The BMLinkS Project Committee sets up the BMLinkS
technical certification system so that products from each
member company implementing the standard specifications of
the Committee can contribute reliably to development of
Document Distribution Infrastructure. The Committee strives
to assure interconnectivity between office equipment from
each company as well as with software utilizing the
equipment. Furthermore, the Committee defines BMLinkS
trademark (logo) and makes sure that the relevant products
can be appropriately identified in the market as a proof
that interconnectivity was tested.
6. Intellectual property policy
The BMLinkS Project Committee stipulates the handling of
the intellectual property rights regarding the standard
specifications established, and requests prior agreement
from each member company participating in the Project
Also, while drafting the standard specifications, the
BMLinkS Project Committee takes into consideration patents
held by third parties as well.
7. About content of this prospectus
The content of this prospectus documents the intent of
activities conducted up to now since the establishment of
8. Committee in charge
This prospectus is created by the BMLinkS Project
Committee of the Japan Business Machine and Information
System Industries Association.
BMLinkS management committee chairpersons and
(in no particular order, title omitted
BMLinkS Project Committee
Ricoh Co., Ltd.
Fuji Xerox Co. ,Ltd.
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
Ricoh Co., Ltd.
BMLinkS Prospectus V1.0.0