The American Standards Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a character encoding program that takes text characters from computer systems and encodes them before they are sent through the Internet to other parties. The purpose is to make the files as small as possible for faster and uninhibited transfers, and to increase the security of the information while in transit.

The ASCII codes 128 characters including uppercase and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation, and spacing markers. Each subset of characters is encoded into an integer format that can be read using a chart. It is a simplistic system that has been in use since the 1960s, and was just recently surpassed as the most used encoding scheme in 2007. It is a staple in the tech communications world.


The ASCII Community

As a staple in the communications world, ASCII is managed by the ASCII group, a membership-based community that sets standards and changes out codes and characters as the needs of the industry change. Comprised of Solution Providers, MSPs, and VARs, the ASCII group launched its ASCII-Link forum in 2008, a massive IT community forum that brings its members together to collaboratively solve technical problems, offer vendor recommendations, and provide input on revenue opportunities and more.

In short, ASCII-Link serves as a large forum to post questions, get responses, and receive good tips on better utilizing the tools that come within the system. Doug Young, COO at The ASCII Group, Inc. said, “We started ASCII-Link because we wanted to create a tool that would empower our members to take advantage of the vast collective brainpower of our community. It is an invaluable source of knowledge.” With a global membership, people from any industry can find ways to exchange information to better their business and to meet the needs of the clients.


ASCII & Document Management Software

ASCII-Link is based on filed sharing, which requires an effective and secure client sharing portal program. Document Management Software (DMS) has made this file sharing much easier and far more secure than it could have been through a regular web-hosted format. When so much information is shared via the new paperless office format, it’s vital to utilize programs that can send information quickly and securely, and that can organize that information for quick searches. A quality DMS offers increased security and seamless integration with existing programs.

Increased Security
A DMS system allows for encoded information to be placed under a higher level of encryption before being sent or stored. With identity theft and information hacking representing the biggest threat to the business community, this added level of protection is a very welcome element to the program.

Members of ASCII-Link pay membership dues and participate in the forum discussions with ease because they feel safe and secure in doing so. They feel free to give sensitive information and to receive feedback on important issues because the DMS system not only makes the file sharing process easy, but completely secure.

Integration with Existing Programs
DMS technology was made to interface with programs like ASCII. It builds off of what ASCII provides, and allows the community to take their “success to the next level,” according to Doug Young with the ASCII Community Board. The ASCII was already about sharing information in a fast and secure way. DMS programs are made to take this transmitted technology and store it in organized and secure ways.

The information sent to and from such forums is happening on a larger and larger scale every year. The need for secure storage vaults is increasing all the time, and that is a need that the DMS world is ready to fill. Virtual storage databases will allow companies to store data and will allow for easy recall of that data through a quick search in the program query and recall components.


Growing the Community

The entire focus of the ASCII Community is to create focused partnerships and advance education on helping managed service providers grow. In essence, this means that they had to be prepared from the beginning for exponential growth of the community and for a larger load of information to be passed and processed. Growing pains in this process are inevitable, and yet DMS technology has facilitated the community’s rapid growth, making it possible for the community to continue to add new members and new conversations today.