Why Doesn’t ScanSnap come with TWAIN drivers?

Monday, March 16, 2009
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We often get asked why ScanSnap doesn’t come with TWAIN drivers and it’s a valid question. The short answer is we simply can’t make ScanSnap the easy one-touch scanner while running on a TWAIN driver.  I think to really understand why we omitted TWAIN from the ScanSnap line; we need to revisit what its purpose is.

TWAIN was developed by a group of industry leaders who saw the need for an established standard software protocol and application programming interface (API) to regulate communication between software applications and imaging devices (the source of the data). While TWAIN might be appealing to developers in order to give them more exposure to hardware manufacturers, it also makes certain assumptions that users want to “drive” the scanner from their application as opposed to sending the documents to their application.

The TWAIN model works for a lot of people, but the ScanSnap was developed with a different customer in mind.  It was developed for the average consumer who doesn’t necessarily know all there is to know about hardware and software.  While TWAIN drivers allow the user to use almost any software package that is “TWAIN compatible,” it also assumes a certain level of knowledge or experience.  Users must be hands on through every step of scanning – i.e. manually select whether the documents need to be scanned on both sides (assuming the scanner is a duplex scanner), set thresholds for dropping out blank pages and select color options, etc.  That manual process may be simple enough for some, but for others, for the broader audience, we think a simple and easy-to-use device was needed.  And so, we introduced the ScanSnap scanners without a TWAIN driver.

With ScanSnap, the user receives one DVD with all the correct drivers for ScanSnap and ScanSnap Organizer and after the very simple installation, ScanSnap works!  The default settings will provide the user with the easiest experience and will work like most of us expect products to work.  Using ScanSnap you gain perhaps the easiest scanning experience that allows you to scan multiple pages no matter the size and color; automatically scan both sides and drop out blank pages, it also detects the color, size and orientation of the document, as well as fix most mishaps on the fly without you having to interfere.  The latest ScanSnap S1500 also comes with a full version of Adobe Acrobat Standard and seamlessly scans to a PDF with all the functionality of Acrobat (no TWAIN driver needed).

We hope you’ll give the ScanSnap a try.  Keep an eye out for future articles that demonstrate a few of the ways we might be able to integrate ScanSnap with your application of choice.

Doug Cripps, ScanSnap Sales Manager
Fujitsu Computer Products of America

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