QView Roadmap & Strategy

QView has finally grown sufficiently large in scope and capability that it is worthy of a blog. My goal here is to drill into QView, explain what it is, where it is going, and hopefully convey at least a small part of the excitement we have in its potential.

Let’s start by explaining where QView came from and why we felt the need to develop it. The core of the problem is document viewing in the web. We spent months and months on this project, integrated about 7 different viewers, and optimized the heck out of it. The result is a web viewer that is powerful, responsive, and far beyond market capabilities but also well short of perfect. In the end the limitations of web viewing just can’t be overcome by current technologies. Most documents must be converted to html or pdf to be viewed and the act of doing that, even if done well, creates an experience that seems slow and often results is documents that are less than perfect. It was because of these challenges that QView was created. The goal was to build a perfect viewer that would allow a user to interact with their data over the web and yet still have all the power and responsiveness of a desktop solution. At first we weren’t even sure such a thing was possible but a whole lot of a work and a few breakthroughs resulted in QView, which was launched in September 2018.

At first QView was just as intended, a simple desktop viewer for Quin-C users. Users that wanted the fast responsive experience of a desktop viewer only needed to enable it from within Quin-C and they were off and running. QView would open up automatically upon logging in and then would stay synched at all times with Quin-C. Click on a document in Quin-C and QView would immediately render the document. The reception we received to this very basic capability was overwhelmingly positive. People loved the improved document viewing, the expanded file type support, and the increased responsiveness. With such a positive reaction it was simply impossible to stop and so we expanded our scope. To improve the viewing experience we added all the primary tools associated with document viewing. Tools like bookmarking, labeling, viewing related documents and document families all got added. In addition, the ability to navigate through the document set was provided. With these basic tools a document reviewer only really needed Quin-C to select the case and filter to the relevant document set. The rest of the time the user could stay exclusively in QView. This was the state of the product as of the December release.   


The Feb 19th, 2019 release represented another huge jump forward. QView now has what we call a delinked mode. After logging into Quin-C and starting Qview the users can choose to de-link QView from Quin-C.  Once delinked QView can be used entirely independently of Quin-C and has a number of new features designed to make that a viable option. First and foremost QView now allows you to choose which case you want to interact with. Once you have selected your case you have many of the basic tools required to effectively interact with that case. There are basic filters so you can view the various different types of documents, there is a fully functional grid (with basic filtering and sorting capabilities) so you can understand the critical metadata associated with each document and organize them accordingly, and there are some very basic graphics so you can begin to visualize your data. While these are only the most basic capabilities required in a review platform and by no mean sufficient to truly investigate a case (it doesn’t even have a search capability yet) they do clearly reveal the direction in which we are hoping to take Quin-C.


In short it is our goal in the coming months is to make QView a viable desktop replacement for FTK, for most of our users. This is not to say QView will have all the features that FTK does, because it won’t. So if you are among the 10-25% of our users that utilize all or most of the features of FTK and use the tool for fairly complex investigations, the next major release of QView probably won’t cut it for you. But if that isn’t you and you are among the remaining 80% of our user base that conducts more standard run of the mill investigations, then it is our hope that you will see QView as not only a viable replacement for FTK but a friendlier and more intuitive improvement. The first step forward on the road to replacing FTK will be the March 19th release. Currently the roadmap for that release is as follows:

1)      Complete datatype features

2)      Search bar

3)      Interactive charts

4)      Grid filters and sort

5)      Timeline

6)      Torrent/file sharing identification and filtering

7)      Video image and face recognition

8)      Utilize photo dna or similar feature

9)      Video hash management

10)   Video thumbnail viewing

The first five features are intended to round out the basic review capabilities shipped in the Feb 19th release. The remaining six features are specifically focused at improving QView’s capabilities in the area of multi-media investigations. In the April, May and June releases we will continue to expand QView’s capabilities with the end goal of achieving replacement status for FTK in the second quarter.

So the last major question I always get asked regarding QView is the simple but powerful question “why?” Why design a replacement for FTK, given the strength and acceptance of that product? Well the answer to that question is threefold. First FTK is written in C++ and that is a fairly old technology that is more difficult to maintain and improve than more modern languages. The second reason is that QView is fundamentally integrated with Quin-C and the two products can be used seamlessly together. Quin-C is so dramatically improving our capability to address our customer’s business problems that having a desktop product integrated with it will really be a big step forward for our user base. Finally and perhaps most important is that the truth is we aren’t. We aren’t developing a replacement for FTK. If you are a power FTK user, QView will never be your solution of choice. We never want to burden Qview with the complexity necessary to make it a viable solution for the forensics ninjas in the world. If you are a forensics ninja, FTK is perfect for you and we will keep developing it full force to make sure it stays perfect for you. However FKT is just too complex for many users. They don’t need to do complex carving, they don’t need to worry about volatile data, and don’t even want to be burdened by data processing at all. They just want simple investigative review and it is for them that we are developing QView.

tleehealey Friday 22 March 2019 - 05:34 am | | Default
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