What is TWAIN?  TWAIN, which does not stand for "Technology With An Interesting Name", is a protocol designed for connecting an image source with an application.

What this means is any image source (scanners, digital cameras, content management systems, even web sites) can provide a TWAIN Data Source (also commonly called a TWAIN driver), and any application that retrieves images using TWAIN can retrieve images from any Data Source.

Without TWAIN, or something like it, every application would have to implement it's own code for talking to the devices it wants to support - with TWAIN, an application can talk to scanners or cameras that didn't even exist when the application was written!

There are three protocols in common use in the Windows environment for retrieving images from scanners:  TWAIN, ISIS, and WIA.  Of these three, only TWAIN is an open standard, formed by a standards body, the TWAIN Working Group.

JFL Peripheral Solutions is an active member of the Board of Directors of the TWAIN Working Group and Chair of the Toolkit Sub-Committee.

The TWAIN specification is a cross-platform specification, available on the Macintosh (including Mac OS X) and with a Linux version in the works.

The complete TWAIN specification is available on the website.  The TWAIN Mailing List is a great place to ask questions about TWAIN development.- you can find the mailing list here and you can search the mailing list archives here.

TWAIN is a very feature-rich protocol, and implementing it completely and accurately is a daunting job.  We've packaged our years of TWAIN experience into ObjectTWAIN, an ActiveX which makes it easy to add scanning to any application. 

There are other TWAIN components on the market but ObjectTWAIN has the richest feature set, best performance, and the best support for all TWAIN features by far.  Click on the ObjectTWAIN link at the left for more information.



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JFL Peripheral Solutions Inc.
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