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Lexis-Nexis can be browsed on Web

The service will make its legal and business databases accessible through browsers.

Lexis-Nexis, a provider of legal, business, and news information, announced today that it will release products that allow customers to view its more than 875 million pages of documents with Web browsers.

The first of the products, Lexis-Nexis Advantage, will allow legal professionals to do simple searches of state legal materials such as case law and statutes from their Web browsers instead of the company's proprietary software. Documents will be downloaded from Lexis-Nexis's proprietary database, converted to HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), then returned to the searcher.

Although the changes stop short of an entire move to the Web, new products will enable access to other information products on the Internet as well.

Lexis-Nexis is also planning to release a product that will allow less frequent users to search its database from the Internet through credit-card transactions. The service will be available sometime this fall, the company says.