, an online reference service providing highly technical data primarily used by engineers, is heading into 2013 after a year of growth with plans to offer improved user experience, new content, new tool sets and services and more fully integrate its database offerings into client networks. founder Chris Forbes told PW that Knovel is a subscription based online reference service based in New York City. The company offers both technical information as well as analytical tools. It continues to grow and is offered more than 40 countries around the world. The company has 110 employees and about 800 institutional customers worldwide, among them General Motors and British Petroleum as well as a list of of government and academic institutions. Knovel offers refence content across 30 subject areas and ove the last year added nine new publishing partners. The company now has more than 100 international STM publishers and publishing societies as content partners.

Forbes said the biggest trend he’s seen over the last year, is “how content is becoming more interactive and easier to use,” in both the consumer as well as the B2B marketplace that Knovel servers. “Our plan is to deliver content that our clients want exactly when it’s needed,” he said. Forbes said that Knovel lets engineers avoid searching multiple sources for vetted information, offering “a single point of reference for access to the technical references, they demand.”

The company is also working integrate its services “into the customer environment, so they don’t need to come directly to us or our website for our services,” he said. “We can integrate our external info into the work environment,” he explained and said that in 2013, Knovel “will launch a new platform, currently in beta, offering improved design, functionalities and overall user experience. Knovel also will have a new, full-fledged math engine behind the interactive content and tool sets. Knovel will continue to expand its publishing partner network adding new subject areas, databases and content.”

In addition, Forbes said, the company is also focusing on ways to “further integrate into engineers daily work flow. The open, API centric architecture of the new platform will allow seamless integration into engineering tools such as CAD, PLM, FEA and document repositories, such as Sharepoint.”

“70% of engineers use Excel spreadsheets,” Forbes said, offering an example of how the service works, “we can integrate directly into Excel so when they pull info out of a database it goes right into Excel. No one cares if they have to come to the Knovel website, and we get paid as long its used.”