The fundamental concept of Adonis is that new technology can be used to reduce the cost of supplying articles from printed journals. The idea is not a new one, it dates back some 10 years. Early projections showed that the technology was not ready. In the mid-1980's further advances in technology made possible a limited trial. As a result of that trial the publishers have decided to go ahead with a commercial service from 1991, in experimental form. At about that time the technology was becoming available to put the theory into practice.