However far we move away from the imaging side of ECM, it is still the largest part of the industry. More often than not, the solutions I deploy revolve around some sort of mechanism to scan, store, and retrieve documents. Imaging is the gateway into Business Process Management (BPM), Records Management (RM), Electronic Reports Management (ERM), and a whole string of Line of Business applications (LOB). I often work with Oracle Image and Process Management (I/PM) as the ECM component and we integrate it with many different applications. There are a few caveats with I/PM and I ran into one issue recently that has come up many times in the past.
Oracle I/PM version 10G (and earlier) has a list of requirements for TIFF images. That’s not to say that the system can’t handle any object, because it can. You can file anything into an I/PM system, but you might not be able to view it within the software. For example: you could file a .zip file into the system, it just wouldn’t render in the viewer. The TIFF requirement list has to do with the image viewer built into the system. So if you want to be able to view what you file into an I/PM system with the I/PM viewer, you better be sure your TIFF images meet the requirements. The main reasons to limit access solely to the I/PM viewer are:
- Limit access to documents within the I/PM system only. This simply means you don’t want users to be able to view the object outside of I/PM.
- To take advantage of the I/PM annotation capabilities.
The TIFF requirements as listed in the I/PM documentation are as follows:
- Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
- Group IV Compression
- Group VI Compression (Original Microsoft TIFF standards, not the Wang hybrid)
- 200, 300 or 400 dpi
- X resolution equal to Y resolution
- Non-stripped (i.e., Lines per strip equal to total lines. Stripped and LZW formats are not supported.)
- Image widths which are a multiple of 8
- Fill order of 1 or 2
- Tags at the top or bottom of the file
- Single-plane (monochrome) / Bi-tonal
- Single page or multi-page TIFFs.
- Intel Format (II) are supported. Other formats, such as Motorola format (MM) are not supported. Group 7 TIFF are not supported.
That might seem like a long list when you first glance at it. But it is pretty simple to modify an image and render it compatible with the I/PM viewer. There are plenty of tools out there to standardize TIFF images. ImageMagick or a couple of different tools by Informatick would do the trick. With ImageMagick there is a compress function that can standardize the image. Simply execute ImageMagick with the ‘-compress Group4 –density 200×200’ command and the image output will meet all the I/PM requirements.
From experience, most scanning applications meet the I/PM requirements so this isn’t an issue. Documents coming out of Kofax Capture, Oracle Document Capture, or ILINX Capture all meet the I/PM TIFF requirements. Where the I/PM TIFF requirements becomes an issue is when migrating documents from an old legacy ECM application that stored or captured images in a non-standard format. Just be aware that the requirements are there and that the images have to be modified before being archived into I/PM if they don’t meet the specifications.
Senior Systems Engineer