Category Archives for "Document Management"

eForms 101

I recently gave a presentation at our Nexus convention about eForms — and how they can produce real business value. Although the presentation was meant for those who have not spent much time analyzing the benefits of e-forms, some real industry heavyweights showed up. Unfortunately this was a lost opportunity because if I had more time I would’ve handed over the microphone for additional eForm paradigms and parables. Alas I had more material than time. Here’s a brief discussion of some of the topics I covered.

An eForm is of course an electronic representation of a paper form. In fact, many eForms look exactly like their paper counterpart. When a paper process goes electric, you’re not just leaving the paper behind. You are opening the door to processing times that are dramatically more expedient, and a host of other advantages.

Because of their inherent characteristics, eForms:

  • save money
    • When it can costs $20 to file a document and up to $314 per filing cabinet for the real state it consumes, you know storing paper isn’t cheap. And it can cost up to $220 to reproduce a lost document.
  • are green
    • Since the United States is the world’s largest producer and consumer paper, and for more than half of all organizations paper use is on the rise – the green choice is to reproduce paper processes electronically
  • are malleable
    • What if you just snail mailed one million requests for information and then discovered a fatal error in the text of your paper document. You can do the math here — it would be expensive to fix this, and slow. Online eForms can be changed in flash with very little effort or cost.

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ILINX Content Store Rocks

ImageSource has created a new distributed Scan, Store, Retrieve imaging system called ILINX® Content Store. Content Store will be demonstrated at the upcoming Nexus® 2010 ECM Conference (Nov 4-5 in Bellevue, Washington

ILINX Content Store provides the means to import images and universal documents that have been indexed and released into a folder from multiple scanning solutions. Documents can also be manually indexed into Content Store from its interface. The system is accessed via a web browser and uses Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation as the user interface. This allows a modern functional interface into the system. Content Store can be accessed from MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

ILINX Content Store is perfect for small to large document storage needs. Imported documents are stored within a database making backup, security, and scalability straightforward.

I’ll take you on a quick tour of the product. We’ve wired up ILINX Capture, an advanced distributed capture solution to scan a document into ILINX Content Store. Advanced versions of Content Store will also provide simple direct scanning mechanism.

First I log in to ILINX Capture using Internet Explorer in order to scan a document. ILINX Capture and ILINX Content Store are running off premises on a company web server so I can access them via the internet.

ILINX Capture Login

Next, I select a scan source and application, scan a document, and then Continue reading

Oracle IPM Invoice Processing Accelerators

Oracle is rolling out best-practice ERP AP invoice processing solution accelerators as part of their 11g Fusion Middleware offering. Called “adapters”, these ERP software components are available for Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Siebel.

The accelerators are a mechanism to ensure scanned invoices reach a backend ERP system for final handling even when there are issues in the invoice data gathered using OCR forms recognition during scanning. This allows for minimal user exception handling or intervention prior to each invoice arriving in the ERP system. The idea is to simply load the scanner with invoices, press a button, and then handle the invoices once they arrive in the backend.

In order for this approach to work, Oracle’s solution accelerators use XML documents to contain header and line invoice data. The XML documents are combined with business rules in an Oracle BPEL Process Manager workflow that automatically massages the data into a format that will be accepted by the ERP import functionality such as the Oracle EBS open interface table import. The invoice image resides in the Oracle IPM system.

In the case where data can’t be massaged sufficiently for insert, the invoice is keyed from image from within the BPEL workflow. Invoices that directly insert into the ERP system arrive either ready for validation, matching, payment, coding, etc., or are placed on hold with a hold code and a hold reason code. Some sample hold and reason codes are:

Purchase Order PO must be valid and open.
PO vendor must match invoice vendor.
Supplier Supplier is required.
Supplier must exist in vendor master.
Supplier ID and supplier site ID must match.

There are many more business rules that operate on each invoice inside of workflow that meet the requirements of the ERP system.

Oracle has created a flash demo of a scan to EBS process at:

Oracle has also created a PDF document that highlights the E-Business Suite Adapter:

As an Oracle partner, ImageSource has begun to implement these solutions in the field.

Clint Lewis
Senior Systems Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

ILINX Integrate Redux

ILINX Integrate has been nicely summarized by John Linehan in his December 19, 2009 blog.  I saw Shad White and John’s ILINX Integrate demonstration at last year’s Nexus and was really impressed.  Simply stated, this application allows you to take data from one application and paste it into another without modifying either application.  And to avoid confusion Integrate has also been known as ILINK AIK or Application Extender Kit.  Works for me!

Now that I have worked with the Integrate program I have come up with some tips and tricks that will allow you to get up to speed with this tool a little faster.  This document assumes you’ve at least partially perused some ILINX Integrate documentation as I’ll refer to components without describing them.

Always budget sufficient time for your project!  Not every project is right the first time.  With some testing and massaging, you’ll get there. But remember that taking your time and really testing your project will pay big dividends.  Are you cut and paste results consistent? Do you need to insert any delays?  Have you tested using different logins? Have you moved your target and source windows around in testing? Have you accessed browser-based screens from all possible user links? Have you kept your eye on the Integrate log?  Did you test from the Studio and the Client? Multiple machines? Multiple OS’s?  Multiple browsers? How about under various phases of the moon?  OK scratch the last one as it is (for sure) unnecessary.

Read the documentation! The Designer Guide PDF file is your ticket but the on-line help is also very good.  There’s a lot of functionality packed in and you may find some project shortcuts.  More likely you’ll find the solutions to problems you weren’t thinking Integrate could solve (ok this is a long-cut!).  There’s a mail task component, an FTP task, a script task, an XSLT task, a screen capture task, and many more.  This is not a steroidal snipping tool but rather a feature-rich application extension environment.

Consider starting with a simple thick client application.  I’ve used Windows calculator as a handy target application for testing.  Make your

connection, and define the screen which holds the fields you wish to work with.  It helps to already have data in the field you wish to define.  When you map the field you should see the contents of the field in the Integrate Value field. In this example the field value is ‘brian eno’.


Also useful is to add a dialog task.  The dialog tasks provides the ability to perform quick tests to validate that the data you are trying to grab is obtainable.  You can add an event to this task — events are task triggers, essentially.  You can configure this event as a Koolbar button – a taskbar containing buttons you configure.  When executing a project click the button to see the values you are grabbing.

And remember you can add many buttons, associated with many tasks in your project. Label your buttons well!

Is your data not pasting when it should?  Here’s the first thing to do:Continue reading

LiquidOffice / TeleForm Tango

In the past I have blogged about exporting Autonomy Cardiff’s TeleForm forms into LiquidOffice using the File Exchange Format.  And then populating those LiquidOffice forms with OCR’d metadata from TeleForm data using LiquidOffice’s virtual submit feature. So in this dance, TeleForm is the lead.

And a lead dancer’s job is to make the other dancer look good, right?

Time for a swap  – let’s let LiquidOffice lead.

Here we’ll leverage the TeleForm LiquidOffice SOAP connect agent.  Price: FREE with TeleForm. Using this method offers a helpful twist: you can attach data and documents to an active LiquidOffice process if you wish.  That is not achievable with the virtual submission method.

Though described in the help files as a “complex subject”, there’s some scenarios that comply with the KISS approach (my favorite). Time to jump in but, warning, danger, disclaimer: this blog assumes you’ve spent some quality time with LiquidOffice and TeleForm.
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