Category Archives for "Oracle"

ECM Best Practices: Training

As I was designing the training for our new software product, ILINX Capture, I had to think about how to structure the training. The best analogy that I came up with is that training should be like a story. There should be a beginning, middle, and an end.

The beginning or opening of the training session should set the tone of the training. The instructor should use a power point presentation to describe how the training is structured, and to outline what they will be covering during the session. The information that should be given to the students usually ranges from introducing themselves to a breakdown of what is covered each day.

The middle of training should primarily be lecture and labs. The lecture should be on the material that will be covered the labs. It is important that the material be structured in such a way that it will make sense to the students. First, you should walk the students through the concepts of why and when you would execute a task in the software. This should be followed by how to execute tasks by using labs. The labs should directly reflect what has been covered during the lecture. The first few labs should contain step by step instructions that the students need to complete. As the students move through the training there should be less step by step instruction in each lab. Another thing l like to see in lab materials are screen shots of what the student is trying to achieve. This should include screen shots of any buttons that need to be clicked.

The end of the training should be a short review of what was just covered in the lecture and lab. This allows the instructor to make sure the students understand the material. On the last day of training the review will cover all of the sections from the training. The very end of training includes the dreaded test. The questions can be multiple choice or true/false. These questions should only cover the material from the training and not introduce new material.

As long as you follow this basic format your training classes should be successful.

Chris Sturiale

Training Manager

ImageSource, Inc.

 

Implementing Content Management Systems with Multiple Environments

A common recommendation we have when designing Enterprise Content Management systems is the use of multiple environments.  I am referring the use of Development, Test, and/or QA environments to complement a Production environment.  There are many advantages to deploying systems with multiple environments, and I would like to discuss the role of multiple environments and the advantages to implementing them for your ECM system.

Depending on the size and complexity of the solution different supporting environments are recommended.  For, example with a smaller departmental level solution with little or no custom development, it is common to only recommend one supporting environment used for development and testing.  Now let’s take another example where a customer has an enterprise level ECM system with custom development and a requirement for minimal system downtime.  The following is a common layout for this type of system:

  • Development Environment – Used for custom development and preparation for testing changes to the ECM system.  This environment is usually much smaller than the Production Environment and is commonly running on virtual servers/machines.
  • Test Environment – Used for end to end testing of changes to the system.  Changes are certified in this environment prior to moving to the QA or Production.  This environment is usually smaller than Production, but it is imperative that the functionality is consistent to ensure proper testing and certification of the changes.
  • Quality Assurance Environment – This environment serves a couple of purposes and it closely mirrors the architecture of the Production Environment.  Performance load testing and client acceptance are performed in this environment.  In some instances, this environment can also serve as a disaster recovery environment in the event of a Production outage.
  • Production Environment – Used for the ECM Production System.

This environment configuration is representative of a common layout for multiple environments, but depending on the organization and solution it can vary.  The ECM solution architects play a valuable role in recommending the optimal configuration.  At ImageSource, we have extensive knowledge and experience with ECM architecture and take a great deal of pride in designing the correct layout for the customer and the solution.
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Distributed Capture for the Enterprise

Distributed Capture (for Scanning and Indexing) has been gaining ground in the last several years.  Used to be that documents were sent to the basement where a dedicated scan operator “fed the dragon” by scanning hundreds if not thousands of documents a day.  This was known as “Centralized Capture”.  Problem was, how to relay the vital index information necessary for search and retrieval to the scan operator?Continue reading

The Future of ECM Support and Web Based Distributed Capture

Now that there are scanning applications that live on the internet troubleshooting and client side desktop support just got a whole lot easier. No more patching individual workstatiScan on the Internetons and mix matched versions on client desk tops. No more problems accessing and taking up disk space. No more OS compatibility issues. Web based applications is the future of ECM and those of us in Technical Support are embracing the expansion of web based scanning applications such as ILINX Capture and  Oracle Distributed Capture.

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When you are a hammer all of your problems look like nails.

The phrase “When you are a hammer all of your problems look like nails” is just one version of a group of statements that refers to the phenomenon that the French call déformation professionnelle which refers to looking at things from the point of view of one’s profession.  This behavior is more commonly know in the psychological field as the “Law of the Instrument” and was purposed first by Maslow.  A simplified version of his concept is thus: an individual that is incomplete in their knowledge or training, tends to propose the same type of solution to every problem they encounter.  They opt for the more familiar solution to one that may be more effective.

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