SCSI vs. USB 2.0 in Production Scanners

Over the course of my time selling imaging hardware, i.e. scanners, many customers ask me which is better…SCSI or USB 2.0?  Actually some don’t even ask, they insist that SCSI (small computer system interface) is still the fastest option.  Unfortunately for them, almost all scanner manufacturers have moved to using a USB 2.0 interface as option on their scanners and some are USB 2.0 exclusively.

When the first USB (Universal Serial bus) it was slower than SCSI and at times Flakey. Anyone who has ever installed a SCSI device knows that there was definitely room for improvement in this technology as well. Between double checking SCSI ID’s and triple checking the Termination you could spend quite a bit of time sorting out a SCSI install if it didn’t go right the first time. But when USB 2.0 came out it was stable and fast. In fact there is little to no degradation in speed with the scanners.  In fact, Kofax has stopped manufacturing SCSI cards all together.  VRS used to be a limitation of USB in a production environment because it required a SCSI adrenaline board interface, but now the latest versions of VRS are more versatile and work with USB 2.0 just as well if not better than SCSI.

USB 2.0 is working its way to becoming the standard in imaging technology because it less expensive than SCSI and so much easier to work with.  You also have one less point of failure with the USB 2.0 vs. the SCSI card.  So for those people with the common misconception that SCSI is faster and better, I’m here to tell you that USB 2.0 is just as good when it comes to speed and less expensive for your pocketbook. It also opens up the door to using laptops.

ImageSource, Inc. offers the all of the best names in imaging hardware – Fujitsu, Bowe Bell & Howell, Panasonic, Canon– each one with their own strengths, but all equipped with the newest and latest connectivity of USB 2.0

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

Another Good Reason to Recommend Upgrading an Image Capture System

I recently had a ticket I found to be very interesting. As I started to dig into the issue with an older version of an imaging capture system and I soon realized that .NET 2.0 was not supported, and manufacture recommended their customers to uninstall the .NET 2.0 framework. As you know that’s very hard to do in today’s world so they came up with an unsupported workaround.

Continue reading

Leveraging ECM Software APIs

System Engineers must to be able to choose from a menu of technologies in order to solve ECM business problems. While ECM software vendors often strive to provide a complete set of tools for any anticipated business challenge, in reality, technology advances almost always outpace product release cycles.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Extensible Markup Language (XML), and many other similar, and often interoperable, technologies have and are being developed in an effort to provide the ability to glue disparate systems together using  published, standards-based mechanisms. While extremely useful, these technologies suffer from some of the same issues as vendor software such versioning, bloat, vendor specificity, and so on.

As an engineer in the field, it’s critical to choose best-of-breed products that solve a core purpose extremely well, then extend the product with other current technologies until a complete solution emerges. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), whether COM, Web Service, or something else is what makes this extensibility possible. The most useful ECM products provide rich APIs and callable interfaces.

I’m currently finishing a project that uses Oracle’s Imaging and Process Management (OIPM) product. The customer’s version of OIPM targets Microsoft Visual Basic 6 .dlls for custom scripts, and Microsoft .NET 1.1 framework for web development. However, I wanted to target the 2.0 .NET framework for the process scripts, and the 3.5 SP1 framework for the web interface. The web interface solution in particular takes advantage of LINQ, XML data stores, implicitly typed variables, jQuery, and AJAX.

Fortunately, OIPM, while using a fairly old COM-based codebase itself, provides mechanisms that allow an engineer to retain the proven usefulness of OIPM image storage and workflow, but extend to .NET managed code for scripts and web development. The sum of the parts becomes a much more useful solution then if all development was restricted to a closed ECM system that did not provide APIs or was completely COM based.

If you wish to dig deeper, or need a solution, ImageSource  provides training, custom development, and field services for many of the popular ECM products.

Clint Lewis
Senior Systems Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

 

 

The Importance of ECM Training – Kofax, ILINX, Oracle

While conducting a Kofax training class, I asked the students how their company uses Kofax Capture v8.  They told me that their system consists of 20+ servers and multiple installations of Kofax Capture.  This was very surprising to me.  My students told me that the previous administrator never received training on the software, and that his manager told him to “just make the system work”, rather than sending him to training.  The administrator was able to “make the system work”, but did so in a way that was inefficient and did not take advantage of the full power of the software.  If the administrator had received proper training on the software, he would have realized that, at the most, he would have only needed one server for Kofax and one server for his remote sites.  The lack of training proved to be costly to his company.

Never underestimate the importance of training.  A complete list of available training courses at ImageSource University can be found by visting the Training page.

Chris Sturiale
Training Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Benefits of Remote Services for ECM Support

Would you land a plane in dense fog without radar?   Probably not, so why can it be difficult to get support representatives of  major software manufactures to dial in and assess critical business ECM servers to aid with troubleshooting?  I recently worked with a large ECM company that told me “Before that occurs ( dialing in ) … the customer needs to have the understanding that all we would be doing is observing the issue and that no troubleshooting or resolution recommendations would occur”.

What kind of a response it that!  I literally thought it was a joke.  I brought this to the attention of the technician’s manager and he agreed with his staff and said to me that in some occasions a remote session is the very first request (and occasionally only info) in new service requests.  He went on to tell me that occasionally something like – “my system isn’t working start a web session so I can show you”.   is frustrating for them because it is easy to get trapped into a complete unknown situation with no measurable exit strategy.  This can turn a quick 30 minute dial up session into an all day ordeal burning multiple resources at the expense of their other customer’s Service Request”.  So, they don’t want to help you because it may take up too much time?Continue reading