Oracle IPM Workflow Software: Overuse of Custom Forms

With a product such as Oracle IPM software the temptation arises to develop a new front end to feed an existing software solution the client may have in place. The IPM product has a GUI which allows easy rule based routing, e-mail notification, trigger events and others with no programming skill required. The solution does allow for considerable development to take place as well, which is where the temptation to over develop can occur.

The workflow is powerful in aiding the processing of incoming content, be it Web based forms submitted or scanned documents, and it provides the tools to facilitate data entry.  Its ability to create custom forms allows for data entry to occur solely within the IPM platform. Care should be exercised though, since it should never be the goal to simply substitute an existing data entry method with a new face. This leads usually to excessive coding of the workflow form in trying to mimic all the functions and rules of the existing product, creating a bond between the two products which will require more effort in the future when the platforms undergo upgrades.

In many instances the workflow will be at its best when it is used as a simple delivery mechanism for the content, this will give the organization the advantages of an electronic workflow and minimize if not eliminate the need for custom coding. In other instances there is a happy medium; usually this is when a separate mechanism such as Kofax KTM has been used to extract data or if the input mechanism is a web form where the data has been captured already. In these instances a Workflow form and a script event which subsequently uploads the data after review can be extremely efficient; again the caution needs to be made to not try to recreate an already existing program

The delineation between how much custom code is enough and how much custom code is too much can be tough to ascertain, but with experience and some common sense evaluation on how much gain is really being realized for the end users experience in processing a balance should be obtainable, cutting development costs and time to implement for your solutions.

Jeff Doyle
Sr. Systems Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

 

 

So Much Paper! So Little Space!

We have all seen it in one office or another…the rows and towers of banker boxes filling the corner of the room. The outside of boxes try to convey the critical document information such as names, dates, times, etc. but are looking a bit haggard from being moved around the office so many times. The best way to gain your space back is a document scanning solution. There are record management systems using production scanners, Fujitsu or Bowe Bell & Howell scanners. With the help of ImageSource Inc you can have your confidential material scanned and critical information electronically saved. The time you spend now is the space you will gain back to help your company be competitive and efficient.

Barbara Duran
Conversion Specialist

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.