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Integrated Document Management (IDM) environment

November 2, 2010 Comments off

As posted in my previous blog ,Document management is a system for controlling the capture, cataloguing, storage, retrieval, revision, sharing and reuse, protection, archiving of documents, the Document flow in an IDM environment could be better depicted as shown below :

The above components can be classified into following three key features of IDM :

Document Capturing :
o    Scanning for the hard copies – involves physical scanner and scanning software.
o    Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability – involves special scanning software and hardware.
o    Image enhancement – part of scanning software.
o    Indexing utility – captures the metadata for the images. The indexing utility could be part of scanning software or it could be a separate system capable of capturing and attaching metadata for the images. Bar-coding technology has emerged as one of the popular approach for representing index data of documents to be scanned.
o    Electronic document indexing – documents which are already in electronic format like E-mail and E-fax (like Right fax) need to be indexed prior to storing them in the document repository. Some new interfaces may need to be built to support this feature (For e.g.; providing user interface for a right fax server to index a right fax )
o    File format converters – if all the scanned/electronic documents need to be stored in a predefined file format, a file format converter may be needed prior to exporting a document to document repository

Document Access and Management:

o    Document repository management – controls organization of documents with in a document repository. This provides features like organizing documents with in different folders, subfolders and version management of documents. These are basic features of any document management systems like Documentum, Filenet, Tower software etc.
o    Security or access control – Most of the document management systems provide good security features for the stored documents. The multiple levels of security can be provided to different user groups. Additional security can be built with in the systems accessing the documents from the document repository.
o    Reporting – Most of the document management systems provide facility to either connect to an external reporting tool or may internally have a reporting feature. The reporting is primarily done on the document attributes (metadata).
o    Document access interface – document management systems usually provide some interfaces or APIs using which documents & document attributes can be retrieved and accessed by the external world. For e.g.; Documentum exposes its document repository to the external systems using  Documentum Foundation Classes (DFC).
o    Archiving & records management – Though records management itself has developed into a different solution space, basic archival and records retention facilities are provided by most of the IDM vendors

Document Workflow management:

Process automation is the main objective of the Workflow tools. When the business process involves handling of documents, document workflow comes into picture.

o    Case Management – The documents are always associated with a case. For eg; a “case” could be a Person or Policy or any other entities.
o    Process Modelling – Involves defining various processes, decision rules that are involved in the workflow of the document. For e.g.; an insurance application document need to be reviewed by the application processing staff before passing it to underwriter’s review. In this case, Application Processing and Underwriting are the processes involved in the workflow.
o    Routing – Based on the decision rules, documents need to be routed to different processes or individuals.

 

Hope this is helpful ,more about IDM can be found googling.

Integrated Document Management Solutions

November 1, 2010 Comments off

Document management is defined as a system for controlling the capture (when created or received), classification (cataloguing), storage, retrieval, revision, sharing and reuse, protection, archiving of documents.  Documents include electronic and non-electronic objects.  Electronic objects include softcopy documents, e-mail, imaged material, e-fax etc. Non-electronic objects include paper, documentation, photographs, maps etc. The common processes of Integrated Document Management systems include :

  • Capture/Receive documents – document is received from an external source (could be electronic or physical papers)
  • Generate/Create – Document is created internally within the document management system
  • Indexing – facilitate identification of document by applying context relevant metadata to it.
  • Document formatting – convert the electronic document into appropriate format, like .pdf, .tiff etc
  • Store documents – document is stored in an online media (we are assuming that the IDM solution is electronic storage of all documents)
  • Retrieve documents – document retrieval facility for viewing and editing
  • Document Versioning – to be able to maintain multiple versions of document
  • Document manipulation – to be able to move and delete documents
  • Security – document need to be secured depending on the business and legal requirements
  • Workflow management – it’s an optional feature. Documents need to be routed to appropriate user groups based on the workflow
  • Archiving & Long term storage – document management system should provide scheduling feature to schedule document archival. The archiving could be a different storage location like CDs, microfilms or some hard disks
  • Long term retrieval of documents – document is retrieved as needed during its archived status from whatever the archival storage location
  • Purge/Dispose documents – documents need to be deleted when its no-longer needed

Will try to bring more about IDM in brief may be with a diagram in my next Post.

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