As part of the ECM industry, it is important to understand what compound documents are and how they affect you. Compound documents have been an issue in ECM software from the beginning of time. According to wiseGEEK, Compound documents are document files that contain several different types of data as well as text. A compound document may include graphics, spreadsheets, images, or any other non-text data. The additional data may be embedded into the document or be linked data that is resident within the application. You may be asking what that means for you? We all know that basic ECM is scan/store/retrieve, but what happens when you add electronic documents in PDF or MS Word?
Importing electronic documents that have are different data types is what creates compound document. Cardiff LiquidOffice creates electronic forms that can have data filled in, data looked up from a database, allow signatures, and many other features. What it also allows you to do is attach other documents to the form to create “a single document”. When you are ready to release this document to your backend, you need to be sure that it can manage compound documents and if so, how. Oracle IBPM says that they can handle these types of documents but be sure you know how they are handled because getting the documents back out could be a challenge. Where Oracle is great at many things, including their newly rebranded ECM product called Oracle WebCenter Content which includes functions like contract management or team collaborations, their main weakness still lies in archiving compound documents. There are other platforms available that may succeed at managing compound documents but have major weaknesses in other areas. Be sure to do your research when selecting your ECM product and determine what your current needs are as well as what future needs may be required.
ImageSource has just enhanced ILINX Connect for eForms (a product which connects LiquidOffice to Oracle IPM, ILINX Content Store, or a file system). These enhancements allow you to attach any data type of documents to the LiquidOffice form, creating a compound document and release into ILINX Content Store. By selecting Merge All Tiff Files Into a Single Document, your documents will go into Content Store as a single document instead of 2 or more (depending on the number of attachments). For example, when your Accounting Department looks at your expense forms with attached receipts is will appear as a single document.