Uploading Large Files with ILINX Capture and IIS

From time to time I receive questions about large file uploads with ILINX Capture. ILINX Capture can upload files of any size. The limitation is within Internet Information Services(IIS) and or the amount of memory installed in the web server. This is not only true for ILINX Capture, but and ASP or ASP.Net application.

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Features in ILINX Capture (Part I)

The feature set in ILINX Capture is vast and it can be a drag reviewing and interpreting feature lists in software documentation.  Those of you not familiar with ILINX Capture can visit the following website.www.ilinxcapture.com, or feel free to leave a comment and we can provide additional information and/or a hands-on demonstration.  In short, ILINX Capture is a web based capture platform that excels in distributed capture and custom capture workflow environments.  It is scalable to work on a single workstation or it can be extended to an enterprise wide global standard for capture in your organization.

I wanted to use this post to touch on a couple of the features that I see being used more and more in ILINX Capture.  These features became part of the product based on customer feedback, industry direction, and internal vision for the product.  All of the following features can be added to any point in your process flow map, so it provides not only the functionality but also the flexibility to adapt to the business needs of current processes in place today.

  1. 2D Barcode Support   – This feature adds the ability to read metadata, classify and separate documents, and provide quality control checks through the recognition of 2D barcodes.  Through a GUI the user has the ability to parse the barcode data and map it to fields, separate and identify the type of document, and validate that the number of pages in the document match what was captured through the scanning or electronic import process.

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College Transcript Processing

College Transcript Processing refers to converting a paper based transcript into an electronic transcript via software that OCR’s the scanned paper version, locates specific data within the transcript and saves that data for later use.  The reason for processing a transcript via software is to improve the rate of data transfer to another system for storage and retrieval versus manual data entry by a data entry specialist.  This is a somewhat difficult task due to the following reasons:

  1. Each and every College presents similar data in a very different format.
  2. Almost all colleges attempt to prevent the copying of the paper transcript through various copy protection methods.  Most of these methods render the data on the transcript almost un-readable.

The data that is similar on a transcript falls into several main areas:

  1.  College Identifying Information
  2. Student Identifying Information
  3. Session/Course Information
  4. Previous Colleges Attended Information
  5. Degrees Awarded Information

The data is similar but not the same on each college transcript.  In addition, the layout of a transcript varies greatly between the various colleges.  Session/Course data could take up the entire width of the paper for one college, but be formatted as multiple columns of data for another college.  There are many, many variations that need to be taken into consideration when attempting to OCR to find and extract the data.

So far the Abbyy FlexiCapture 9.x software has been able to handle most of these issues out of the box.  One of its most powerful features I am finding out is the scripting language to write rule, custom scripts and export scripts that can correct OCR issues and assist the Verification Operator improving efficiency and throughput.

The scripts for rules, custom scripts or export can be written in VBasic or Jscript.  There is some documentation on the Abbyy classes and objects, but not a whole lot.  Most of what I have done has been through trial and error or in specific cases from examples provided by Tech Support.  However, what scripts that have been developed work well for correcting OCR issues and providing automated checks of extracted field data.  Through Custom scripts there is even the option to use a Database lookup on extracted data and return other fields from the database to assist in providing a complete set of validated information.

This has been a learning experience but it is proving to be well worth the effort in getting the data off the paper and into the system used to evaluate a student for enrollment by cutting down on the man hours required under the old manual data entry.

ILINX Capture Remote Management

In the years that we have been doing ILINX Capture implementations a common question usually comes up from the IT Administrators; “Do we have to log on to the server to access the administration and management features?”  The answer is: “No, the ILINX Capture Server Manager can be utilized by any remote computer with the proper access.”

The reason why this comes up is because there is a lot of functionality in the ILINX Capture Server Manager.  Not only from the technical administration perspective, but also from the business management side.  For example, you have the ability to monitor the system status, review audit logs, configure security, monitor batches/documents and queues, and much more.  All of this functionality can be individually enabled or disabled for specific users and groups depending on their needs.

The following steps show you how to install the Server Manager for remote access to the software’s administration features;

1.  Run the Software Install and choose “ILINX Server Manager” from the install package…

2.  Ensure that the workstation has port access to the ILINX Capture database open to Database.  For example, if you are using SQL Server for your database the default port is 1433.

3.  Provide the user/group with the proper administration access.

a.  For a Line of Business Manager, it is common to just allow them access to monitor and manage the batches/documents in their queues

b.  For Tech Support, it is common to allow access to the Audit logs and System Monitoring features

This remote administration and management functionality has proven to be a valuable tool for this software over the years.  For more advanced remote admin/management tasks in ILINX Capture, feel free to leave a question in the comments and I will respond.  If enough similar questions are asked, I will drop another post on the more advanced tasks.

Ryan Keller
ImageSource, Inc.

ILINX Content Store Rocks

ImageSource has created a new distributed Scan, Store, Retrieve imaging system called ILINX® Content Store. Content Store will be demonstrated at the upcoming Nexus® 2010 ECM Conference (Nov 4-5 in Bellevue, Washington http://www.nexusecm.com/index.htm).

ILINX Content Store provides the means to import images and universal documents that have been indexed and released into a folder from multiple scanning solutions. Documents can also be manually indexed into Content Store from its interface. The system is accessed via a web browser and uses Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation as the user interface. This allows a modern functional interface into the system. Content Store can be accessed from MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

ILINX Content Store is perfect for small to large document storage needs. Imported documents are stored within a database making backup, security, and scalability straightforward.

I’ll take you on a quick tour of the product. We’ve wired up ILINX Capture, an advanced distributed capture solution to scan a document into ILINX Content Store. Advanced versions of Content Store will also provide simple direct scanning mechanism.

First I log in to ILINX Capture using Internet Explorer in order to scan a document. ILINX Capture and ILINX Content Store are running off premises on a company web server so I can access them via the internet.

ILINX Capture Login

Next, I select a scan source and application, scan a document, and then Continue reading

Using C#.NET with the Kofax KTM Validation Module

Introduction

My current project has a requirement to do several Oracle EBS validations and lookups from the Kofax KTM validation window. For example, one requirement is to present the validator with a list of Suppliers. Another is to check for a duplicate invoice number in EBS. I can easily add additional methods as needed.

Kofax KTM provides Win Basic scripting language that can accomplish some of this, but it’s difficult to use compared to modern programming languages. After a little research I discovered it was feasible to create and call methods in a COM object from KTM Win Basic. This meant I could expose a C#.NET dll via COM Interop but have all the power of any version of the .NET framework and Microsoft Visual Studio available to do the heavy lifting.

My C# methods return either arrays or booleans back to KTM where I then use the Win Basic language to present results to the validation user. I can debug my C# code by attaching to the KTM Project Builder exe while running validation tests.

Setting up the C# Class

The first step is to create a project in Visual Studio and set up a class to contain the methods you will call in KTM. The prefered method is to use interfaces in case you need to change the methods without breaking the inferface. Here is an example. Continue reading

The Unkown Security Risk In Your Office

The topic I wanted to touch on this week has to do with the security of documents in your organization.  Specifically, the security risks posed by printers, copiers, and multifunction devices in your office.   I have travelled around the country implementing document capture solutions, like ILINX Capture, that leverage the use of typical office multifunction devices and it amazes me how many companies do not know of this security risk.

How it started…

As technology advanced and data storage became more cost effective the internal workings of printers and multifunction devices changed.  The processing of documents for printing, scanning, and copying was offloaded from the computer or print server to the actual printer/copier device.  To handle the onboard processing for these devices, manufacturers began adding hard drives to printers, copiers, and multifunction devices.

What’s the risk…

In most cases, the hard drives in the printer, copier, and multifunction devices store a copy of every document that is printed, scanned, or copied.  This can be no big deal as long as the device is located in your office, but when the device is retired the documents on the hard drives are usually not wiped off and they go with the device.  Now you have a hard drive floating around with any number of confidential documents creating a huge security risk and possibly compliance violations.  The devices usually are packaged up and shipped overseas for a fraction of the original purchase price.  This is a scary thought because anyone could have access to your documents now.

The following is a recent news report that CBS News did on this very subject:     http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6412572n

What can you do…

  • If you are leasing these devices, understand the contract between your company and the vendor/manufacturer.  Many times it is detailed in the agreement that the customer is responsible for the documents on the hard drive.  If it is up to your company to dispose of the records, take responsibility and ensure that this is done prior disposing of the device.
  • Many manufacturers offer disk security and cleanup features for these devices.  It will most likely cost extra money, but the few dollars may be nothing compared to outfall of losing sensitive and confidential information.  One thing to keep in mind is that not all manufacturers will bring this topic up at purchase time.  Their number one objective may be to keep the price down and close the sale.
  • Help spread the word of this risk.  Again, it amazes me how many organizations have no clue about this risk and with the publicity it will be getting in the near future we should see some progress in this area.

Please feel free to leave comments and let us know about your experiences and knowledge related to these devices and the risk they pose.  Thank you.

Ryan S. Keller

ImageSource, Inc.