Migrating from Stellent UCM & IBPM – A little foresight can alleviate a lot of trouble

Migrations from systems like IBPM to ILINX can be fraught with issues that can bite the unwary in very bad places. However, if you are aware of such problems, you can plan ways to mitigate them and have a successful migration in the end.

One issue we run into is documents that have a page or two with corrupt images. Perhaps when the page was first contributed to IBPM, a system or other type of issue caused the image to be corrupt or cease to exist. Either physical hardware or a software bug can be the culprit. The product we use for migration, ILINX Export, will flag this document as an error, skip it and move on to the next document in RECID order. Once the export is completed, these flagged documents have to be re-visited. Once a determination is made that an image is indeed corrupt, and the chance to recover it from backups is extremely remote, the document can be deleted or manually exported from IBPM without the corrupt image.

Another matter we’ve dealt with is related to non-tiff images. This category is “universal” type images, and includes PDF, DOC, XLS, MSG and a host of other file types that IBPM supports. There are options within the ILINX Export tool that will allow the export of these files types in their native format through the IBPM SDK. Or the export can be done through database manipulation that can directly access the image file and then “unzip” the universal file into its native format.

The issue that can be encountered here is twofold, and manifests itself when migrating to another repository. One, IBPM stores the native file zipped up with another file that contains metadata and has no file extension. When the document is unzipped there are two files, one with a valid file type and one without. Typically, backend repositories require file extensions, which are useful for performance, like displaying file type icon on the user interface, and a variety of other reasons. During the migration, importing to the backend may be impeded due to a lack of extensions on the metadata files. Secondly, if the extension of the universal file has been altered or damaged in storage, the file type may not be a standard that the new repository will accept. In any case, having your migration come to a screeching halt is something to avoid.

Awareness is the key. By proactively incorporating a response into your migration plan, you can eliminate much heartburn and anxiety. That is where the expertise and knowledge of a seasoned Optika / Stellent / Oracle integrator, like ImageSource, comes into play. We have helped many customers build migration plans that take these and other items into account, so the migrations are as smooth and worry-free as possible.

Converting Image Files

At some point there is going to be a need to convert an Imaging Systems image files from one format to another format when moving to a new Imaging system.  ILINX® Import can be used to handle the conversion.

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Getting Started With Oracle BPM 11g

In a previous blog post I wrote a step by step guide on how to install Oracle BPM 11g. That was all good and well, but now what?

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One Way ILINX® Manages Compound Documents

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?

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Fusion Middleware Patchset 5 in the Wild

Oracle slipped out the fifth patchset release for the Fusion Middleware products during the middle of the night on the 22nd of February.  For the most part things will be very familiar to longtime users.  One of the most visible changes is that the branding has caught up with the software.  Oracle Content Server is now Webcenter Content,  Imaging and Process Management is now Webcenter Imaging.  It feels like an end of an era!

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IPM 10g is Going Away, Now What?

Earlier this month ImageSource hosted our annual ECM conference Nexus.  I had the chance to meet with many of our customers and have some really great conversations.  Many of these folks are running IPM 10g as a core component of their enterprise and since that product is being end of life’d they are taking a long hard look at their installations.  Everyone wanted to know what options they had and to talk about the best way for them to move forward.  The 11g version of IPM was frequently a core topic of conversation and everybody wanted to hear how to get from here to there.

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Oracle BPM 11g Install for a Development Environment

Who is finally ready to get off their laurels and start looking at Oracle BPM 11g? I knew I was, the question I had was: where do I start? I figured the best place to start would be to actually install the software. A special thanks to one of our Systems Engineer, Les Harris who helped in getting me going on installing the software. I installed the entire Oracle BPM 11g stack on my laptop and documented the procedure.

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The Case for 11g

ORacle Fusion Middleware 11g

Welcome to the Jungle

A Look Back

Oracle IPM 11g is the latest version of the venerable Image and Process Management product but the product has a long history.  IPM was developed by Optika in the late 90s with the name eMedia as a workflow enabled replacement for an imaging solution named FilePower.  The eMedia brand was phased out at version 2.0 and replaced with the Acorde name.  We still have some clients who are successfully running Acorde installations to this day.

Optika was bought out by a company called Stellent and the product went through another rebranding phase this time as Imaging and Business Process Management (IBPM).  It was at this time the version was bumped up from Acorde 4.0 to Stellent IBPM 7.5 to bring the product in line with Stellent’s overall product versioning.

Finally Oracle buys Stellent and brings the Stellent Content Server and IBPM products under their umbrella.  Content Server turns into Universal Content Management and IBPM turns into Oracle Image and Process Management 10gR3.

So we’ve finally arrived at IPM.  A key thing to remember that during this period of development and rebranding is that the product remained essentially the same.  It operated on the same principles and was architected in the same manner.  Not to say there weren’t improvements between eMedia 1.0 and IPM 10gR3 but these improvements embodied natural evolution of the product.

This is true no longer; IPM 11g has changed the game.

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Oracle Content Management – IPM 11g Links

Looking for some useful links to information about installing Oracle IPM 11g?  We have been performing successful Oracle IPM 11g implementations and will be providing useful information, as well as, tips and tricks on this blog.

Here are the main links that have been leveraging for some valuable information related to this next generation ECM Suite:

Oracle Content Management Description URL
Overview http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/overview/index.html
Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index.html
Documentation http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/documentation/index.html
UCM 11g Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index-085241.html
IPM 11g Downloads http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/content-management/downloads/index-ipm-088963.html
Ryan Keller
ImageSource, Inc.

Oracle I/PM and TIFF Requirements

However far we move away from the imaging side of ECM, it is still the largest part of the industry. More often than not, the solutions I deploy revolve around some sort of mechanism to scan, store, and retrieve documents. Imaging is the gateway into Business Process Management (BPM), Records Management (RM), Electronic Reports Management (ERM), and a whole string of Line of Business applications (LOB). I often work with Oracle Image and Process Management (I/PM) as the ECM component and we integrate it with many different applications. There are a few caveats with I/PM and I ran into one issue recently that has come up many times in the past.

Oracle I/PM version 10G (and earlier) has a list of requirements for TIFF images. That’s not to say that the system can’t handle any object, because it can. You can file anything into an I/PM system, but you might not be able to view it within the software. For example: you could file a .zip file into the system, it just wouldn’t render in the viewer. The TIFF requirement list has to do with the image viewer built into the system. So if you want to be able to view what you file into an I/PM system with the I/PM viewer, you better be sure your TIFF images meet the requirements. The main reasons to limit access solely to the I/PM viewer are:

  • Limit access to documents within the I/PM system only. This simply means you don’t want users to be able to view the object outside of I/PM.
  • To take advantage of the I/PM annotation capabilities.

The TIFF requirements as listed in the I/PM documentation are as follows:

  • Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
  • Group IV Compression
  • Group VI Compression (Original Microsoft TIFF standards, not the Wang hybrid)
  • 200, 300 or 400 dpi
  • X resolution equal to Y resolution
  • Non-tiled
  • Non-stripped (i.e., Lines per strip equal to total lines. Stripped and LZW formats are not supported.)
  • Image widths which are a multiple of 8
  • Fill order of 1 or 2
  • Tags at the top or bottom of the file
  • Single-plane (monochrome) / Bi-tonal
  • Single page or multi-page TIFFs.
  • Intel Format (II) are supported. Other formats, such as Motorola format (MM) are not supported. Group 7 TIFF are not supported.

That might seem like a long list when you first glance at it. But it is pretty simple to modify an image and render it compatible with the I/PM viewer. There are plenty of tools out there to standardize TIFF images. ImageMagick or a couple of different tools by Informatick would do the trick. With ImageMagick there is a compress function that can standardize the image. Simply execute ImageMagick with the ‘-compress Group4 –density 200×200’ command and the image output will meet all the I/PM requirements.

From experience, most scanning applications meet the I/PM requirements so this isn’t an issue. Documents coming out of Kofax Capture, Oracle Document Capture, or ILINX Capture all meet the I/PM TIFF requirements. Where the I/PM TIFF requirements becomes an issue is when migrating documents from an old legacy ECM application that stored or captured images in a non-standard format. Just be aware that the requirements are there and that the images have to be modified before being archived into I/PM if they don’t meet the specifications.

John Linehan

Senior Systems Engineer

ImageSource Inc.