Lab/Development Environments – RightFax Simulation & Testing

At our company we have a lab environment that we utilize to replicate a large number of our customer implementations.  This environment runs on Virtual Servers in order to keep the cost and maintenance down for our organization.  Here are a few of the many advantages for us to maintain this type of environment for our customers;

  1. The ability to reproduce issues and in turn expedite resolution and impact to the customer
  2. A proactive approach to determining the impact (positively or negatively) of new patches, builds, and versions of software
  3. Through development procedures (testing, QA, QC) can take place without affecting customer environments
  4. The ability to give our support technicians, engineers, and developers a thorough understanding of the solution implemented

One issue that does arise on occasion is the ability to reproduce an issue that is occurring in a customer environment where we don’t have the underlying hardware or software.  This can be due to a proprietary product the software is interfacing with or a solution that is not realistic for us to manage internally.  One such case is with OpenText RightFax (formerly Captaris RightFax).  We have customers with all types of configurations from analog and digital fax boards to fax over IP (FOIP), and it doesn’t make sense for us to maintain all types of solutions.

The good news is that RightFax provides an “out of the box” capability to setup a RightFax solution without requiring fax boards or phone lines.  The power of this functionality is that it allows you to send and receive faxes internally to your RightFax system in order to simulate the real world functionality of the software.  This capability is referred to as running RightFax in simulation mode.  The following information takes you through the steps to enable simulation mode on your RightFax v9.4 (older versions of the software also have simulation mode, but the configuration is slightly different) system:

  1. Install RightFax and get it functional, with the exception of the Board Server
  2. Launch the Enterprise Fax Manager (EFM)
  3.  
  4. Open the RightFax Server that you want to configure

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Kofax 9.x – They’ve finally done it… Almost

I have been working with the Kofax Capture product for over ten years now. To prove that, let me tell you the configuration on one of my first installs. I remember setting up a Bell and Howell 3338 scanner (you know, the one that required a cherry picker to get out of the box and on to the desk) with the Kofax KF board and Kofax Capture version 2.x. Ah yes, I look back fondly on the old days of deploying a scanner with the Kofax card and software. I know it has been out for a while now, but I recently started working with version 9 of Kofax Capture and I am pleased to say that they have finally addressed some of the Kofax gotchas that have been plaguing us for years.

For starters, they made client deployment 100% easier by creating the MSI package. I can’t tell you how many conversation I have had with client admins that go like this:

Me: No we don’t have a SMS or other type deployment package you can use, but you can make your own.

Client Admin: (Furrows brow) Huh?

I will be much happier when those conversations are a little less embarrassing. Now the workstations can be deployed using Microsoft SMS, Group Policy, IBM Tivoli, Symantec Altiris, HP Openview, or whatever deployment suite you use. Kofax has only tested SMS, but Continue reading