ECM, Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my? oh yeah and ImageSource

So recently we have embarked on an ECM adventure. For those of you who aren’t in the know ECM stands for Enterprise Content Management.
At first blush it seems a lot of people assume that ECM is an ‘imaging’ or a ‘document scanning project’ I ranted about this particular viewpoint in
this blog post here. After a lot of discussion one of our Mantras has become ‘Data is Key’ or put another way, only scan something as the last resort, if there is no other way.
As an example, let’s say a vendor is sending you an invoice. Old school is they send you the bill in the mail, slightly better is they fax it to you, even better they email it to you.
And then at the top of the Heirarchy is they send it to you electronicaly using something like EDI. (Full disclourse, I handle EDI at my current place of employment so no bias there I can assure you!) But why is this the case? Because sending it electronically removes the manual data entry, and chance of human error, and greatly improves the speed of the transaction.
Some vendors are just too small, or don’t have the technical know how to implement EDI. So in those cases you still are going to recieve some paper of some sort. Once again back to the mantra of ‘Only scan as a last resort’. In reality we probably first should have investigated getting our vendors to use a service such as transcepta. What this service does is accept any sort of invoice whether they send a PDF to transcepta or print an invoice to them using a ‘Virtual printer’ or at the lowest part of the pyramid they have a web portal
that a vendor can input their invoice on. I haven’t been on the recieving end of transcepta but I do submit EDI invoices through them and they were very easy to work with!
Anyways, that solution would probably have required a greater amount of change then we could take at this moment. Although on other fronts we are using Taleo now for our front end for hiring, aiming to element those paper forms (once again capture the data, and not the image if you possibly can). I was glad we got that moving before our ECM initiative rolled out
because I didn’t want to be scanning those worthless pieces of paper if we could capture the data a different way. We also recently started using PowerTrack, another way of consolidating and eliminating manual labour and paper forms.
So, assuming you actually have to scan something. What sort of ECM system should you use? We tried to do our research and get a solution that would work well for us.
We looked at Alfresco and its flat rate and easy to understand licensing was very appealing. Sharepoint was another interesting one, although of course the licensing is
impossible to understand. Finally after many demos and much deliberation we went with a local vendor called imagesource.
The three products that we got complement each other nicely. The first, and probably most polished, is a product called ILINX Capture. This is a web based capture\workflow product
that imagesource got up and running for us amazingly quick! On the backend it has a really impressive graphical workflow creator.
In some ways it reminds me of another one of my favorite products Altova Mapforce. I’ve already suggested a few ideas ‘borrowed’ from Mapforce that I think imagesource could adopt in their product. Another interesting thing the Capture product has is the ability to create QSX modules. Basically, add your own processing elements to the visual workflow. I hear they have a class for this, I would be interested in learning more about it. One typical module they have is the barcode separator module. This post is an interesting explanation
Actually, imageSource has quite a few really nice blogs scattered around.
Once our docs make it out of capture they move into ILINX Content Store, a lean, mean content store machine. This is a pretty new product of imagesource so we are getting to watch
it grow as we are starting to use it. It has some limitations at the moment but we like the direction and how fast things are getting done with it!
I will need to post some screen shots and more explanations. But finally, imageSource has a product called integrate that you can use to connect pretty much any system to any system.
So thats the line up folks, I will let you know how it goes!

java security

So we have noticed a lot more malware attempts and were wondering where they were coming from. Apparently java version 20 fixes a hole that was being used to install spyware. I would recommend updating. If you can’t update you can always use the killbit! which just sounds cool!

read to the bottom for a how to

the specified setup script file (c:\sgdeploy\unattend.txt) is inaccessible or invalid, contact system administrator

You are using a character that (maybe your password) serverGuide doesn’t like.

So far suspected bad characters… @ “” and of course ;

I hate real (physical) i.e. non virtual servers…

Let me spin you my tail of woe…

We had this software package that required a physical server… well that should tell you something right off, anyways wasn’t my decision so we needed a ‘real’ server

So we first bought the cheapest HP server we could… now talk about fail, their install CD would blue screen when trying to install server 2003 of all things…

Couldn’t figure out the hardware in the box, in order to load the RAID drivers using F6 magic (haven’t done that in ages… ) anyways piles of frustration…

So sent that box back and ordered IBM…

Well our vendor, who shall not be named to protect the guilty. Managed to order the wrong drives.. not once… but twice… so finally we have some drives that will work…

And we use the magic IBM CD to install server 2003 which of course crashes out with a script error!!!! Sheesh can’t we catch a break..

Well, after wasting a few hours trying various things…  finally hit on this post

Apparently, there are some characters you can’t use in your password if you use IBM ServerGuide and my password was lucky enough to contain it! Use a different password and whalaa the magic CD works…

Oh yeah, in VMware I can right click and make a new server in about 2 minutes!

Hey IBM, why don’t you ship a copy of ServerGuide with your x3250 M3

Lame! you gave us a system directer cd and a useless documentation cd, but couldn’t spring for the server guide CD? Lame on you

Couple o’ interesting EqualLogic posts

Command line firmware upgrade

And what to do if your firmware update fails because of lack of space

Outlook was freezing for like a minute after clicking a web link

trolled the web found people recommending running help, detect and repair, uncheck the shortcut box, and check the discard my customized settings and restore default settings….

Whaddya know, this actually did the trick..