Rapid ECM, Up & Running in two hours (AKA our personal ECM ‘cloud’)

The stack goes like this.

Storage:                       EqualLogic PS6500 35TB
Processing:              IBM 3850 M2 64GB RAM
Virtualization:      VMWARE ESX
OS:                                  Server 2008 R2
Database:                  SQL Server 2008
Capture:                    iLinx Capture
Store:                          iLinx Content Store
Access:                      Terminal Services + Internet Explorer 8

Or in pictorial form:

Storage : I love our EqualLogic. They are simplicity and ease of use defined. Poetry in motion. A couple of clicks and create a new volume of virtualized storage for our virtual ECM box. Need more space, buy a new array and add it to the pool. Plus you get added IO’s when you add an array, no wonder they won a 2011 Infoworld best storage system award for the third year running

Virtualization: VMware, AKA ‘the good stuff’ really, how did we live before virtualization? So, right click and deploy from template the Server 2008 box with SQL 2008.

Software: Install iLinx Capture & iLinx Content Store. Both programs install quickly and easily

*****     *****

OK, now that our base is installed let’s go over what we want to accomplish. We have a purchase order acknowledgement that is coming in through email as a .tif. We want to store this image and be able to retrieve it based on the Purchase Order, the Vendor Name, and the Vendor Confirmation #, we also want to record the Purchase Order date and populate the ERP with it.

So off we go to configure capture. So create a blank PO Confirmation Batch and a blank PO Confirmation Document. The Batch will be super simple, basically take any document and assemble it into a PO Confirmation Document. (Set the Default Doc Type to PO Confirmation) That will look like this


Ok, so now we have to configure the PO Confirmation Document. We will add our four data entry fields. And to aid in getting exact metadata to populate content store lets do a lookup of the Vendor name using the PO number.

To configure the Lookup, Edit the PO Number Field Name and then check the check box, this will run you through a wizard and at the end you can paste in what ever SQL statement you desire.

Capture has its own format for using a field for a lookup (Notice the Carrots ^ ^) and then if you match an existing Field using a select x AS y statement it will populate it with the data returned. So now if a user types in a PO number and then tabs out of the field it will populate it with returned Vendor Name! Pretty Slick.

So next, create a Queue for these confirmations to sit in and then give access to the users who are going to process them. The configure an Export QSX to output to a folder for iLinx Content Store to import into.

So, activate our route and make sure all of the security settings are correct (giving access to the Batch, the Document and the QUEUE)

So now configure your ‘polling folder’ I wrote how to do that here https://michaelellerbeck.com/2010/10/11/implementing-ilinx-capture/

Ok, so now all our user has to do is drop the .tif into the polling folder and Capture will bring it in and then the user indexes it. Their screen will look something like this (we have them access it through a terminal server) :


When the user hits complete it will export the image and the metadata. So now let’s configure a new Content Store repository for this image and metadata to live in.

Log onto content store as an admin, click the Create/Edit Applications and then press the Add button. Give your Application a name, and then start creating your data fields

Make your data types and Lengths appropriate for you application. In my case I used a Picklist of ‘Value In Adage’ with a Yes\No so that after the confirmation is inserted into Adage (Our ERP) I would flip it to a Yes to indicate completion.

Now that our fields are setup, we need to configure the import task. So Click on Options, Import Multiple Documents, And the Add. Give the Job a Name, Import Source and a Target. For the template file select the .txt of the previously created output file (which contains the metadata) and then use the drop downs to Map from Content Store to ILINXCapture. You will also set the import, archive and export folder.

It will look like this:

So now when the Import Service runs it will bring in the image and the metadata into content store. This is what it looks like

Then I wrote a quick bit of VB to take the confirmation that was in content store and insert it into our ERP signifying that the PO confirmation had been received, and then mark it as done.

So there you have it, a very Rapid ECM implementation. In fact I think it was up and running quicker then it took to write this blog post.

Another post that shows similar screens to mine is this one http://ecmtechnicalexpertise.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/ilinx-content-store-rocks/ I wanted to show what had to happen behind the scenes to make a system like this work!



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