What ILINX Has in Common with Two Giants: Alibaba and Apple

I read a post recently titled Customer-centric and easy-to-use is the new business model (The Alibaba story) that really hit home. The author, Gerry McGovern, a customer-centricity guru, points out that Alibaba, the world’s biggest online commerce company, has defined a clear mission of “making it easier to do business across the world”, as founder Jack Ma put it. I think it’s safe to say that this model has merit, as the company claims the biggest IPO in the history of the world. Continue reading

4G and Content Management

With the advent of LTE, HSPA+, and Wi-MAX (collectively referred to as 4G) information can be transferred at speeds never before thought possible. 4G for most of us is old news. However, it occurred to me that organizations rarely consider how this efficiency can actually be utilized. Most of my peers/colleagues utilize one form of a cloud drop box or another.  These tools are great for one or two Power Point presentations and maybe a couple case studies. I remember the first time I turned on my iPad/Mobile HotSpot and opened cloud app. ABC, it was information at my fingertips when and where ever I wanted it—I felt a sense of freedom. As time passed I added more and more “IMPORTANT” content to my personal cloud. Certainly you can all guess what happened next. The pile of paper in my cloud was 10x the size of the stack of paper on my desk at work. 4G connectivity, the cloud and “IMPORTANT” information is a great tool. If you add one more piece to the puzzle (enterprise content management) it can be invaluable to your organization.

For a moment try to imagine where organized, “MOBILE” and secure content could add value to your organization. Content that is safely tucked away behind your firewall yet still available to the appropriate men and women in the trenches. The applications begin to seem endless. As you know almost any type of files can be managed inside an ECM solution.

In one scenario a construction manager is remodeling the third floor in a local university building. It becomes immediately apparent that the plumbing was modified at some point to accommodate for an additional bathroom. The CM only has the original blue prints in his/her possession. What he/she needs are the updated “As-Is” drawings. These documents have of course been printed, folded and filed away back at HQ. It is obvious now that dollars are about to be spent on the recovery of these drawings. The only question that remains now is; how many dollars could be saved?

Decision makers and labor workers alike can all benefit from the innovation of fast mobile internet. However, the content being sought after or delivered must be organized and secure. I challenge anyone who reads this post to add a comment below: How can high speed mobile internet and content management be effectively combined to reduce cost or increase an organization’s bottom line?

Joshua D. Gilmore
Account Executive
ImageSource Inc.

 

Why Imprint Documents?

This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions.  It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.

When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.

Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps.  So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.

Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not.  The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.

Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed.  Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.

Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered.  With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.

So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource,Inc.  

The Top 5 Mistaken Beliefs About Content Management

Gain control of unstructured content

Your company may or may not have a strategy for managing content, the unstructured information streaming in and out of all areas of your organization on a daily basis. It’s likely you at least have a partial strategy where one or more of your departments is capturing and storing some type of unstructured information for later retrieval.

In a world where the use of digital channels is enabling companies to synthesize large amounts of information in seconds, organizations are making it a top priority to gain control of that rogue 80%, which is the approximate amount of unstructured information slipping through the cracks. This information is not easily accessible because it is scattered and isolated in departmental or personal file systems. This is the information you should be arming your employees with so they can do their jobs.

Continue reading

Two Birds, One Stone: ILINX eForms

ILINX has yet another tool to enable capture anywhere your work takes you. ILINX eForms is a flexible, user-friendly electronic forms software for the capture, processing and delivery of data, images, even signatures. It can do so in a variety of ways, by using a keyboard, a finger or stylus on a touchscreen (using Intelligent Character Recognition or ICR) and even a database lookup. It allows you to add an attachment, or take a picture and embed it in the form. And ILINX eForms can be accessed on a variety of devices, from desktop to tablet to smartphone. Did I mention it is flexible?

Continue reading

Setting Expectations

As a Project Manager, it’s important to understand that your time is usually spread over several tasks and/or projects for any given day. For this reason it is extremely important to set the correct expectations with customers. Over the last couple months this lesson has been reiterated to me again and again in several different forms.

Continue reading

How to Increase ECM Team Efficiency

In the course of doing some work for one of our partners – we were asked to take a look at the existing workload for their ECM team.  This particular ECM team has done a great job maintaining and integrating ECM components from a variety of vendors.  As typical in such an environment – we found that everyone on the team had primary support duties for at least one component, and was involved in customer support issues or updating /enhancing one or more of the company’s ECM products on pretty much a daily basis.  Continue reading

How to choose the best ECM solution for your organization

As a Project Manager at ImageSource, it is my job to educate and guide stakeholders to the best solution based on budget, timelines and requirements. Having previously worked as a consultant at ImageSource, I’ve worked with the stakeholders of an organization to outline the scope of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution for their business. During this process, our project management team conducts interviews of the users as well as workshops. The workshops help to demonstrate what is necessary for the organization to become more efficient rather than having unnecessary features, which, at times, can cause more work. As ECM technology continues to advance, more and more features become available and included in products. During the workshops, stakeholders must make tough decisions on what features are needed verses those that would just be nice to have.

Once these requirements are identified, our next objective is to review the products available, such as ILINX, IBM and Oracle, that will cover all the features the business needs to become more efficient. Currently on the market are several out-of-the-box software options that may fulfill some of the requirements needed. However, most organizations, small or large, have business processes that are unique and require configurable workflow options, database links and/or specific security requirements. Software that has this functionality ranges in licensing costs, software costs and implementation costs. It is important to have the requirements clearly identified from the beginning so that when the organization begins to review the software demos and proof of concepts, the best and most cost efficient solution is selected.

Jen Hilt
Project Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Please Hold for 1 Hour…

Great support is a must for any business and Customer Service 101. Automated support is great if you want to pay a bill with a credit card or check the balance of an account, but when you have an actual issue you need assistance with, automated support is the LAST thing that I know I want. You call the number, have to start pressing buttons and then keep getting dumped into various queues, and then when you actually do reach someone, sometimes you explain your issue, and then you get transferred 10 times until you reach the right person. I honestly dread calling any company or organization where I know this happens, because I know it’s not just a quick 5-10 minute call. It always ends up being 30 minutes to an hour of my time at least!

That’s one of the things that I think is so awesome about the Support Team here at ImageSource. Our customer partners can put in a support ticket via the website with information about the issue they are having and a live human being from our Support Team will call them to help work through the issue. The team can chat with the customer over the phone or even set up a WebEx session to dial-in and see what’s going on. What’s even more wonderful about working with so many great organizations in the Olympia area, if the issue can’t be resolved over the phone and/or over a WebEx session, a technician can be onsite relatively shortly to assist. How cool is that?!

On top of all that, there is always someone from our Support Team on call 24/7. So if a customer partner has an issue in the middle of the night that needs immediate attention, someone is always on call if the need arises!

ImageSource’s Support Team is very knowledgeable on a number of different content management products, from capture software to eForms to records management and everything in between.

So if you’re having an issue, don’t be afraid to reach out. You’ll get to talk to a human and you won’t be put on hold for an hour…

Kristina Linehan
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Pre-ECM Project Checklist: Object Storage Decision

We’re going to add one more item to our pre-ECM project checklist:

1) Where should we store our content?

Database storage used to be expensive.  In the 1950’s, the cost per megabyte of storage exceeded $10,000/MB.  Today, the cost has dropped to a few cents.  Not only have storage costs dropped, so have memory costs as they have followed the same price drop as storage.  Taking advantage of lower costs; most DB manufacturers have begun offering high performance in memory databases (IMDB – In-Memory Database).

From an ECM perspective; because of the higher database costs, content storage solutions were designed to use databases to store only the metadata or the index values associated with content, and the actual files and documents were stored on cheaper file storage devices.   While lowering costs, this approach meant that ECM solutions were forced with managing, synchronizing, backing up, and designing applications where index values were one place and the actual documents, audio/video files were somewhere else. Continue reading

Compliant Public Disclosure Starts with Smart Records Retention

If there’s one message I consistently hear from customers today, it’s how big of a deal public disclosure is for the government and how we need better solutions around it. That being said, you would not believe how many of these organizations don’t feel that they have a good handle on their content.

In Washington State, public disclosure refers to the release of all documents and content to the person making the request. These documents at minimum need to be available for the requestor to view. There are some exemptions to this, such as sealed case files.

Good public disclosure practices really start with one thing: good record-keeping (and destruction). We hear time and time again from customers that they’ve never thrown anything away for fear that the document may be needed at a later date. While they may be thinking that this is the best way to avoid throwing anything away that should be kept, it also means keeping records that should have been destroyed.

Some aren’t aware of the fact that when a public disclosure request comes in, organizations are required by law to turn over any documentation pertaining to the request (as long as it is subject to disclosure). That means that if documents haven’t been destroyed and fall under the specific request, those documents need to be turned over as well, even though they are past the retention period. This poses a huge risk in regards to potential litigations.

Getting your records in order may seem like an overwhelming task, but here are some steps you can take to move toward better practices related to retention and disposition of records.

  1. Understand YOUR Organization’s Requirements for Record Retention and Disposition
    Every organization is different. Certain records have to be kept longer than others, some records might need to be sealed, others may need redaction before they can be turned over, etc. Each organization, each department, even each business process may have different requirements around records. Determine and document what the requirements are so that when you start to do an inventory of content, you have a definitive plan regarding what needs to be kept and for how long. Click here for a link to the Washington State Records Retention Schedules.
  2. Where are my Records?
    Identify where records are kept. Are they stored on a network share? In a file cabinet? In a content management system? Somewhere else? Are they in paper form? Electronic? Are there video files? Regardless of where the documents are kept, the regulations are around how you get the content organized, not the file format or how hard the collection process is. This will help ensure that there are not duplicate documents, and if there are, that only the pertinent copies are kept so as not to be a factor in a potential litigation.
  3. Perform an Analysis and Inventory of Your Records
    Some organizations choose to do this internally, some hire a contractor, and some take a hybrid approach. Regardless of which path you choose, determine what content you have, what needs to be kept, and what can be disposed of before evaluating any technology. This will keep you from bringing content into a solution that will need to be immediately disposed of after the initial analysis.
  4. Choose a Solution that is Flexible and Easy
    95% of organizations I work with are looking for a solution that is easy-to-use yet flexible enough to change with requirements. They want something that can easily set up to work with current retention and disposition schedules, yet can be updated without too much effort if laws or regulations change.
  5. Trust the System
    If you’ve done the prep work correctly, then what you need to do is trust what you’ve put in place is going to work. Choose a good partner with a track record of success to help you.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what can be accomplished around public disclosure, records retention and your content. ImageSource has been assisting customer partners with these types of solutions for the last 20 years. We have done everything from initial consulting through implementation and support. Below is a short list of some of offerings:

  • Expert consulting to determine your “as is” state and develop a plan to get you to your “desired” state using industry best practices
  • Assessment of your current technology and how it can be leveraged
  • Solution evaluation to perfectly match technology with your requirements
  • Solution deployment, configuration, training and rollout
  • Document collection, conversion, scanning, taxonomy definition and automated classification and metadata extraction
  • Data Migration
  • Ongoing partnership for system/process tuning, growth and support
  • Managed applications services

The ILINX platform can assist any organization with getting a handle on their content.

Putting Together an ECM Project Team Part 3

Part 3 – The Project Team

In previous blogs on this same subject, we have discussed the role of Executive Management in the overall Project Team effort.  And what elements from the  internal organization would likely comprise an effective team.   In summary, vibrant and effective executive leadership is likely to be critical in solidifying the vision for the project.  The target of effort to achieve project acceptance and enthusiasm is cascading in that the focus of executive leadership is middle management.  The components of a project team may be different for each organization or type of organization – whatever best suites the particular organizational structure, and what special considerations there might be in the project (i.e. does it involve web content, collaboration, integration with ERP or SharePoint environments, etc.).

Continue reading

Putting Together An ECM Project Team Part 2

Part 2 – The Project Team

I discussed in Part 1 on this general topic that the strong support of the intended Project by executive management is a critical factor for success – they need to support the projects sponsor, and smooth the path of challenges that sometimes occur when change is contemplated.  Vibrant and effective executive leadership is likely to be critical in solidifying the vision for the project.  The target of effort to achieve project acceptance and enthusiasm is cascading in that the focus of executive leadership is middle management, and then it effort fans out to focus on users and supervisors.

Continue reading

Putting Together an ECM Project Team Part 1

Part 1 – Getting Started

From a user organization perspective, constructing an effective ECM Project Team needs to be on of the initial mandatory objectives and activities undertaken when implementing an ECM Project.  Achieving this objective in its totality directly links to the success of the implementation of any major ECM project within an organization – whether it be for a phased enterprise or a departmental initiative.

Continue reading

Moving To The Cloud

For some interesting reading, range about the Internet for articles detailing the way the software world has changed in the past few years with the success of companies like Facebook and similarly ubiquitous, social-node technologies. Those companies have fostered the advent of the DevOps strategy, which is more a paradigm shift in corporate culture than merely a mechanical development/quality assurance/deployment strategy, and it demonstrates a new way of thinking about deployment scaling using the cloud (with an unbelievable number of servers available) while maintaining an aggressive development schedule. Sprint-cycle application development and cloud-based deployment are the order of the day for these newer entities. No longer does dev sit in a development cycle of a year or more, but rather a cycle that is measured in months at most, or weeks – even days. Getting customer-requested features quickly into the product and out to the customers is still job one, but – Oh, hey! – the difference in implementation! Ben Horowitz Article “How Software Testing Has Changed”
Continue reading

Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

This is so true…lest we forget the importance of feedback, especially from our customer.

Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Every now and then, you stumble on something that makes you want to hit your head against the wall.

And it’s often when people make a large, glaring mistake. A mistake that should be self explanatory, but they make it anyway.

Here’s the full story…

Over on Facebook, I republished my video about why I think discounting is for idiots. And someone shared their opinion of my video:

bob

Now this is remarkable.

First, let’s talk about the big elephant in the room. They tell me I’m an idiot, and that they suggest businesses LIE to their customers.

But that’s not even the main point.

Instead, they’re not paying any mind to what I’m sharing because they don’t agree with it.

I’m not surprised by this though. There’s something known as selective exposure theory in psychology, and the long and short of it is: people look for information that affirms their pre-existing beliefs instead of contradicts them.

Now here’s the thing:

The mistake I’m sharing with you today has nothing to do with discounting. And it has nothing to do with lying.

Instead…

When you’re running your business, you should NEVER – and I mean NEVER – shoot down the advice of other people. Even if you think it doesn’t apply to you. Even if you think the other person is wrong.

Now this doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read.

Far from it.

I’m cynical. And skeptical. And everything I read, I take with a grain of salt. However, no matter how smart or dumb people sound, I always approach every scenario with the mindset of, “What can I learn from this?”

That’s why I read books about art history, copywriting, memoirs of fashion executives, and more.

Even if something doesn’t apply to me, I make it apply.

And that’s the secret.

If someone presents something to you that contracts what you know, you don’t have to change your mind and believe them. But you should ask yourself, “What do they know that I don’t?”

Even in this example, maybe they know something about discounting that I don’t. And even if they don’t, I still used their comments as a teachable moment for you.

So from this point forward, I implore you to never make the mistake this person made. I want you to use every experience as an opportunity to learn something new. Because in my experience, the best ideas comes from the dumbest things.

And I don’t want you to miss out on any of it.

Now here’s what I want you to do…

What’s one comment or critique you’ve received in your business (or life) that you didn’t agree with. How can you turn that into a teachable moment or a lesson? Leave a comment.

You can read the original article here.

Best Regards,

Robert Hughet
Quality Assurance Mgr.
ImageSource, Inc.

Organizing Using Directives in Visual Studio

When it comes to removing and sorting unused using directives in the Visual Studio Editor, a useful feature that is not enabled by default is to place all System directives on the top.

Here’s what it looks like with the option disabled:
phong 1

And here’s one with the option enabled:
phong 2

Step 1: Turn on the option
phong 3

Step 2: Use the “Remove and Sort” option
phong 4

Phong Hoang
Director of Development
ImageSource, Inc.

Steve Jobs and Promoting Insanely Great Software Quality

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” (Steve Jobs, 1989)

“You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” (Steve Jobs, 1997)

“[If you’re lucky, when you grow up you’ll discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” (Steve Jobs, 1994)

steve-jobs-12-970x0

Few people in recent history have made the impression Steve Jobs did. He was a thunderous, hypersonic force in a world of (relatively speaking) slow-motion quiet, leaving behind a vibrant legacy of astonishing dimensions and changing not only the way people communicate, but the very way people think about communicating in the world of information interchange.

The first two quotes highlight the difficulty of transforming a process/idea into mass-marketable software. Further, they show that for the past twenty years or so, the process of building software has not changed appreciably. One can search the Internet, scanning for the one definitive article that outlines the perfect strategy and methodology for software development, marketing and deployment. With the millions of people working diligently the past twenty-plus years in the tech world to codify any and all matters, it seems that would be doable. OK. Go ahead and look. I’ll wait. And, if the past is any indicator of future performance, twenty years from now I’ll still be waiting and you’ll be howling, foaming-at-the-mouth mad, surrounded by seriously alarming piles of used, fermenting pizza boxes and empty soda bottles. And the only one who will still love you is your Mom. Maybe. Software development can be likened to being chased by a rabid Rottweiler while trying to catch an over-amped cat jonesing for tuna when you have one leg in a cast and the cat isn’t inclined to be caught and the Rottweiler seriously wants to turn your good leg into its new, favorite chew toy, you know? Continue reading

How To Add Or Change XML Encoding With .NET

Last time I wrote about comparing XML strings in .NET, and continuing that theme I’d like to discuss another handy XML trick.  As the last article pointed out, not all XML strings are created equal.  In fact, sometimes they are missing the necessary XML version and encoding information, like in the following sample XML:

<SampleXML>
    <SampleField1>Testing</SampleField1>
    <SampleField2 value="test value" />
    <SampleField3 type="int">456</SampleField3>
</SampleXML>

Notice anything missing?   Yes, the declaration information is not at the start of the XML string.  Declaration information like in the below example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

Continue reading

7 Principles for Creating a Successful Digital Workplace

ImageSource has partnered with dozens of customers of every size and across all industries to fine-tune our unique ECM-Ecosystem offering. This powerful engagement helps organizations to clearly understand where they are underserved by their current content management technologies, what their optimal content management objectives should be, and lays out a series of steps to get customers on track with a meaningful content management strategy. The five steps to the ImageSource ECM-Ecosystem are:

1. Understand the business problem/challenge
2. Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
3. Provide a business vision
4. Define technology requirements
5. Define the business value

I recently ran across a great article by Elizabeth Marsh wherein she lays out 7 key principles in creating a successful “digital workplace” strategy. These same principles are woven throughout the ImageSource ECM-Ecosystem but Elizabeth did such a good job describing them that I thought I would share them here. So later this week, grab a slab of leftover turkey and pile of stuffing, cozy up to a warm fire, and share these insightful tidbits with family and friends – they’ll be glad you did!

Build Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future
http://www.cmswire.com/cms/social-business/build-digital-workplaces-fit-for-the-future-027113.php
By Elizabeth Marsh  |  Nov 25, 2014

Randy Weakly
VP of Software Development
ImageSource, Inc.

What you need to know when migrating off Oracle IPM 10g

The last version of the Oracle IPM 10g product baseline reaches the end of Premier Support in just a couple of months. All previous versions including those from Stellent and Optika are no longer supported. I wanted to send along some information that might be helpful in understanding the Oracle support lifecycle, support dates, and some high level information about migrating off of the IPM 10g platform.

The Oracle Fusion Middleware Support lifecycle has three phases:
1) Premier Support – in this phase Oracle provides:
• New “dot” release versions with bug fixes and enhancements
• Standard break/fix patching
• Certifications for new database, operating systems, Office versions etc.
• Technical Support (phone/web/email)

2) Extended Support (additional support fees may apply) – in this phase Oracle provides:
• NO new “dot” release versions or enhancements
• Standard break/fix patching
• NO certifications for new database, operating systems, Office versions etc.
• Technical Support (phone/web/email)

3) Lifetime/Sustaining Support – in this phase Oracle provides:
• NO new “dot” release versions
• NO standard break/fix patching
• NO certifications for new database, operating systems, Office versions etc.
• Technical Support (phone/web/email) Continue reading

How to minify your JavaScript files and why you shouldn’t wait

It is common in fast responsive web apps to minify JavaScript files to reduce file size and increase app performance.

What is it?
Minification means to remove all unnecessary characters (e.g. comments, spacing, line breaks, shortening names, etc.) from a JavaScript file so that the resulting file behaves the same but is much more compact.

Why should you minify your JavaScript files?
Here are some benefits:
– Faster load speed
– Small files and cache size
– Less demand on your web server
– Uses less bandwidth especially on mobile devices

How to minify your JavaScript files with two popular tools: Continue reading

What becoming PMP certified means to me

There is a point in many Project Manager’s careers where they are considered certified “Project Manager Professional” (PMP®) according to the world’s leading professional associations for project management; Project Management Institute (PMI®). This certification takes time, dedication, experience and mentored guidance to see it through and should not be taken lightly. The title of PMP® after my name is something I have been striving toward for years. With the guidance that the ImageSource family has provided along with the experience through ILINX implementations, I am now merely a few weeks away from achieving my goals rather than years. I have heard that the upcoming test is going to be difficult, tricky and challenging, but I know that with the support of my mentors at ImageSource and the knowledge I have gained through ECM technologies, I will pass with flying colors.

If you are a Project Manager looking to become PMP certified, you can find more information about testing, registering and more here!

Jen Hilt
Project Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Is it a batch, a document, a page or a file?

“The ability to save compound documents blurs the definition of “pages”, which is sometimes confusing for knowledge workers.”

The ILINX product suite, as well as most content management systems, saves content in batches. A batch can contain one or more documents and a document can contain one or more pages.

“This made complete sense when we we’re all saving only TIFF images.”

ILINX has the ability to store diverse file types in a single compound document. This includes standard image file formats along with virtually any type of electronic document, such as Microsoft ® Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text, Video, audio, web content, etc. What used to be pages in a document may now include, as an example, a single page TIFF, a Word document with 35 pages, and a PowerPoint document with 12 pages, all combined into and saved as a single compound document that displays as three pages when indexing.

“We just might have to think about revising our terminology to keep up with all the advances in content management.”

Robert Hughet
Quality Assurance Mgr.
ImageSource, Inc.

How to run SQL code against an Oracle databse

Context: ILINX Capture, ILINX Release and Oracle IPM 11g

Problem: A customer wanted the ability to run some custom SQL code against an Oracle database after a doc has been released to Oracle IPM 11g.

Solution: Place the built-in DatabaseLookup IXM after Release and use the return value from Release to call Oracle. Below is a screen shot of the workflow:

phong

Phong Hoang
Development Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Pulling the value from a tag in an XML data type using T-SQL

If you need to extract the data from an XML data type column to be used as part of query, and you need it to be a usable data type in MS-SQL, you can use the Value() method.  Using the Value method, we can extract the data contained within an XML tag as a SQL Data Type. The Value() method takes two arguments:

XQuery and SQLType

The following returns the value stored in the second <SSID> tag as a VarChar(50):

— First we create an XML variable to store the data that we’ll use for this example
DECLARE @x xml
SET @x =      ‘<NETWORKS>
<SSID> Wompsters University </SSID>
<SSID> Wompsters Inc </SSID>
</NETWORKS>’

— Select the second SSID value and specify that we’d like to return it as a VarChar(50), (Keep in mind the <SSID> position starts at 1, not 0)
SELECT @x.value(‘(//NETWORKS/SSID)[2]’, ‘varchar(50)’);

— This will return the VarChar “Wompsters Inc”, which you could use like a normal String in any SQL query

Benn McGuire
QA Test Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

How to: Get Image Page Count in .NET C#

How to get image page count in .NET C#

private int GetTotalpages(string filePath)
{
int pageCount = 0;
using (FileStream fs = new FileStream(filePath, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read))
{
using (Image temp = Image.FromStream(fs))
{
pageCount = temp.GetFrameCount(System.Drawing.Imaging.FrameDimension.Page);
}
}

return pageCount;
}

KyoungSu Do
Software Developer
ImageSource, Inc.

Creating Case Insensitive Dictionaries In .NET

For millennia, mankind has looked to the stars and wondered, “How can I create a generic Dictionary in .NET that allows me use case insensitive strings as keys?” Well today that age old question will be answered with this neat trick.

Simply put, all you need to do is add a StringComparer object when constructing a generic Dictionary that uses a string key, and make sure to use on of the IgnoreCase StringComparers that are offered. Below is some sample code to illustrate just how easy this is.

// Create a generic dictionary with a string comparer that ignores case sensitivity.
//
// This includes the following:
//  - CurrentCultureIgnoreCase
//  - InvariantCultureIgnoreCase
//  - OrdinalIgnoreCase
Dictionary<string, string> stringMap = 
     new Dictionary<string, string>(StringComparer.OrdinalIgnoreCase);
stringMap.Add("Test Key", "Some value");

// Now try to access or change the corresponding value with the key.
// The case of the key string no longer matters.
stringMap["test key"] = "This will work";
stringMap["TEST KEY"] = "And also this";
stringMap["tEsT kEy"] = "And this as well";
stringMap["tEST kEY"] = "And finally this";

// This can be done with any dictionary that uses a string as the key
Dictionary<string, int> numberMap = 
     new Dictionary<string, int>(StringComparer.OrdinalIgnoreCase);
numberMap.Add("Test Key", 0);

// Same deal here, you can use any case to get or set the values in the map
numberMap["test key"] = 1;
numberMap["TEST KEY"] = 2;
numberMap["tEsT kEy"] = 3;
numberMap["tEST kEY"] = 4;

And that’s all there is to it.  I hope you enjoy and find this useful.

Richard Franzen
Developer
ImageSource, Inc.

What Johnny Cash, stolen cars & software development have in common

“Now the headlights they was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of ‘em come on.”
– Johnny Cash
“One Piece at a Time”

Many years ago, Johnny Cash sang a song called “One Piece at a Time”, in which he describes an automobile assembly plant worker stealing parts and pieces of various automobiles and assembling them into a very distinctive, one-of-a-kind car.

Given the nature of software, the essence of which is some form of code, building software is somewhat like putting that car together.  Technology evolves over time, operating systems change, and new tools all contribute to the complex process of building an application.  Code is pieced together in files and modules, and the output of the code in the form of log files and/or visual display on a monitor are the effects of the code.  When building an engine, putting on the heads and bolting up the crankshaft before attaching the pistons and connecting rods isn’t recommended.  Similarly, software designers aren’t always able to see all the parts until there is a basic framework constructed, and limitations of the system come to light.  Re-designing components and restructuring development schedules are not uncommon. Continue reading

Defining Batch Profiles in ILINX Capture

In ILINX Capture, the most basic unit is a batch profile. A batch profile is a container that includes batch fields, one or more document types and a workflow. It is unique, self-contained and completely independent from each other. In general, you would want to create a batch profile for each unique workflow process in the system.

If you have multiple doc types that mostly follow the same process, you should think about creating a single batch profile to hold all the doc types. With this setup, you can then use permissions to give users access to their specific doc types. Furthermore, within the workflow designer you want to break your workflow logic into common processes, shared by all doc types and specific doc type sub-flows. If you find that you need to create too many sub-flows, re-evaluate the relationship between a batch and doc types and see if you can fix the problem.

The goal is to create unique workflow processes so that system maintenance is easy; and one way to deal with that is to avoid duplicating batch profiles that are performing the same tasks.

Phong Hoang
Development Manager
ImageSource, Inc.