Annotations - Tracking comments in Enterprise Visualization
By Warren Baird on Jul 15, 2008
Annotation is one of the biggest value-adds that AutoVue provides for enterprise visualization. AutoVue can create what are called 'markup files' that can be thought of as a transparent sheet of plastic laid over the document that you can draw and write on. These files are saved separately, so users can annotate a document that they cannot edit. A single markup file can also contain the annotations from multiple people, and there are powerful filtering tools to make it possible to see things like "All comments made by Bob after april 15th".
The most common usage of annotations is through a review workflow - a collection of people, in series or in parallel, review a document and add their comments. The document could be an office document (word, pdf, excel, etc.), a raster image (jpeg, png, tiff, etc.), or a CAD document (AutoCad, Pro/E, Catia, etc.) - the annotations are collected in a consistent way, using the same user interface independent of the document type. Once the review is done, the responsible person can examine all of the comments and assign each one that needs action to the appropriate person.
If a content or product lifecycle management system is used, then the annotations can be stored in that system, associated with the document being reviewed. This makes it trivial for anyone with the proper access to the document to view the comments.
Annotations can of course be used in many other ways as well - such as tracking changes that are found during an onsite visit to a plant, or allowing a customer to indicate exactly where a problem is occurring. Future posts will talk about some of these use cases in more detail.