Imaging: Paper Paper Everywhere, but None Should be in Sight
By Kellsey Ruppel-Oracle on Jun 03, 2014
Author: Vikrant Korde, Technical Architect, Aurionpro's Oracle Implementation Services team
My wedding photos are stored in several empty shoeboxes. Yes...I got married before digital photography was mainstream...which means I'm old. But my parents are really old. They have shoeboxes filled with vacation photos on slides (I doubt many of you have even seen a home slide projector...and I hope you never do!). Neither me nor my parents should have shoeboxes filled with any form of photographs whatsoever. They should obviously live in the digital world...with no physical versions in sight (other than a few framed on our walls).
Businesses grapple with similar challenges. But instead of shoeboxes, they have file cabinets and warehouses jam packed with paper invoices, legal documents, human resource files, material safety data sheets, incident reports, and the list goes on and on. In fact, regulatory and compliance rules govern many industries, requiring that this paperwork is available for any number of years. It's a real challenge...especially trying to find archived documents quickly and many times with no backup. Which brings us to a set of technologies called Image Process Management (or simply Imaging or Image Processing) that are transforming these antiquated, paper-based processes.
SOA & BPM Suites (workflow): provide business process management capabilities, including human tasks, workflow management, service integration, and all other standard SOA features. It's interesting to note that there a number of 'jumpstart' processes available to help accelerate the integration of business applications, such as the accounts payable invoice processing solution for E-Business Suite that facilitates the processing of large volumes of invoices
WebCenter Enterprise Capture (WEC): expedites the capture process of paper documents to digital images, offering high volume scanning and importing from email, and allows for flexible indexing options
WebCenter Forms Recognition (WFR): automatically recognizes, categorizes, and extracts information from paper documents with greatly reduced human intervention
WebCenter Content: the backend content server that provides versioning, security, and content storage
There are two paths that can be executed to send data from WebCenter Capture to WebCenter Imaging, both of which are described below:
1. Direct Flow - This is the simplest and quickest way to push an image scanned from WebCenter Enterprise Capture (WEC) to WebCenter Imaging (WCI), using the bare minimum metadata. The WEC activities are defined below:
- The paper document is scanned (or imported from email).
- The scanned image is indexed using a predefined indexing profile.
- The image is committed directly into the process flow
- WEC commits the batch using the respective commit profile. A TIFF file is created, passing data through the file name by including values separated by "_" (underscores).
- WFR completes OCR, classification, extraction, export, and pulls the data from the image. In addition to the TIFF file, which contains the document image, an XML file containing the extracted data, and a TXT file containing the metadata that will be filled in WCI, are also created. All three files are exported to WCI's Input agent directory.
- Based on previously defined "input masks", the WCI Input Agent will pick up the seeding file (often the TXT file).
- Finally, the TIFF file is pushed in UCM and a unique web-viewable URL is created. Based on the mapping data read from the TXT file, a new record is created in the WCI application.