Presentation on theme: "Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Chip Milosch Griffin Computing, Inc."— Presentation transcript:
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Chip Milosch Griffin Computing, Inc.
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? What we will cover: – Brief BIO – Where document production and handling started from – Progress – High level view of what we can do now – Survey of various software options – Overview of several high capability packages – Some real world case studies – Summary – Q & A
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Who I am: Technical 30+ years in Information Technology 25+ years iSeries 12 years independent consulting Griffin? Specialization Personal Family Hobbies
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Document handling and creation… the beginning: We started out writing on damp clay tablets, papyrus, etc. Not so great for portability, but at least the clay tablets were erasable until they dried!
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? We obviously havent done anything like that for a long time. But for a long time what we did was:
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Making slooow progress… OK…. To be serious. The old way was: Using special programs custom fit to each form.
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Making slooow progress… Q: What happens when the form changes? A: Our friend has to…..
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? The problems with preprinted forms are many: More complex programming (both DDS and code) to get everything right When the form changes we have to do (possibly) a lot of recoding and testing When the form changes, its likely that weve end up killing a few more trees than necessary, since the chances of the users wanting to switch to the new form only after all of the old ones are used up is slim. And likely some others…
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? But there is a better way! Today we have our choice of a number of very capable software packages that let every programmer become an artistic forms designer. In general, these packages will: Provide a GUI interface for creating forms, complete with a palette of tools which may include: Ability to draw lines, boxes, and other shapes, usually with shading & other graphical options Insert static text with varying degrees of enhancement (bold, underline, etc.) Include external graphic elements Define dynamic data fields (program generated data) Dynamic control of pages and layout, driven by the program data itself
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? These new tools:
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Once we are created a dynamic, soft document we open ourselves up to a all kinds of possibilities: Easily create PDF for archival storage Automagically email or fax the document to someone outside the company – like the customer Provide secure access via the web to these documents Possibly combine multiple documents into a single, larger, master document
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Old vs. New The Old way (preprinted forms) Tedious to code and test Wasteful of paper and time Static Once created all we have is a hardcopy The New way (dynamic tools) Forms dynamically designed (this CAN take some time) Easy to add more pop to a document Dynamic placement of data and selection of form Electronic format gives us options Which would YOU choose?
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? IBM Infoprint Designer Very much an old school outdated product, no longer actively marketed by IBM Did have fairly powerful ability to create dynamic forms, using native iSeries objects Merging data options restrictive Difficult (for most people) to master the GUI
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? ACOM – EZDesigner/400 GUI based – uploads to iSeries Typical drag-and-drop data mapping with spooled file data Ability to include graphics, various bar codes, etc. Can include document indexing into final output for use with content management software
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Quadrant Software – FormTastic Windows side tool is Design Pro Provides spooled file and database file mapping and merging FormTastic includes rules and intuitive processing to help automatically distribute documents Ability to create TIF and PDF output also
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? InFormDecisions – iForms Windows based form and report designer, typical suite of graphics, barcoding, etc. Merging with spooled file data Rules engine allows data to be grouped and burst based on key field recognition PDF, faxing, emailing available via separate add on modules
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? DocPath – BoulderSuite Designed to be the next generation of software for Infoprint Designer users (built in converter) Generates own, native mode forms and rules, OR can generate AFP objects that mirror IPD output Includes ability to generate indexed spooled files (for use with Infoprint Server) Multiple data input options: XML, spooled file, database, CSV Multiple output options: AFP, PCL, PDF, PS Scalable pricing depending on needs – starts approx. $8K Can operate on both iSeries and Windows
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Mapping Suite Highly flexible, very powerful document creation and generation system Individual docs, which can be combined at will to create final product Underlying technology basis uses XPS Multi-platform: iSeries, Windows, Linux Scalable pricing, depending on technology needs and output volumes Input options: TXT, CSV, PS, XML, spooled file.. Output options: just about anything you can imagine…
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Two Case Studies: 1.Infoprint Designer / Infoprint Server for insurance program administration 2.Two phase insurance policy document creation and assembly
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Infoprint Designer/Server Project Highlights: Multiple projects with many documents Highly flexible distribution options Archival storage of all customer documents as PDFs Next step WOULD have been conversion to BoulderSuite….
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Insurance Policy Documents Project Highlights: Phase one was conversion from disparate document source systems to integrated approach using iSeries and PC Servers running WORD Phase two implemented using Mapping Suite to provide: Greatly increased reliability Totally iSeries based coding and control Higher efficiency in terms of throughput, speed, output options
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Insurance Policy Documents – Phase One Old WayNew Way
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Insurance Policy Documents – Phase Two Implementation of Mapping Suite Word templates converted to MapDraw format Static documents converted to XPS files All data aggregation modules produce work members which are then converted to XML on IFS Each policy created as individual XPS documents – then merged into a single XPS document For printing, XPS converted to PCL; or can be converted to PDF
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Insurance Policy Documents – Phase Two Benefits Gained: Increased stability and error handling – all processing occurs on iSeries 50% increase in performance More flexible printing and output control Improved iSeries scheduling with elimination of PC Server bottlenecks and conflicts Easier implementation of changes, enhancements Easy to implement alternative distributions: email, fax, etc.
Why NOT Electronic Document Handling? Summary: Numerous software options available Differing levels of performance, options, complexity If you go electronic, you open up a world of possibilities EDH can provide both a dramatic change in how you create and distribute output as well as reduce costs and inefficiencies