Integrating Document Imaging with SharePoint

By Ed White  |  Posted 2009-06-25 Print this article Print

Here are six tips on what to look for when integrating document imaging with SharePoint:

Tip No. 1: Consider capabilities such as optical character recognition (OCR) to create searchable text from the document image-a capability not native to SharePoint. This enables users to search for a document, or content within a document, using character string search to find and retrieve relevant information.

Tip No. 2: Administrators should be able to configure imaging profiles for standard document types that can be tailored to the required level of user input. Indexing of documents needs to be configurable to suit the workflow, leveraging various techniques including data extraction (such as zonal OCR), user entry or predefinition based on the workflow.

Tip No. 3: Document scanning software is more powerful if it has real-time integration with SharePoint, essentially bringing the SharePoint client to the MFP. It makes it possible to immediately notify users while they are at the device that the document has been saved. This reduces the need for handling exceptions and improves productivity by enabling collaboration and workflows to proceed immediately.

Tip No. 4: Security and user authentication through Active Directory enables access control and a complete audit trail by storing the document based on the user rather than the device.

Tip No. 5: Consider the impact of any third-party, server-side modules. It is beneficial when document imaging software communicates with the server through a Web interface, maintaining zero footprint on the server, reducing testing requirements and risk. This can be critical if you are planning to use hosted SharePoint services.

Tip No. 6: Document library structures and scalability are often overlooked-until it becomes a problem. While document imaging solutions can build a content taxonomy to improve scalability, the best practice is to take a holistic approach to address the issue across your entire SharePoint environment, for any content from any source. Establish rules and processes to manage content based on business logic.

Ed White is the Software Alliance Development Manager for eCopy, Inc. Ed is an experienced software and product manager for the IT industry. As an AIIM ECM certified professional, Ed is versed in enterprise strategies, technologies and solutions for managing content, as well as in governance structure and integration techniques for managing information assets. Previously, Ed served as a product manager for eCopy (managing integrations with partner software applications) and as a software solution specialist within the Ricoh sales channels. Prior to his roles at eCopy, Ed held several positions at Aerovox Corp. in engineering and marketing management. Ed holds a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Ed also holds a Master's Degree from Bentley College where he specialized in marketing, with concentrations in IT and management information systems. He can be reached at

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