How to Boost Value of Microsoft Applications with Document Imaging - Page 3

Integrating scanning apps with Office Access and SQL Server

Most organizations have many business processes and applications that utilize Microsoft Office Access or SQL Server as their database. Whether it is ERP, CRM, e-commerce, accounting or any other business application, it can be advantageous to tie the document imaging solution into their databases. This can be done to validate metadata, set relationships between information or to store content directly into these systems.

An imaging solution should provide simple configuration tools to query tables, and present the information in a manner that maintains the integrity of the database while being intuitive to the user. Administrators should be able to expose to the user selectable values from a data source that can be stored in another data source, enabling disparate systems to be leveraged through document imaging. Understanding the relationships of this information is key, and having software that is flexible enough to support such relationships without the need for programming is critical.

The user experience must also be considered. Users must be able to easily select values and save records, or append existing records while at the MFP. Once a document is scanned, it needs to be stored and accessible through the applications that leverage the databases. The user also needs to receive immediate confirmation that the job was done successfully and the scanned image is available.

Putting it all together

One of the most important considerations for any solution is how easy it is for users to use and incorporate it into how they work. The scanning software needs to handle complex activity transparently and consistently. If it does, then users can perform their tasks without the need for additional training. This enables users to store document images and related content in the proper locations, where it is then exposed in real time in the business applications they use.

Any organization can successfully maximize the value of investments in Microsoft applications by including document imaging, as long as they consider these important elements. By doing this, organizations ultimately can achieve greater operational efficiency and business effectiveness, eliminating the "paper problem" from their work processes.

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 [email protected].