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Capturing Computer Generated Documents

To create the complete and holistic electronic 'file', in addition to scanned images, you might specify a system that also handles electronic faxes, word processor and spreadsheet files, emails and computer reports etc. Many document management systems now provide integration with Office productivity applications, allowing you either capture and index the file/message from within e.g. MS Word or MS Outlook. Other approaches include the use of print drivers that convert electronic documents to images. If you are producing large volumes of, for example, customer bills, invoices, delivery notes or statements from a financial application, you might require a COLD / ERM component to your system.

COLD solutions capture ASCII and EBCDIC files, accepting line data print streams in a variety of formats, including AFP, Metacode, LCDS/DJDE formats, PCL and Postscript. Most leading "integrated document management" vendors will provide COLD modules/functionality. Reports can be automatically indexed, based on predetermined business rules. These can include fixed position references and values that follow the occurrence of a 'keyword'. Reports can be overlaid with images of standard stationary, so that the users views the same representation as the printed version that is with the client.

Users should be able to text search for individual line items, and, if required undertake report data mining activities so that data can be filtered, extracted and reused.

A related technology is Electronic Statement Presentation, whereby business system print streams for invoices, statements etc. are 'intercepted' and automatically converted for electronic delivery with e-Mail-based notification and URL linking to appropriate extranet areas of your web site.

If CD-ROM technology is being used for the storage or distribution of the captured output, the ISO 9660 international standard (authored by High Sierra) for enabling the reading of the same CD-ROM whether you are using a PC, Mac, or other major computer platform, could be a useful compliance benchmark.

Please also see our complementary information resource, The Document Site

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