Scan Enable Your Web-Based Business Application

I finished up a Webcast recently (March 6th) titled “Build Scanning into Web-based Business Application“, and we had a tremendous turnout for this Webcast and over 30 questions were asked.

So you are probably thinking, scanning is not new so why would this Webcast draw such a large crowd? Isn’t document scanning something we already perfected and isn’t it becoming used less often? The fact is paper is still an inherent part of how we do business today. It’s generated in all different ways and places, and is captured in many ways – fax, email, scanners, MFDs, and mobile devices (camera).  Still, the one primary  input source for how paper is transformed into digital content is still by way of using a scanner.

So what’s the scoop on this Webcast?

In this EMC Webcast, we talked about the new EMC Captiva Cloud Toolkit, a new toolkit for adding scanning into a Web-based business application. What makes this new toolkit interesting to many software developers is its simple approach to adding scanning without requiring the use a plug-in of any type. That overcomes some of the internal IT issues with plug-ins and also allows a developer to build cross-browser support for their application.

The other aspect that is appealing to these developers is the interest in wanting to add scanning directly into a line of business application or create a simple scanning application that can be easily distributed and used to capture documents at the point of origin. This is different from high volume scanning in a centralized mailroom where it makes complete sense for the scanning and document capture intelligence to reside outside core line of business applications providing a deeper level of functionality.

But in the case of a business user scanning from their desktop at a branch office, the user requirements change. Often the case is just needing a simple scanning interface where a user clicks a button and is done. With the Cloud toolkit you control the scanning experience. If you want to simply expose a scan button to the user without letting them change scanner settings, no problem.  Imagine a user launching your application, navigating to a case file, and then clicking a scan button to upload the digitized paper. It’s that easy.

The other key element to enabling scanning across many locations is that it requires a simple technology model, one that is easy to distributed, support, and maintain. This is where the Captiva Cloud Toolkit is appealing to developers given  it allows them to deliver web-based scanning without a plug-in, support all the popular browsers, and create a user experience that fits into the overall application experience.

Software developers can also be rest assured that the Cloud toolkit they are using will work with the various business scanners. Major hardware scanner manufacturers will begin shipping in 2012 the Cloud toolkit runtime components along with the device drivers for the scanners. What that means is when a user installs the device driver for that scanner, it will also install the runtime components for the Cloud toolkit as well.  Your software will then recognize the new hardware when the user goes to scan from your Web application. The approach is similar to how the Captiva ISIS Drivers became a standard in uniting software applications with the scanner hardware.

So what are some use cases?

If you are an integrated software vendor (ISV) that requires scanning in your application, then the Cloud Toolkit is something you should be looking at. There are many software applications and projects where this is needed, and in the past your success and adoption of scanning in your application could have been hindered by limitations of the toolkit you were using.

If you are a business who’s IT developers are looking for a tool to build scanning as a feature in another line of business web-application or you need a development tool that can leveraged in a highly custom way, then this new toolkit could be right for you.

To get started, you can download the fully functional free evaluation Captiva Cloud Toolkit and begin building your application today. If you have questions, I encourage you to check out the EMC Developer Network – ISIS Document Imaging Community.  There are examples and basic tutorial documents on how to use the toolkit that can help you get started.

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