Thursday, March 27, 2008

Document Manipulation and Sharepoint

Sean Lemon of Universal Forest Products (UFP) presented a user case study on "How to Link Process Workers to Document Management, Imaging and Workflow via SharePoint"
My guess, before the presentation starts is that Sharepoint is not the total answer. Instead it is part of the solution. We should not be building monolithic solutions. We need to concentrate on interfaces that allow information, content and processes to move in and out of the best applications for a particular task.
AFP uses an Enterprise Content Management (ECM), onBase from Hyland Software and Sharepoint 2007. While both offer workflow Sharepoint is the Intranet and collaboration tool and ECM is a document centric workflow and final retention platform.
Integration came about by creating a portlet that enabled a window from Sharepoint in to the ECM platform.
The next phase in this evolution is to migrate e-forms to InfoPath and then provide ECM to Sharepoint integration so that documents can be retrieved from Sharepoint and deposited in to the ECM platform.
The bottom line: This reinforces yesterday's Sharepoint presentation that points to not using Sharepoint for document imaging - use an application that is designed for that purpose and provide integration to the Sharepoint platform - if Sharepoint is being used for workflow purposes. 

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