IBM Corp has added a series of document management products, and made enhancements to others. The client-server products are all part of the ImagePlus range, and are designed for management of audio and video documents as well as text. VisualInfo Library, Object Servers for OS/2 IBM’s new VisualInfo Library Server for OS/2 and Object Server […]
IBM Corp has added a series of document management products, and made enhancements to others. The client-server products are all part of the ImagePlus range, and are designed for management of audio and video documents as well as text.
VisualInfo Library, Object Servers for OS/2
IBM’s new VisualInfo Library Server for OS/2 and Object Server for OS/2, in conjunction with the rest of VisualInfo, form a client-server document management system. The heart of the system is a library that can manage a wide range of documents, including image, graphics, audio, video, spreadsheets, and word-processing text. It can also store workflow definitions that are used by the folder and workflow applications to help organise work and streamline business processes. Information is catalogued in a library server under OS/2, and stored on the object servers available under both OS/2 and MVS/ESA. A single set of database tables is maintained in the library, which include indices of all the objects stored, classes of objects, workflow of objects, access control of objects, National Language Support information for objects, Library Server administrative information and internal operational information. Library Server uses standard SQL and DB2 interfaces. The object server performs the function of maintaining the stored objects. When a request for an object is generated by a VisualInfo Client, the request is sent to the library server for validation. It is then forwarded to the appropriate object server where the object is retrieved from storage and delivered to the requesting VisualInfo Client. VisualInfo is available with complementary IBM products such as FlowMark for OS/2, FaxRouter/2 Version 2, ImagePlus Capture Facility/2, ImagePlus Intelligent Forms Facility, and IBM Service and Business Partner offerings. The company claims that VisualInfo’s functionality and open design make it suitable for a wide range of document management applications, including claims processing, underwriting, records management, credit card application processing and accounts payable and receivable. System administration of the storage management system can be performed from a single point in the network, and remote administration of local network and host-based library servers and object servers is provided. Online administration is possible during operation. A range of applications and services is available from IBM Business Partners and services organisations, and utilities are provided to migrate existing local network-based IBM SAA Image and Records Management System and IBM SAA ImagePlus/2 installations to VisualInfo. In addition, the ImagePlus MVS/ESA and VisualInfo Coexistence/Migration feature gives IBM SAA Folder Application Facility MVS/ESA customers utilities to ease coexistence with, or migration to, VisualInfo. Later this year, the company will test this feature with a group of customers, and announce full availability once it’s up to scratch. Other products and features of VisualInfo will be made available during the next six months. The basic charge for the Library Server for OS/2 is $10,000 for up to 10 users, rising to $117,375 for 100 users. The Object Server for OS/2 sells for $6,000.
Integration between OS/2 and MVS promised for September
Similar products and migration services are also to be made available for MVS/ESA by the end of September, allowing the creation of an integrated OS/2 and MVS/ESA environment. An application can be written to reference multiple library servers, whether OS/2 or MVS/ESA, which can establish independent sessions to communicate with each library server. The basic one-time charge for the Library Server for MVS/ESA is $55,000, plus a monthly licence charge of $1,146, to cover 10 users. The Object Server for MVS/ESA costs $30,000 plus a monthly licence charge of $625.
SAA ImagePlus Capture Facility/2 is enhanced
IBM is also enhancing its SAA ImagePlus Capture Facility/2 a local network-based client-server extension which supports high-volume document capture. It will now include a document capture alternativ
e to VisualInfo. ICPF will work with IBM SAA ImagePlus Intelligent Forms Facility/2 to provide Intelligent Forms Processing and optical character recognition for automatic capture of indexing and/or limited line-of-business data for VisualInfo. ICPF will also support IBM SAA ImagePlus Workstation Program/2 bar code recognition for automatic capture of indexing data. The enhancement will be available by the end of the year.
ImagePlus Workfolder Application Facility/400 supports Optical Libraries
Also enhanced is the ImagePlus Workfolder Application Facility/400. Version 2 Release 4 now supports the company’s new Optical Library Dataservers and Rewritable Optical Disk Drives. It also supports distributed object storage using AS/400 object servers and adds logical document grouping for greater flexibility in managing optical storage. Work management enhancements include ad-hoc pending, enabling the user to pend/release a work package while in a workbasket; ad-hoc routing, including creating a work package and assigning it to a workbasket instead of a process. It also allows the user to reassign a work package from one workbasket to another. File cabinet enhancements include advanced search capabilities, including relational operators such as greater than and less than, and logical operators such as and and or, which allow users to specify complex searches. The enhancements are expected out by July 1.
VisualInfo Client for OS/2 added
IBM has also added a new workstation to the ImagePlus range. The IBM ImagePlus VisualInfo Client for OS/2 provides advanced image processing services for document management, folder and work management, and library services. A client application modelled on the IBM SAA ImagePlus/2 Application Facility is also provided, to integrate the features of the VisualInfo Client and to provide productivity functions. All functions performed by the client are available to OS/2 applications through the ImagePlus VisualInfo Common Application Programming Interfaces, enabling customers and business partners to create and customise end-user applications. The VisualInfo Client gives access to ImagePlus VisualInfo server products and provides enabling services that can be used to consolidate multiple workstation applications into an integrated desktop environment. Out May 27, $400.
OS/2 Developer Connection for VisualInfo
IBM’s Developer Connection for OS/2 has been extended, to create the Developer Connection for ImagePlus VisualInfo. It’s an annual membership programme that delivers the latest ImagePlus open client-server technology three times a year to OS/2 application developers, providing an enabling base to prototype and demonstrate extensions to IBM ImagePlus VisualInfo. The heart of The Developer Connection for ImagePlus VisualInfo is a fully-functional IBM ImagePlus VisualInfo system (see above). A set of standard IBM ImagePlus VisualInfo application programming interfaces is included. The program package costs $100, and should be available on April 22, the company says.
First step to the paperless office
Finally, IBM’s ImagePlus/2 Version 2.0 is claimed to provide the first steps toward a paperless office – now where have we heard that one before? It is designed to manage paper documents as electronic images, enabling users to route their documents manually – either ones on their desktops or ones stored within their library servers to other users’ workbaskets. New functions include a personal facsimile capability, electronic mail integration and improved import capabilities for storing other desktop print file data streams. There’s additional support for colour and low-cost scanners, for the IBM 3995 Optical Library Data Server 023, 123, and A23, and for CompuServe. It will be available at the end of September and will cost $2,500.