Networked document imaging software: guidelines to providing widespread access to information

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb045326
Pages370-373
Publication Date01 Jun 1994
AuthorRichard A. Quinn
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
Βrief
Communication
Networked document
imaging software:
guidelines to providing
widespread access to
information
Richard
A.
Quinn
Office
Imaging,
Eastman Kodak
Company,
343 State
Street,
Rochester,
NY
14650,
USA
What if you went to the public library and you were only
allowed to check out books from one shelf—and all the
books had to be in the same category? Such limited access
would prohibit you from finding, and using, the information
you needed.
Yet this scenario closely parallels proprietary document
imaging
systems in use today and
turnkey
systems
of the past
Users can only retrieve documents stored in the proprietary
format
on
that imaging system. They cannot
view
information
stored
elsewhere.
They must use a workstation that supports
the
proprietary platform, and their output
is
limited
to
devices
supported
by
that system.
Desktop automation should give employees access to in-
formation stored in documents and databases throughout an
organization. Networked document imaging systems should
provide access to microfilm, optical disc systems, CDROM
discs
or mainframes.
These systems need to
deliver
documents to desktop
work-
stations so
that
workers can
massage,
and
augment,
that infor-
mation in popular desktop software programs. The imaging
system should support
a
variety of output
devices,
so
the
user
can select
the one
that's most appropriate for
each
document.
The ability to share information is a powerful tool.
A
net-
worked document imaging system equips employees, for the
first
time,
to take full advantage of existing information. It
improves the productivity of not only individual employees,
but
the entire
enterprise.
Manufacturing companies recognize the power of infor-
mation.
It's
not enough
to make products
quickly.
Companies
must
make
the
right
product, release it at the same
time,
and
market
it to
the
right
audience.
Information must
be shared by
engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing and manage-
ment
Since
market
dynamics change
every
day,
timeliness is
essential to accurate decision-making. These companies re-
quire
a
system that
collects,
compiles
and
serves information
to users
quickly
and
provides equally
speedy
delivery.
No
matter
what a
company sells
whether it's
a
product
or a
service quality of information is
a critical
factor
in
its
success.
Networked document
imaging
software
allows
desk-
top users to capture, store, manage and share information
among
all
networked
devices.
The
foundation for
any
document imaging system
is
a net-
work architecture that links devices through support of open
standards and industry standard communications protocols.
Modular application software
is the
next
step.
With these
two
building blocks in
place,
each
company can
customize a document imaging system to meet its needs for
the present and in the future. A modular design allows for
upgradeability as needs dictate and budgets permit. Adher-
ence to
standards protects
the
current equipment investment.
There are many types of document imaging software. To
achieve widespread access to information and swift delivery
of documentation, software should provide the following
benefits:
Accept
and
serve
images
from a variety
of
formats.
The
software
needs to
serve
documents to employees in
popular
page
description languages
like
PostScript
and
PCL.
These
computer-generated
documents
should
be
stored and delivered
to employees in the original page
description language
to
prevent
the need
for
reformatting. Imaging software
also needs to
provide
access
to images in TIFF and CCITT Group IV
formats.
Most companies
have
warehouses of paper
files
that
need conversion
to
microfilm
and
electronic formats. In
the
past,
companies have
not been eager
to
scan
documents because imaging
systems
provided such
limited
access.
Flexible imaging software delivers
images
to
users'
desktops
in
seconds.
Paper documents
can be
scanned
to the
system
and
stored
on
optical disc
jukeboxes or other
electronic
formats
and
archived
onto
microfilm. Microfilm
images can be
digitized
and
stored electronically
on
the network
as
well.
Support all
standard desktop
platforms,
including
Sun,
H-P,
Digital,
PC-compatibles
and Macintosh.
Companies can install software which
permits
desktop
users
to
transmit document requests electronically.
Some documents may be
printed,
then
routed to
employees.
In
other
cases,
documents may be
posted to
centralized
electronic storage devices
for immediate
retrieval.
Systems
that
boost productivity
must
provide
desktop
users
of
all
platforms
with
swift access to
images.
Merge images with
text.
Networked document imaging
software should allow
users to
download
images and
370 The Electronic Library, Vol. 12, No. 6, December 1994

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