Creating the Optimal Environment for Document Processing

The main purpose for integrating imaging software into a document processing system is to maximize throughput by decreasing time required to load, view, and approve documents. Achieving this optimal performance requires balancing complex system integrations against overburdening the operating environment. If your document processing application slows down, or stops working, you will be losing money every minute your end-users cannot perform their jobs.

You can minimize this risk by understanding some of the common environmental issues that may be keeping your document processing system from functioning at its peak. Monitoring the following four areas enables you to optimize your application's performance without heavily taxing your IT staff or developers.

Running Other Software

You can improve the performance of your document retrieval, processing, and imaging software by dedicating hardware resources to the environment of your system. Specifically looking at the imaging components of a document workflow system, note that streaming individual document pages from server-based imaging applications to multiple clients will reduce load time in the client but require more processing power than sending the entire document and that processing color pictures requires more resources than black and white images or text. This optimization also includes keeping other applications off your document processing servers, such as corporate virus software.

Tip: Maximize performance by creating a dedicated environment for document processing systems.

Applications Connected to Imaging

Embedded imaging applications often require custom integration layers to properly interact with legacy systems and document repositories. The flexibility to create these layers allows you to easily integrate an imaging component that will operate seamlessly within the overall system. Once fully implemented, your imaging component acts as a piece of those larger systems. A disruption in your imaging application may be the unexpected result of changes to the repository or legacy system. Tracking recent changes to your entire system may quickly lead you to a problem that prevents your imaging component from working correctly.

Tip: Include your imaging applications in your system's test environment to discover and solve problems before going live.

Folder Structure

Integrating your imaging application into a document repository creates a defined folder structure that the application uses to call documents for display. This structure is critical when you have layered elements including annotations and redactions — every layer element available through your imaging application should be considered before making structure changes. Modifying this folder structure after implementation may disrupt your imaging software’s file retrieval and display capabilities.

Tip: Maintain a consistent folder structure to ensure your documents and associated layered elements will be found and displayed correctly.

Updating/Upgrading Imaging Software

Incorporating planned updates into your development cycle and staying current with your imaging software gives you access to improved functionality that has been identified and implemented by your software vendor. When making updates, completely replace older instances of the application that may reside in both your live and development environments. Old versions of imaging applications left in your environment can cause frustration when accessed by users expecting updated functionality and can extend the upgrade process with unnecessary confusion.

Tip: When upgrading, completely replace the imaging software components throughout your entire system — including development systems — to ensure meeting the functionality expectations of developers and end-users.

Performing regular diagnosis and testing of internal systems and environmental set-up will help keep your applications running smoothly and efficiently. An initial check of your environment will also help when requesting support from your application provider; giving them more information to build or update functionality that avoids system-related conflicts.